Jimmie Johnson mired in career worst 28-race losing streak - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Jimmie Johnson mired in career worst 28-race losing streak

Posted: Updated:

By JENNA FRYER
AP Auto Racing Writer

Jimmie Johnson's start to the NASCAR season is not worthy of a seven-time champion.

How bad is it? He has just one top-10 finish in five races and goes to Martinsville Speedway mired in a career-worst 28-race losing streak.

But Johnson can take heart in this: He has nine victories at Martinsville, most among active drivers, and despite his slump must be considered a favorite for Sunday's race at the Virginia short track.

He laughed Saturday at the reminder of his losing streak, which dates to Dover, Delaware, last June, and pointed out he did indeed win three Cup races in 2018.

If fans of Johnson's No. 48 team are freaking out - especially since Lowe's, the only primary sponsor he's had in the Cup, is leaving at the end of the season - Johnson is not. The reality is the most consistent and successful driver of his generation is the veteran during a Hendrick Motorsports reorganization and Chevrolet's launch of an on-track Camaro.

There's a lot of stuff going on and it's going to take time to work out the kinks.

"At the end of last year, there were layers of high frustration and some embarrassment that we just couldn't get things going in the right direction," Johnson said Saturday. "This year, we've improved every week and have seen great strides. I'm very optimistic that success is out there in front of us and around the corner.

"But, through it all, I live in the moment and understand where I am and where our team is and what we're doing as a company. I know the journey that we're on. I know what's happening internally to build a better product and to better use our resources to build a better think tank. There's a journey of growth going on right now at the company."

Hendrick's lineup was overhauled because of retirements by Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kasey Kahne was released from his contract at the end of last season. The team is now Johnson, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and William Byron. Johnson is the only active Cup winner in the lineup.

Through five races this season, Johnson sits 18th in the standings. He was involved in crashes during all of his races at Daytona, and it took until last week in his home state of California for Johnson to put a big number on the board: ninth at Fontana.

"I'm not losing sleep over it," he said. "I know I'm going to win races. I know this team is going to win races. I know we're going to compete for a championship."

Johnson isn't getting much sympathy, even within his own company.

"I would like to have his slump," Elliott said. "You don't forget how to drive. You don't change your driving habits. The guy is still one of, if not the greatest driver to ever come through NASCAR. I would probably say the best ever without question.

"I can assure you if the man has a car that is capable to run well and to run inside the top five and lead laps and dominate races, he is probably going to be doing that."

Johnson wondered if attention to his losing streak is because he's a victim of his own success. He has 83 career Cup victories and his seven titles tie him with Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt. His streak of five consecutive championships has never been done before in NASCAR.

"I think people often take for granted how competitive pro sports are and how competitive this garage area is," Johnson said. "Although we've been able to do some pretty amazing things that have never been done before, I think it's unfair to believe that it can last forever. What we did to win five in a row was pretty darn special.

"I do hold myself to a very high level of expectation ... (but) there are some unfair expectations put on people and on teams and on individuals, and I think people often forget how difficult it is to compete at a pro level."

___

More AP Auto Racing: https://racing.ap.org/

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • Science Says: Amount of straws, plastic pollution is huge

    Science Says: Amount of straws, plastic pollution is huge

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 6:23 PM EDT2018-04-24 22:23:25 GMT
    (CSIRO via AP). This December 2016 photo provided by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, a dead shearwater bird rests on a table next to a plastic straw and pieces of a red balloon found inside of it on North Stradbroke Is...(CSIRO via AP). This December 2016 photo provided by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, a dead shearwater bird rests on a table next to a plastic straw and pieces of a red balloon found inside of it on North Stradbroke Is...
    Cities and even countries now such as Great Britain are looking at banning straws because plastic pollution is a huge global problem.More >>
    Cities and even countries now such as Great Britain are looking at banning straws because plastic pollution is a huge global problem.More >>
  • Volcano in southern Japan erupts for 1st time in 250 years

