Johnson: ‘I’d rather be dominating and be on top’

When asked if he relishes being the “underdog,” Jimmie Johnson said he’d rather be on top dominating.

Speaking to the media on Chase Media Day at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago, the driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet responded to the question of liking the idea of being overlooked to prove everybody wrong.

“No,” Johnson said plainly. “Hell, I’d rather be dominating and be on top and be the top pick. I don’t like where we’re at. We’re working hard. There’s a lot of optimism and a lot of great things happening. We just need to deliver consistently and execute at the track.

The 2016 season for the six-time Sprint Cup Series champion is on pace to be his worst career season to date in terms of statistics. After 26 races, he’s amassed only two wins, seven top fives and 10 top-10 finishes. He’s on track to finish with the fewest top 10s in a season of his career, his 266 laps led have been the fewest of any season in his career, his finishing average for the season is teetering on being the lowest in his career and he finished a race in last place for the first time in his career this season with a 40th place finish at Watkins Glen International.

It’s also been three years since his sixth championship, he’s yet to win the title in the elimination format of the Chase, has yet to advance past the second round, didn’t advance out of the first round last year and hasn’t won more than a single race in the Chase since 2013.

Despite the stat of not making it past round 2 during the time of year that’s historically been his playground, Johnson isn’t worried.

“Well, it’s only two years,” he said. “Everybody makes a big deal out of I haven’t won a championship in a while. I guess it’s 10 years since my first championship, so there’s only four years I’ve missed. I don’t think that’s too bad of a stat.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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