Everyone knew this name was going to be on the list. But you save the best for last. Jimmie Johnson is one of NASCAR‘s 75 Greatest Drivers. The seven-time Cup Series champion knows how to get the job done and he did it over and over again throughout his career in NASCAR.
Born in El Cajon, California, Jimmie Johnson would find his way into the NASCAR Cup Series by 2001 in a limited schedule. In 2002, Johnson was put in a full-time ride and the rest as they say, is history. As a rookie, Johnson finished 5th overall and picked up three wins.
In the blink of an eye, Johnson became one of the most decorated talents in stock car racing. The Cali kid who started racing motorcycles and two-wheel drive Trophy Trucks became one of the greatest drivers ever in NASCAR history.
So, Superman joins his fellow seven-time champs on the 75 Greatest Drivers list. When you think of the GOATs, it has to be Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jimmie Johnson.
In his career, Jimmie Johnson has achieved about all you can achieve in NASCAR. He won seven championships, five in a row from 2006-2010. He didn’t have the character of Dale Sr. He wasn’t the mysterious legend like Petty. But Johnson defined an entire generation of racing.
Take away half of his wins, half of his championships, half of all his accolades. Johnson would still be among the greatest to ever drive a stock car. He just happened to do a whole hell of a lot during his career.
Jimmie Johnson continues to push NASCAR forward
What else can we say about Jimmie Johnson? I guess we could talk about his All-Star Race awards. We could talk about 11 wins at Dover or his two Daytona 500s, the four Coca-Cola 600s, the four Brickyard 400s, and all of the things that he did as a driver. But Johnson is doing more.
Of course, JJ took a quick break from NASCAR with a season in IndyCar. He became Rookie of the Year in the series. After all, Ryan Newman wasn’t there to steal the award from him like he did in the Cup Series.
There’s even more, though. Jimmie Johnson is now a team owner. He took over at PettyGMS and the group rebranded to LEGACY Motor Club. With Noah Gragson and Erik Jones as full-time drivers, Johnson isn’t done with NASCAR racing yet.
Johnson said he was hoping to race in 12 races or so this year. He raced at Daytona, got wrecked out of COTA on lap 1. Since then, it has been silence. Don’t worry though, your favorite driver (to love or hate) will be back on the track soon enough.
Even if he never races again, Jimmie Johnson will forever be one of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers.