Monday, March 22, 2010

Why Does NASCAR Hate This Guy?

Jimmy Johnson. Driver of the #48 Lowes Impala. Winner of the last four NASCAR Cup championships, a feat which has never been done before. He and his team are the most dominant force in NASCAR, perhaps the most dominant one in NASCAR history.

So, why does almost everyone hate him?

Jimmy is too good. His team is too good. They simply dominate in many races. Other times, their luck is so good as to not be believable. They've been caught cheating in the past, but not enough to explain their position.

Johnson won his 13th career start. Yesterday, he won his 50th race in only his 296th start. The math - he wins on average every 6th race he enters. He scores a top five in every 3rd race he enters.

Johnson has won 3 of 5 races this year. There is nothing to indicate he won't win his fifth consecutive championship.

This is bad for NASCAR:

It is boring.

It generates a lot of ill will towards him and his team because they are so good and so lucky.

Johnson is not a flamboyant driver. Although he is not a goodie-two-shoes, he's not a bad guy. He's just kind of plain. Johnson and his crew chief are polished, well spoken. I actually enjoy listening to Chad Knaus (crew chief) on his analysis - very smart guy. They don't do anything to make you mad, other than keep winning.

Every race and championship they win is one that is taken away form drivers that have passioiinate fan bases. Dale Jr's fans (Junior Nation) absolutely hate Johnson, even though they are teammates.

Pundits in the racing world have been openly questioning whether or not Johnson is good for the sport. NASCAR itself knows this is true, though they would never say that openly. NASCAR needs more drivers, different drivers, to win races. Ratings are down, interest is down, and Johnson is not helping the situation.

Here's what needs to happen. The other drivers need to draw lots before each race. The loser has to ram his car into Johnson's on the first lap - not to hurt him, but enough to disable the car and ensure a 43rd place finish for the #48 car. Seems to me that is the only way he isn't going to win his 5th Championship.

Here is a video clip from back when I thought Jimmie Johnson was a cool driver. The Busch race at Watkins Glen in 2000. Johnson is driving the #92 Alltel car, and his throttle sticks coming into turn 1. Way cool crash, when it happened live everyone was wondering if he was dead. Instead, he jumps out and raises his arms in triumph.

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