Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway last night. It was Johnson’s sixth win of the 2009 Sprint Cup season, and the 46th win of his career. However a few other numbers are the ones that are more impressive. Johnson, in his bid to win his fourth consecutive Sprint Cup title has become the first ever driver to win three of the first five chase races, with the win Saturday Johnson now has won 17 of the 55 Chase races in NASCAR history, and with his sixth career wins at the Lowe’s track he ties NASCAR greats Bobby Allison, and Darrell Waltrip with the most wins at this speedway.
The Chase for the Championship is NASCAR’s version of the playoffs and it encompasses the last ten races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule. 2009 is the sixth year that NASCAR has used this system to determine its champion and Johnson is the only NASCAR driver to qualify for the Chase for all six years. A driver qualifies for the chase by being in the top twelve in owners points after the 26th and final regular season race.
By the numbers Johnson’s career chase performance are outstanding. 17 of his 46 career wins have been in chase races put another way 36.9% of Johnson’s wins have come in the chase. By winning 17 of the 55 Chase races in NASCAR history (so far) he has won 30% of the chase races in NASCAR history.
To be sure Johnson and his #48 team led by crew chief Chad Knaus are among the most elite teams in NASCAR history. Until another team can show up and prove that they can out run this team in the 10 race chase Jimmie could be the NASCAR champion for quite sometime.