Back in 2000 when Dodge rejoined the Nascar series, I feigned interest in the sport. Sure, it was cool… Fast racing, but short of rooting for my favorite manufacturer, I didn’t care too much.
Fast forward a couple years… Friend of mine gets me into Nascar in a big way, her hero becomes mine – that being Jimmie Johnson in the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet. Over the past few years I’ve rarely missed a race, especially now in HD.
Now Johnson is a calculating driver. Time and again I’ll see him hang back a majority of the race, keep clean, and take the checkered flag when it matters. Quite a few of those runs have been exciting to the point I’m sitting on the edge of my couch or jumping up and down, screaming at the set, egging him on like he can actually hear me.
He’s also a clean driver, he won’t wreck another driver to win, he won’t play the usual games seen in other circles, and I like that quite a bit. While it means less coverage, it also means that at the end of the day the nearest Ford and Dodge will likely be seeing his vinyl taillights. Several times in recent history I’ve seen other drivers try to take him out, some even succeeded. Teammates (Vickers… WAD) aside, the 48 almost always finishes well as long as it isn’t caught up in someone else’s mess.
So the past few years he’s come close to winning the championship, never closer than this year. 63 points ahead of Matt Kenseth, he needs to finish in at least 12th place to take it. Don’t know about you, but tomorrow at 3pm, I’ll be rooting for the #48. Good luck Jimmie.