“I’ll Never be the King or the Intimidator” – Jimmie Johnson Dismisses Comparisons to Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty

Published 11/05/2020, 7:03 AM EST
Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) races during the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

When Jimmie Johnson won the 2016 Cup Series Championship, he took his tally to seven titles. This put him at par with the legendary Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt

After winning that seventh crown, he gave his acceptance speech and confessed that the feeling hadn’t fully sunken in yet.

He profusely thanked Linda and Rick Hendrick for making him part of the Hendrick Motorsport family.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He also said, “I spent some time studying up to this night and fortunately could find Dale Earnhardt’s acceptance speech. Dale Sr said, ‘I might have won as many championships as Richard Petty. But he will always be the king’.

I completely agree and must say, I might have won as many championships as Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. But I will never be The King or The Intimidator.”

Instead, Johnson insisted that he was just a man from California who always wanted to race. Four years on, the 45-year-old is set to retire from NASCAR after the season finale at the Phoenix Raceway.

Jimmie Johnson has built himself an immortal legacy in NASCAR

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In the past two decades, Jimmie Johnson has taken the NASCAR world by storm. In the process, he has established himself as one of the greats in the sport. Truthfully speaking, the term, ‘Greatest of All Time’ is a hugely relative label. However, with Jimmie Johnson’s achievements and accolades, he would make a very serious bid.

HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 20: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, poses for a portrait after winning the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2016 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

It is always difficult to try to compare sportspersons from different eras because a lot of parameters have changed since then. However, nobody can deny the statistics, as seven Cup titles, 83 wins, 373 top-tens, and the most consecutive titles make Johnson one of the strongest contenders for the top spot.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

When the 2020 season wraps up, with either Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, or Brad Keselowski as the champion, Johnson will start a new chapter in his career.

In 2021, he will make his debut in the open-wheel series, IndyCar, with the Chip Ganassi Racing team. He will partner with Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson, and Alex Palou, and share duties with a yet-unnamed driver.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Dhruv George

12934 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT