Jimmie Johnson Wins 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
Jimmie Johnson took another step closer to stock car racing history on Sunday, claiming his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.
Johnson, who entered the race with a 28-point lead over 2003 series champion Matt Kenseth, finished ninth in the Ford EcoBoost 400, putting his final margin over Kenseth at 19 points.
The championship is a record-extending 11th in the series for Hendrick Motorsports. Rick Hendrick’s organization also won four titles with Jeff Gordon, co-owner of Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet, and one with Terry Labonte. Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, has led the team to all six titles.
The 38-year-old Johnson is one of three competitors to win six or more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. He trails only seven-time champions and NASCAR Hall of Fame members Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.
Johnson’s five previous championships – all consecutive – came from 2006-2010. He has finished first or second in eight of the 12 seasons in which he’s been a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor. His 66 victories rank second among active drivers, behind only Hendrick Motorsports teammate Gordon’s 88 wins.
Johnson’s six championships have come in three distinctly different NASCAR Sprint Cup cars – including the Gen-6 Chevrolet SS that debuted this season.
After winning his second Daytona 500 to open the season, Johnson led the series standings after all but three races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup regular season. He entered the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as the No. 2 seed – behind Kenseth – with four victories. A dominant victory on Nov. 3 at Texas Motor Speedway gave Johnson the Chase lead for good.
In addition, Chevrolet won its 37th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series manufacturers’ championship.