Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 9/29/14
Jimmie Johnson arguably is the best NASCAR driver in history. He’s won five Sprint Cup championships and already has 60 career victories in 398 starts. He’s within 20 points of winning his sixth title in seven years which would put him one behind the record shared by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Johnson had a difficult season last year by his standard and despite his great year this season some would consider it a failure once again. Last year he only won two races and finished sixth in the standings. That was his worst points finish in his Sprint Cup career. This year, he’s bounced back with five wins, 18 top fives and 24 top 10 finishes in 35 races thus far. He’s having one of his best seasons of his career, but a surge by Brad Keselowski has him 20 points down entering Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead/Miami Speedway. If Johnson fails to win another title this year the question has to come up, when will he win again? Johnson got a late start into Cup action as he’s already 37 years old. How much longer is he going to want to do this? Most drivers outside of Mark Martin don’t want to hang around until they’re 50 years old. Johnson isn’t the type of guy that’s going to be bouncing from ride to ride in the twilight of his career, just happy to finish in the top 25. His window for success, believe it or not, is beginning to close. With so much young talent coming up and the competition being better than it’s ever been in NASCAR history, he may not reach two more championships to tie Petty and Earnhardt. In this day and age people are wanting to see records broken and if guys start off hot and fail to make reach the record, the perception people have of them quickly changes. Keep in mind, many once considered Jeff Gordon the best to ever race and thought he would break every NASCAR record. He won four titles between 1995 and 2001. He’s largely struggled since and hasn’t won a title in over a decade. Many consider him now just one of the best, but he’s no longer considered the greatest. At 40 years old people are counting the days until he retires and saying he doesn’t have it anymore. Johnson is just three years younger than Gordon. Might Johnson’s window already be closing like Gordon’s seemingly has? If he can’t win this year and doesn’t win next year, he may never reach seven championships. What is everyone’s perception going to be then? This guy has won 60 races, five championships, finished runner-up twice (likely soon to be three times), and his worst points finish is sixth in 11 seasons, and may or may not win another title. Would those stats be good enough in a world where the greatest is defined by how many championship rings he has? Look at how players in the NBA and NFL are judged. It’s not what you do in the regular season, but how many titles you’ve won. Everyone is looking for the next dynasty. Everyone thought Kobe Bryant could pass Michael Jordan or Derek Jeter could catch the Yankees greats of lore. Since their window is closing the talk of best ever has silenced to they were great but nothing like their predecessors. Meanhile, many were talking about Johnson being the greatest driver in the history of auto racing and weren’t sure whether his string of titles was ever going to end. Everyone thought he was guaranteed to get at least eight championships and ride off in the sunset as the greatest ever. How quickly things change. Two years later he may be 0 for 2 at his attempt to start another string and his window of dominance may be at an end. If he never won another championship, would you call him the best ever? A Daytona 500 and four time Brickyard 400 wins may not be enough to be the best ever. Let the debates begin. The post NASCAR: If Jimmie Johnson doesn’t win title Sunday, is his title window closing? appeared first on Race Review Online.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Daxter Miles’ Twitter mentions light up after Kentucky blowout

Ortiz: 'Nobody in MLB history' tested for PEDs more than me

Sam Dekker scores career high after Aaron Rodgers' challenge

Brey Day: Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight after a vintage performance

Ronda Rousey on having kids: 'I'm an ovarian goldmine'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pedro Martinez: Rose should be allowed in Hall of Fame

Pablo Sandoval 'cut things off at the root' with Giants

Scott Boras taking shots at Cubs' history over Kris Bryant

Kingdome debt finally paid off 15 years after demolition

49ers waive Jonathan Martin

Former MLBer Curt Ford assaulted, told to ‘go back to Ferguson’

Five bizarre NFL offseason moves that don't add up

Texas to Rick Barnes: Change your staff or you will be fired

First 'National Fantasy Football Convention' to star Tony Romo

Teams that don't deserve to win Connor McDavid Sweepstakes

How a basketball-themed art exhibit changed perceptions

Bucs admit they’ve been getting calls about Mike Glennon

The last Expo standing

NHL ships nets which have room for cameras inside posts

Toronto Raptors limping into the playoffs

Best picks ever at every spot in first round of NFL Draft

Alonzo Mourning confirms “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”

CC Sabathia attempting to get healthier by getting … fatter?

NASCAR News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

MLB teams that could disappoint

25 years ago, the best Sweet 16 of all time was pure madness

The 2015 bad quarterback carousel

17 facts to know before the Sweet 16

Agent: Sam was horrible at veteran combine

Keeping judo ‘pure’ in Europe means keeping MMA out

The Sweet 16 should be seen as success

On the Browns, Hard Knocks, questions and narratives

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.