With four straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles, the Jimmie Johnson era is upon us. While that feat is unprecedented, Johnson is not the only current driver who is a four-time champ. Johnson’s car owner, teammate and friend Jeff Gordon also has four titles and next year, no doubt, the Gordon and Johnson Drive for Five will be upon us. All of which begs the question – at least, in my head – whose four titles are the most impressive, Gordon’s or Johnson’s?
Gordon earned his four championships in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001. Racing under a different point system and with a different style of car, Gordon’s stats outshine Johnson’s four-year run.
Johnson was able to score his titles using consistency and a lack of DNFs, while Gordon benefited from pure domination. In their four title years, Gordon scored 36 wins to Johnson’s 29. Gordon led the series in wins each championship season, while Johnson did it twice, in 2007 and 2009.
The two went head-to-head for the title in 2007 with Gordon taking the advantage during the opening weeks of the Chase. Then Johnson won four in a row over the last five races to earn his second series title.
Excelling during the Chase has put the No. 48 team on a different level than the competition. Johnson has made the ten-race playoff for the last six years and successfully won the title the last four. He is also far ahead of the competition when it comes to Chase wins. Over the last six years Johnson has 18 wins in the final ten events, twice as many as Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards – both of whom have six.
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