Jimmie Johnson Wins 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship to Claim Sixth Career Title
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (November 17, 2013) – Jimmie Johnson is the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion. It is the sixth time in a record-setting eight-year span that Johnson, the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS fielded by Hendrick Motorsports, has claimed the coveted crown. His first five championships came consecutively in a run that started in 2006.
“I am at a loss for words, but I am so proud, and so thankful for this opportunity at Hendrick Motorsports,” said Johnson. “Thankful that Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick gave me this opportunity back in 2002. Thankful that Lowe’s came on board. I want to say hi to all the employee-owners that are watching; everybody back at Hendrick Motorsports in all departments. This sport is about people and our people at Hendrick Motorsports, especially on this 48 car, rose up and got the job done. I am so thankful to be able to drive for this race team, and so honored and so excited to have a six-pack.”
Johnson’s ninth-place finish in today’s NSCS season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway cemented the championship-winning effort for his Chad Knaus-led team. Heading into the final race of the year, Johnson carried a 28-point lead. After qualifying seventh, Johnson went on to run as high as second place, and as low as 23rd in the 267-lap/400.5-mile race. He finished the 2013 NSCS season with six wins, 16 top-five finishes, 24 top-10 finishes and three poles.
The list of Johnson’s accomplishments leading up to becoming only the third driver in NASCAR history to capture six or more titles, is filled with unprecedented statistics as he joins NASCAR legends Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Sr.- both of whom have seven titles apiece. However, neither won six titles in an eight-year span. Johnson’s 66 Series’ wins since 2002 are 30 more than any other driver in that span. In addition, he is the same age (38) as Petty at the time of his sixth title, and four years younger than Earnhardt when he won his sixth crown. He also was the first driver in NASCAR history to capture five consecutive championships.
Additionally, the title is the 11th time that Hendrick Motorsports has won the owner’s championship. The accomplishment placed Rick Hendrick in an elite class of his own as the all-time NSCS owner’s championship winner. Chad Knaus’ championship total (six) ranks him second all-time among crew chiefs in NASCAR history. Only Petty’s long time crew chief Dale Inman has more – a total of eight.
The 2014 NSCS season will kick off with the February 23 running of the Daytona 500.