Jimmie Johnson Daytona 500 favorite is now Jimmie Johnson Daytona 500 winner. Today at Daytona International Speedway was his 400th start. In 399 starts the 37-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver has tallied 60 wins to go along with five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. Only NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt have more championships (seven).
The NASCAR voted Jimmie Johnson the favorite to be this season’s Cup champion, so he was much of a Daytona 500 favorite as anyone.
Johnson’s prolific career rivals – and in some cases, surpasses – those of some of the most prominent talents in NASCAR history.
Eight drivers have won 60 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Johnson was the sixth fastest to reach the milestone when he notched victory No. 60 on Nov. 4, 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway in his 397th start. The five drivers that reached the milestone in fewer starts: Jeff Gordon (318), Darrell Waltrip (321), David Pearson (356), Richard Petty (358) and Cale Yarborough (380). Dale Earnhardt (454 starts) and Bobby Allison (493) also have reached 60 wins in their careers.
Johnson has produced at least two NASCAR Sprint Cup wins per season for the last 11 consecutive seasons, and all of them with the same sponsor – Lowe’s. Only Johnson and Jeff Gordon (DuPont) have had the same sponsor for each of their first 400 starts.
And championships? This is where Johnson has inserted his name in the “Greatest of All Time” discussion. At 400 starts, Richard Petty had two championships and Dale Earnhardt had five. Richard Petty? He had two at 400 starts.
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