If you counted out Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, to win this past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway you probably weren’t alone.
Qualifying wasn’t kind to Johnson and his No. 48 team as he spun in the first round of Friday’s qualifying and flat spotted the tires. Johnson’s team changed tires before the race which forced him to back of the field for the start of Sunday’s race because NASCAR mandates that all drivers start the race on their qualifying tires.
Johnson passed Joey Logano for the lead on lap 318 of 334 and would pull away for the victory even with a hard charging Kyle Larson behind him.
“I guess I remembered how to drive, and I guess this team remembered how to do it!” Johnson said.
Johnson who has won at least one MENCS race the past sixteen seasons had been in quite the slump entering Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Johnson entered Sunday with only one top-10 finish on the young season (ninth at Phoenix).
However, the only thing that bothered Johnson throughout the race was malfunction in the fluid delivery system in the car which gave the car a lack in hydration.
Johnson is one of the fittest guys in the sport so for him to comment on it, you know it had to be bad.
“Oh, it was hot in there, I got cooked in the car today. I didn’t have any fluids, so I’m not feeling the best, but we got into Victory Lane. I’m so proud of the fight in this race team. I can’t wait to celebrate during this off-weekend with my family and friends and really enjoy this.” Johnson said.
There was a lot of talk in the young season throughout social media that Johnson was washed up, but that’s all it was, was talk. If you’ve followed this sport for years or even just the past few seasons it’s obvious that Johnson tends to strive under pressure. After all, he is a 7-time NASCAR Monster Energy Series Cup Champion with 81 wins in the series. It wasn’t a question of if Johnson would win again, it was when he would win again, and this past weekend Johnson answered that question.