For the sixth time in eight years, Jimmie Johnson sits atop the NASCAR universe. Although he only finished in 9th place during the Ford EcoBoost 400 (Denny Hamlin won the race), he gathered enough points to secure the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Trophy after winning six races and amassing 2,419 points in 2013.
Matt Kenseth, who finished second in the EcoBoost 400, ended up right on his heels with exactly 2,400 points. It wasn’t enough to hold off Johnson, though, who won five consecutive Sprint Cup Series titles from 2006-2010. The win marks the 11th championship in 19 years for Hendrick Motorsports.
Commonly referred to as “Five-Time” for that astonishing championship streak in the mid-2000’s, Johnson has recently given himself a new nickname; #Six-Pack. He has been referring to himself as this on Twitter (hence the hashtag) in the weeks leading up to the EcoBoost 400.
The win puts Johnson in some pretty elite company. He is now one of only three drivers, along with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, to win at least six NASCAR series championships.
“I’m at a loss for words," Johnson told reporters after the race. "I’m so thankful for this opportunity at Hendrick Motorsports. Thankful that Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick gave us this opportunity back in 2002.”
It was then that Johnson started racing full-time in the Sprint Cup Series (formerly known as the Winston Cup Series). Johnson earned his first ever pole position at the 44th Daytona 500 in 2002, making him only the second rookie in NASCAR history to do so. Since then Johnson has won 66 career races, making him one of the most decorated and accomplished racers of this generation.
Johnson got his racing career started by riding motorcycles as a kid. He even won the 60cc class championship in 1983, which just goes to show, everyone’s got to start somewhere.