Jimmie Johnson’s Thumping 2016 Entry Into NASCAR Royalty Leaves Fans Fevered With Nostalgia of “The Night When History Was Made”

Published 11/21/2022, 6:45 AM EST

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Most drivers in NASCAR end up driving for decades and decades, unable to find that Cup Series Championship to take home. The biggest names have missed out on it. However, Jimmie Johnson won seven of those which earned him the right to be mentioned in the same breath as Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. Johnson thus is a certified legend.

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NASCAR used to run in cycles of domination; these cycles were multiple years of domination by a single driver taking the Cup Series home. But this phenomenon was not a result of the competition or the quality of other drivers being poor. It was purely down to the legends’ quality.

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Richard Petty won seven Cup Series, the first in 1964 and the last in 1979. He then passed the baton to Dale Earnhardt who dominated for years, winning seven too – his first in 1980 and last in 1994.

From Dale Sr., it went to Jeff Gordon, who won 4 between 1994 and 2001. However, since the turn of the century, there has been no other driver than Jimmie Johnson, who has dominated proceedings with the same authority and elegance as Dale Sr, Petty, and Gordon.

The legendary career of Johnson

Johnson won his first Cup Series in 2006 and that set him on a record-breaking, unprecedented run. From 2006 to 2010, he won 5 consecutive Cup Series. Johnson set a record with that run, breaking Cale Yarborough’s record of 3 consecutive Championships.

He then completed his set of seven with wins in 2013 and 2016. While his earlier performances were in a league above others, if there were any doubts about his legendary status, his win in 2016 put them to rest.

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Jimmie Johnson fans recall that magical night in Homestead

6 years since the night Jimmie made history at Homestead, fans have not forgotten one bit. They remember it like it happened yesterday. Here are a few of the tributes to that night:

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It has been a long time since that Cup Series sealing win, on November 21, and while Jimmie no longer races, he recently joined Petty GMS as a part-time owner and driver. A return might be on the horizon.

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Jimmie was of a different ilk and the #48 was a modern-day beast. Arguably, no other driver might be able to surpass his records, but definitely, there will not be another Jimmie Johnson. 

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Written by:

Abhay Tyagi

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Abhay Tyagi is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. Although he has completed his undergrad in Law and Management, he has always been eager to venture into the exciting field of sports journalism. With a special affinity for Engineering and Speed, Abhay has always found the world of Formula 1 quite exhilarating.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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