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Jimmie Johnson on legendary path

Jimmie Johnson will make his 250th Sprint Cup start tonight at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He'll do it as the two-time defending series champion, as the current points leader. He'll do it from the pole because qualifying was rained out. He'll do it as a five-time winner at Charlotte. This is a grand time to be Johnson, and statistically, at age 33, he already has inserted himself into the fraternity of the sport's all-time legends.

Jimmie Johnson versus other top drivers, through 249 starts, sorted by wins:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Laps Led Laps Win % Top 5 % Top 10 % Laps Led %

Jeff Gordon 52 125 159 10,673 72,029 20.884% 50.201% 63.855% 14.818%

Darrell Waltrip 39 120 151 11,071 71,546 15.663% 48.193% 60.643% 15.474%

Jimmie Johnson 38 98 152 6,787 71,436 15.261% 39.357% 61.044% 9.501%

David Pearson 37 109 152 8,894 55,620 14.859% 43.775% 61.044% 15.991%

Richard Petty 32 120 164 5,969 51,180 12.851% 48.193% 65.863% 11.663%

Bobby Allison 31 123 151 10,009 59,884 12.450% 49.398% 60.643% 16.714%

Cale Yarborough 26 90 127 9,946 59,164 10.442% 36.145% 51.004% 16.811%

Dale Earnhardt 22 97 150 8,327 71,594 8.835% 38.956% 60.241% 11.631%

Source: NASCAR

More bad news for those not driving the No. 48 Chevrolet

Johnson has scored the most points in the last six races of the season in three of the four seasons in which the Chase for the Championship format was used to decide the champion. He was fifth best in 2005, the season before his first title run.

2004

Driver Points

Jimmie Johnson 1,060

Jeff Gordon 884

Mark Martin 864

Jamie McMurray 861

Kurt Busch 821

2006

Driver Points

Jimmie Johnson 1,033

Tony Stewart 903

Denny Hamlin 860

Carl Edwards 840

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 836

2007

Driver Points

Jimmie Johnson 1,042

Jeff Gordon 956

Matt Kenseth 926

Jeff Burton 877

Kyle Busch 863 "I don't know how to feel about that. It is like being excited now about your birthday. You should be, but you are not sure."

Jimmie Johnson, on reaching 250 starts Scouting report: Charlotte

Jimmie Johnson has won five times at Lowe's Motor Speedway, but not since 2005. But he's leading the points and shifting into his typical late-season finish mode, slowly pulling away from Carl Edwards (72 points back), Greg Biffle (77) and Jeff Burton (99). Burton, left, has top-six finishes in four of his past five at the 1.5-mile oval and Edwards has finished worse than 10th just once in seven starts.

Jimmie Johnson on legendary path 10/10/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 10, 2008 10:21pm]

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