    Volcano in southern Japan erupts for 1st time in 250 years

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:31 AM EDT2018-04-24 04:31:39 GMT
    (Kyodo News via AP). CORRECTS YEAR - In this April 19, 2018, photo, volcanic smoke billows from Mt. Io, foreground, part of the Kirishima mountain range on Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu, taken over Ebino city, Miyazaki prefecture. The Meteorol...(Kyodo News via AP). CORRECTS YEAR - In this April 19, 2018, photo, volcanic smoke billows from Mt. Io, foreground, part of the Kirishima mountain range on Japan’s southern main island of Kyushu, taken over Ebino city, Miyazaki prefecture. The Meteorol...
    A volcano in southern Japan has erupted for the first time in 250 years, and the authorities have set up a no-go zone around the mountain.More >>
    A volcano in southern Japan has erupted for the first time in 250 years, and the authorities have set up a no-go zone around the mountain.More >>
  • New lynching memorial evokes terror of victims

    New lynching memorial evokes terror of victims

    Monday, April 23 2018 8:10 PM EDT2018-04-24 00:10:23 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jay Reeves). In this Wednesday, April 18, 2018 photo, Josephine Bolling McCall poses with a photo of her father, lynching victim Elmore Bolling, at her home in Montgomery, Ala. Bolling is among thousands of lynching victims remembered at the ...(AP Photo/Jay Reeves). In this Wednesday, April 18, 2018 photo, Josephine Bolling McCall poses with a photo of her father, lynching victim Elmore Bolling, at her home in Montgomery, Ala. Bolling is among thousands of lynching victims remembered at the ...
    A new memorial is opening to honor thousands of people killed in racist lynchings.More >>
    A new memorial is opening to honor thousands of people killed in racist lynchings.More >>
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Supporters of zoning in Brookfield say future depends on it

    Supporters of zoning in Brookfield say future depends on it

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 5:50 PM EDT2018-04-24 21:50:08 GMT
    Leaders in Brookfield Township say it's time to put zoning rules in place. Despite failing at the polls by 19 votes the last time it was on the ballot, township trustees are confident a zoning issue could pass in November. Supporters say the future of Brookfield Township hinges on having zoning regulations. "The schools here are good, there's a lot of opportunity for growth and we're not going to see that here until we get zoning passed," Daniel Martino said, of Brookfiel...More >>
    Leaders in Brookfield Township say it's time to put zoning rules in place. Despite failing at the polls by 19 votes the last time it was on the ballot, township trustees are confident a zoning issue could pass in November. Supporters say the future of Brookfield Township hinges on having zoning regulations. "The schools here are good, there's a lot of opportunity for growth and we're not going to see that here until we get zoning passed," Daniel Martino said, of Brookfiel...More >>
  • Valley women asked to wear denim to promote sexual assault awareness

    Valley women asked to wear denim to promote sexual assault awareness

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 4:35 PM EDT2018-04-24 20:35:40 GMT

    Women across the Valley are being asked to don their best denim Wednesday, April 25th to promote awareness for sexual assault victims.

    More >>

    Women across the Valley are being asked to don their best denim Wednesday, April 25th to promote awareness for sexual assault victims.

    More >>
  • Browns legend reveals his draft picks for Cleveland

    Browns legend reveals his draft picks for Cleveland

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 4:13 PM EDT2018-04-24 20:13:05 GMT
    Cleveland Browns legend and future Hall of Fame inductee Joe Thomas will be spending NFL draft day with fans in the Mahoning valley.  Prior to his visit, 21 News spoke one-on-one with Thomas at the Brown's headquarters and training facility in Berea.  As you enter the Browns headquarters you're greeted in the reception area by a display in tribute to Joe Thomas, who played his entire 11 year career as a Brown. The display includes the ball that was used when ...More >>
    Cleveland Browns legend and future Hall of Fame inductee Joe Thomas will be spending NFL draft day with fans in the Mahoning valley.  Prior to his visit, 21 News spoke one-on-one with Thomas at the Brown's headquarters and training facility in Berea.  As you enter the Browns headquarters you're greeted in the reception area by a display in tribute to Joe Thomas, who played his entire 11 year career as a Brown. The display includes the ball that was used when ...More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms