On Friday, Ally announced that they had reached an agreement to remain as a sponsor with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2023 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Jimmie Johnson though wouldn’t commit past his current contract ending after 2021.
But, if he keeps running like this, I bet he’ll stay through at least 2023. Johnson, is on the verge of breaking out of his 89 race winless drought as I can see him pulling his No. 48 Chevrolet back into victory lane soon.
On Sunday, Johnson would finish eighth in the Drydene 400 at the Dover International Speedway for his ninth top 10 in his last 13 starts on the Monster Mile. He also has 11 career wins at Dover and looked like the top non playoff driver for a majority of the race.
Johnson, was second quickest on the 10 lap average chart in both practices on Friday and qualified his car 11th. He finished seventh in the opening stage and fifth in the second one. He only faded to eighth as he didn’t want to get in the way of the playoff drivers vying for the title still.
“I felt like we had a shot,” said Johnson. “When we were in clean air, our lap times were great. Just as everyone experienced, it was really tough to pass. We had a few things that set us back and lost track position throughout the day. But we had a really fast race car. We were able to pass some, which I don’t think many could pass at all. All in all, it was a good day. We ran better than eighth for most of it, but we just couldn’t finish higher.”
Despite that eighth place run, Johnson was left wanting more.
“No, I mean we’re here to win the race and that’s where my heart and mind is.” said Johnson on if he’s satisfied with his finish. “Throughout the day, I felt like we did have pace at times to run for the lead if we could just cycle through all the pit stops to get there. Unfortunately, we had some things happen on pit road. I had to avoid cars coming out of stalls and it just set me back. Coming in fourth and coming out ninth, I think the way it all worked out with the pit box location, I lost positions during each pit stop. So, just really tough to recover from that. I’m disappointed there, but in my heart, I know we’re going the right way.”
But, this is the Johnson we’re used to seeing. He finished 11th in Las Vegas, 10th in Richmond, ninth in Charlotte on the ROVAL and now eighth at Dover. Trends say a seventh place finish is coming next Sunday in Talladega.