By admin | March 23, 2010
By Richard Allen
On Sunday in Bristol a person doing interviews of fans for the track was going around doing the typical pre-race stuff of asking people where they were from and who they were hoping would win the Food City 500. One woman did not sound hopeful that her favorite driver could win because, as she said, â€œHeâ€™s not very good on short tracks, but Iâ€™m for him anyway.â€ When asked who that driver was she announced the name Jimmie Johnson. Perhaps she had forgotten his nine combined wins at Richmond and Martinsville.
Based on recent responses I have gotten in regard to Johnson overwhelming success there were no doubt many in attendance who were hopeful that she was indeed correct in her assessment of her driver had little chance to win.
Going into Sundayâ€™s race there were six active NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks on which Johnson had not scored a victory. Aside from Bristol he had not won in Chicago, Homestead, Michigan, Sonoma and Watkins Glen.
Now, there are only five tracks where the #48 team has not visited the racing promised land of victory lane.
My advice to the Johnson haters out there is that they hurry and attend races on those tracks on which he hasnâ€™t yet won because the way this season is going so far there may not be much time remaining to visit his winless tracks.
Along with Johnson striking Bristol off his list of tracks yet to be conquered, his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon, ended a streak of his own last season. After sixteen previous attempts the â€˜Rainbow Warriorâ€™ finally took the checkered flag at the Texas Motor Speedway. Now, only Homestead remains as an unconquered venue for Gordon.
So, for those who have grown to despise the success of Hendrick Motorsports there is only one common track in which these two drivers have not won and that is Homestead. Of course, one explanation for not winning there is that Gordon and Johnson have so often been in the process of wrapping up championships on that track.
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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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