Sprint Cup

Johnson Wraps Up Championship Celebration

Jimmie Johnson poses with his wife Chandra and young daughter Lydia prior to Friday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet in Las Vegas. (NASCAR Photo)

Jimmie Johnson poses with his wife Chandra and young daughter Lydia prior to Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet in Las Vegas. (NASCAR Photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jimmie Johnson wraped up his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship celebration Friday night in Las Vegas.

For Johnson, Champion’s Week has been an enjoyable one – and perhaps his best since he captured his first championship in 2006 to begin an unprecedented run of five consecutive titles.

“The streak, when it was alive, I didn’t realize how much pressure we were carrying on our shoulders. We almost didn’t get to enjoy the moment,” he said. “We were looking ahead to see what the next year would be.

“This (year) is almost a starting over. We’re just enjoying it for what it is.”

Johnson and the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Lowe’s Chevrolet team’s streak of five titles ended in 2011 and they missed the title a year ago, but the now-38-year-old Californian smiled and applauded the achievements of Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski from the audience.

The two seasons away from the head table provided some of the impetus for what Johnson calls “a kick-butt year” in which he won six races. Two victories during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ were keys to Johnson emerging victorious from a dramatic and tension-filled battle with 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth.

“There’s nothing more motivating than sitting down on the floor and watching the head table receive all the things through the course of the night,” Johnson said. “We worked hard and came back and got it done this year.”

One championship away from matching the seven NASCAR Sprint Cup titles won by NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Johnson had hoped to reference some of the legends’ thoughts in making Friday night’s speech. He had no luck retrieving any of Petty’s remarks following his sixth title. The late Earnhardt’s speech in 1994 likewise wasn’t helpful.

“I expected to see some life-changing thing in there I could attach to my speech; some meaningful moment or whatever,” Johnson said of Earnhardt’s banquet performance. “He was just as nervous as the rest of us. He was rattled, got off the stage and walked away.

“I do recognize I’m in a very unique position (that) only two other men have been in. If I can find a way to mention that tonight, that’s my goal.”

Give SPEED SPORT as a gift

Posted by on Dec 7 2013 Filed under Latest Headlines, NASCAR, Sprint Cup, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Stay Connected!

Join our mailing list to receive the Daily News Update, Special Offers from NSSN or our trusted partners, or BOTH! You can opt-out anytime and we promise not to spam you!
Email:

Please Support NSSN’s Sponsors




Follow NSSN On Facebook!