36 Days 'Til Daytona - Today's Featured Driver: Jimmie Johnson

In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2021 Daytona 500.  Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the Top 30 Drivers of 2020. 

 

18th Place – Jimmie Johnson – 836 pts

 

By the Numbers:

 

663 Consecutive Starts – Before the 16th race of the 2020 season at Indianapolis, Jimmie Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 and was ruled out of the race.  This ended a streak of 663 consecutive starts Johnson had going, and also likely ruined his chances at the playoffs (more on that below).

 

7 Points – Even including an untimely disqualification at the first Charlotte race in May 2020, Jimmie Johnson missed the playoffs by a mere 7 points.  Had he not contracted COVID-19 and been able to race at Indianapolis (a track where Johnson doesn’t necessarily shine, but where he has the 14th best career record of active drivers), it’s certainly within the realm of possibility he could have earned the 7 points he needed to supplant Matt DiBenedetto, the last driver to make the playoffs.

 

18th Best Season – Of his 19 full-time seasons at the Cup Series level, only in 2019 did Jimmie Johnson have a worse average finish.  His 2020 average finish of 17.29 (slightly better than his 17.36 in 2019) left a bit too much to be desired in his final season before retirement from NASCAR.

 

18.32 Average Finish @ Daytona – Jimmie Johnson’s worst career track is Daytona, where he has an average finish of 18.32 (the worst he has at any track).  Considering that Johnson started 686 races over the length of his career, the fact that his worst career average finish is still below 20 (at a track where chaos is rampant) says a lot about just how dominant he was over his entire Cup Series career.

 

23 Years Difference – Jimmie Johnson was the oldest full-time active driver at the start of the 2020 season (later to be topped by Matt Kenseth replacing Kyle Larson).  Rookie of the Year Cole Custer (and coincidentally the youngest full-time driver) is 23 years younger than Jimmie Johnson.  Custer was 4 years old when Jimmie Johnson scored his first Cup Series win in 2002.

 

Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson announced at the end of the 2019 season that 2020 would be his last.  He is slated to drive part-time over the next two years for Chip Ganassi Racing in the IndyCar Series.  Alex Bowman will move from the 88 and take over the 48 car in 2021.

 

Coming up in two days – Erik Jones

 

Follow us on Twitter @StatChat_RR