Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
43-Year-Old Driver  
Jeff Gordon/Hendrick Motorsports
Jeff Gordon/Hendrick Motorsports
2018 Fantasy Outlook
While the seven-time champion is only one season removed from hoisting the cup, there were many warts that surfaced in 2016 and carried right over into 2017. Johnson managed three wins, but they all came early in the campaign last year. The season in large part was a real struggle. The Hendrick Motorsports star netted only 11 Top-10 finishes, which were a career-low, and he took a premature exit from the Chase. That led to a lowly 10th-place finish in the final driver standings. More importantly, average start and average finish marks of 16.9 and 16.8 were both career worsts, and numbers well above his career averages of 11.5 and 12.4. It could be that after 17 seasons of racing at NASCAR's top level, Father Time has finally caught up to the best driver in NASCAR's modern history. He still carries tons of respect on the track and among his peers, but it's time for fantasy racing players to start looking at Jonson as a second tier driver instead of a first tier star. Read Past Outlooks
Wins Advance Auto Parts Clash
NASCAR Cup
February 10, 2019
Johnson won the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway Sunday afternoon. The race was called short of full distance due to rain.
ANALYSIS
This would be a wild exhibition race. Action would be halted twice due to rain showers, and then a "big one" style multi-car crash would happen in the moments before rain returned and put an end to the action. Johnson would attempt to take the lead from Paul Menard and make contact with the side of the No. 21 Ford setting off a big pile up at the front of the pack. The Hendrick Motorsports star would take the lead as a result and then take the red flag for rain. NASCAR called the race complete after 59 laps and declared Johnson the winner. It was his second-career victory in the Clash and first since way back in 2005.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2014
2008
2006
The competition may have caught up to Johnson and the No. 48 team in many respects, but the old dog showed the new dogs he still had plenty of tricks up his sleeve last season. The Hendrick Motorsports star led the team to an incredible seventh championship with a brilliant season and even more brilliant performance in the championship finale at Homestead. Johnson won five events during 2016, although he posted a career-low in Top 10's with only 16. It was still good enough to win the championship thanks to the Chase for the Cup system. From a historical perspective, Johnson has placed his name alongside the likes of Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt with the seven titles. From a fantasy racing standpoint, realize that Johnson is now on the lower end of the elite tier of drivers.
While the competition has steadily caught up to the six-time champion, Johnson is still a top tier and championship contending driver. He's not the dominant force that he was from 2006 to 2013, but he's still an elite level driver in NASCAR. Longtime crew chief Chad Knaus will return to the No. 48 Chevrolet team in 2016 and he and Johnson will again seek that elusive seventh championship. Coming off a five-win, 22 top 10 campaign last season that can only be seen as the floor going forward. The Chase format doesn't lend itself to Johnson's strengths, so another championship is not as likely. However, the track record of this team is so unbelievable, fantasy racing players should once again expect multiple wins and 20+ top 10s in 2016.
After two seasons of failing to win the Sprint Cup Series championship, we still have to rank Johnson the number one driver entering the season. The facts show that the Hendrick Motorsports star has been one of the prime contenders to win the title each of the last two years, but has come up just short in those efforts. Johnson has won seven victories and posted a stunning 45 Top-10 finishes in the last two years, so you cannot argue with the level of performance. Once again crew chief Chad Knaus and Johnson will team to get that elusive sixth championship. There’s little doubt that he’ll be in the running come November.
Johnson fell short of a championship in 2005, and ended up fifth in the final points standings. Johnson reaches a cross-roads in 2006, and looks to regroup for another championship run. Johnson is confronted with an uphill battle as the competition around him continually gets better.
More Fantasy News
Car Swap with Fernando Alonso
NASCAR Cup
November 26, 2018
Seven-time NASCAR champion Johnson and two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso have had the first chance to try each other's cars out during the JJxALO car swap in Bahrain, motorsport.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Parting ways with crew chief
NASCAR Cup
October 11, 2018
Hendrick Motorsports announced Wednesday that Johnson wouldn't retain Chad Knaus as his crew chief for the 2019 season, Bob Pockrass of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Spins Going for the Win at Charlotte
NASCAR Cup
October 1, 2018
Alex Bowman led the Hendrick Motorsports teammates to the checkered flag in fourth and he was followed by Chase Elliott in sixth and Johnson in eighth in Sunday's Bank of America Roval 400, hendrickmotorsports.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Tops Saturday Morning Roval Practice
NASCAR Cup
September 29, 2018
Johnson topped the leader board in Saturday morning's early Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway's road course, maneuvering the 17-turn, 2.28-mile track at 105.175 mph in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, NASCAR.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Top-10 Finish at Bristol
NASCAR Cup
August 20, 2018
Chase Elliott led the way for the organization and led the entire field on more than one occasion before taking the checkered flag third. Alex Bowman and Johnson were the next teammates to the checkered flag, crossing the finish line back-to-back in eighth and ninth, respectively, hendrickmotorsports.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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