NASCAR Cup
NASCAR Cup
R
Daytona Clash
08 Feb
-
09 Feb
Next event in
12 days
08 Feb
-
16 Feb
Next event in
12 days
R
Las Vegas
21 Feb
-
23 Feb
Next event in
25 days
R
Fontana
28 Feb
-
01 Mar
Next event in
32 days
R
Phoenix
06 Mar
-
08 Mar
Next event in
39 days
R
Atlanta
13 Mar
-
15 Mar
Next event in
46 days
R
Homestead
20 Mar
-
22 Mar
Next event in
53 days
R
27 Mar
-
29 Mar
Next event in
60 days
R
Bristol
03 Apr
-
05 Apr
Next event in
67 days
R
Richmond
17 Apr
-
19 Apr
Next event in
81 days
R
Talladega
24 Apr
-
26 Apr
Next event in
88 days
R
01 May
-
03 May
Next event in
95 days
R
Martinsville
07 May
-
09 May
Next event in
101 days
R
All-Star
15 May
-
16 May
Next event in
109 days
R
Charlotte
22 May
-
24 May
Next event in
116 days
R
29 May
-
31 May
Next event in
123 days
R
Michigan
05 Jun
-
07 Jun
Next event in
130 days
R
12 Jun
-
14 Jun
Next event in
137 days
R
Chicagoland
19 Jun
-
21 Jun
Next event in
144 days
R
26 Jun
-
28 Jun
Next event in
151 days
R
Indianapolis
03 Jul
-
05 Jul
Next event in
158 days
R
Kentucky
09 Jul
-
11 Jul
Next event in
164 days
R
17 Jul
-
19 Jul
Next event in
172 days
R
Michigan II
07 Aug
-
09 Aug
Next event in
193 days
R
Watkins Glen
14 Aug
-
16 Aug
Next event in
200 days
R
Dover II
21 Aug
-
23 Aug
Next event in
207 days
R
Daytona II
27 Aug
-
29 Aug
Next event in
213 days
R
Darlington
04 Sep
-
06 Sep
Next event in
221 days
R
Richmond II
10 Sep
-
12 Sep
Next event in
227 days
R
Bristol II
17 Sep
-
19 Sep
Next event in
234 days
R
Las Vegas II
25 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
242 days
R
Talladega II
02 Oct
-
04 Oct
Next event in
249 days
R
Charlotte II
09 Oct
-
11 Oct
Next event in
256 days
R
Kansas II
16 Oct
-
18 Oct
Next event in
263 days
R
Texas II
23 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
270 days
R
Martinsville II
30 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
277 days
R
Phoenix II
06 Nov
-
08 Nov
Next event in
284 days

Jimmie Johnson: "I am responsible" for performance struggles

shares
comments
Jimmie Johnson: "I am responsible" for performance struggles
By:
Sep 13, 2018, 10:53 PM

Jimmie Johnson once again has a chance to win a NASCAR-record eighth championship in the Cup Series but to do so may require a Herculean-like effort.

Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's for Pros
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's Throwback
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA Auto Parts Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's for Pros Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's Throwback
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's Throwback
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's for Pros and Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's Throwback
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Lowe's for Pros
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro shows damage after a crash

Johnson remains immersed in a career-long 49-race winless streak, which dates back to last spring’s race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

He did qualify for the 16-driver playoff field but enters as the 15th seed – one of three drivers in the playoffs who failed to score a playoff point during the regular season.

Asked if his psyche had been affected during his performance struggles, Johnson said, “You’re not human if it doesn’t bother you. I do know that I have a role in the performance of this car and a leadership role with the team.

“I do know that I am responsible for where we’re at as well. To what level, I don’t know yet. We’re not through it. I think we can reflect back hopefully at some point very soon once we get through it.

“It has been hard on me. There have been days and weeks and, unfortunately, months when I’m much stronger dealing with it and other times when it’s a little more difficult.”

The Southern 500 two weeks ago at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway still weighs heavily on Johnson’s mind. He ended up finishing 39th, eventually falling out of the race due to a broken oil pump.

The weekend, however, turned into a litany of problems. Johnson had a fast car in practice but then tagged the wall during Round 2 of qualifying. He had to start the race from the rear of the field after his team fixed damage on his No. 48 Chevrolet.

“I’ve been pretty hard on myself since the Darlington race. We had a great car and could run up there in the top-three and top-five and I made a series of mistakes that triggered other mistakes within the team and we had a terrible night,” he said.

“I’m just trying to pull it back in and not get ahead of myself in some respects. I have to execute at a high level, which I know how to do and the speed in the car, is the speed in the car. There’s not much I can do about that.”

Finding the speed

This season’s spring race at Dover and Darlington were the two races this year Johnson felt the most competitive.

“Spring Dover is probably the one I felt the closest to winning but since then it was definitely Darlington,” he said. “I didn’t get the best read on Darlington because we got to 14th before the first stage was up and was passed a lot of cars but I didn’t a good look at the leaders to evaluate myself against them.

“At Dover, I did and was kind of in the mix (for the win).”

Johnson said he knows there aren’t a lot of his fellow competitors who are feeling sorry for a seven-time champion and 83-time race winner.

“I had a lot of years when I wasn’t very successful in my ascension to my time at Hendrick Motorsports. I fell in love with racing for my own reasons and it wasn’t because of trophies or fame or money. It was because of the experience I had driving the car and I’m still very much in that space,” he said.

“I’m not expecting anybody to say, ‘Oh, poor Jimmie Johnson.’ But I would ask people not to think that I’ve had enough and am ready to throw in the towel or that I don’t care or don’t want it.

“That’s just unfair. Anybody who knows me knows that I’m the opposite.”

Next article
Analysis: Where the contenders stand entering NASCAR's playoffs

Previous article

Analysis: Where the contenders stand entering NASCAR's playoffs

Next article

Dale Jr. has a "little itch to scratch" in racing return at Richmond

Dale Jr. has a "little itch to scratch" in racing return at Richmond
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports
Author Jim Utter