Let us all now come to grips with what is about to happen. Jimmie Johnson, with his victory at Phoenix on Sunday, is destined to win his fourth straight Sprint Cup title next weekend. We can bemoan this fact. Or we can celebrate it. I choose to celebrate it. Johnson and Chad Knaus are outstanding competitors, and we are lucky to witness their excellence every weekend, even if said excellence is so vanilla in flavor. Johnson rebounded from his disastrous wreck last week in Texas to dominate the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 and increase his points lead. Is the Chase over? Mark Martin, who finished fourth, is still in it, technically. Johnson needs only finish 25th or better next Sunday to win the title.


Johnson wins at Phoenix to cruise into finale (AP)