Jimmie Johnson won his sixth championship in eight years last Sunday and staked his claim as one of the most dominant competitors in sports history.
Johnson was on cruise control at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he needed only to finish 23rd or better to wrap up the title.
He finished ninth, and is now chasing the mark of seven titles held by Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt. It took Johnson 12 seasons of NASCAR Sprint Cup series competition to reach his sixth title. It took Petty, 15 years to win his 7 championships (1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, and 1979), while for Earnhardt Sr., it took 14 years to win his 7 championships (1980, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994) whereas Johnson won his first title in 2006, only 7 years ago, and now has his 6th title, Johnson is the only 5 time consecutive championship winner (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010)
Matt Kenseth needed a Johnson collapse to have any shot at the title. He positioned himself to capitalize should anything go awry by leading a race-high 144 laps and finishing second.
It wasn’t enough against Johnson, who won the title by 19 points.
For the race itself, Denny Hamlin won for the first time this season, the second time at Homestead and the 23rd time in his career. The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has won at least one race in each of his eight full seasons in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.