Okay so I’m going out on a limb with this post, in that it’s almost entirely all about sports and not much about gaming for the most part, but I can find a hook by the end that ties it into gaming so it can justify it being on this page! Hehe, I’m determined. But in all honesty there are a lot of NASCAR video game and one NASCAR Stock Car is sponsored by GameStop so it’s not like I’m too far off in left field talking about NASCAR on the page here. All in all there’s no way this page will turn into a major sports page, at least I don’t plan on it, unless there is a real way I can make this fit into the page in a gaming sense. Perhaps a sports post here and there isn’t the worst; after all, I see the big gaming sites cover movies and TV shows and tons of stuff that isn’t related to gaming so maybe I’m not in awful shape for doing that here and there on my site? I’ll still try to tie it into gaming because that’s my point here; to talk games, but again with the ties NASCAR has into gaming especially with sponsorship I don’t think it’s awful to talk a bit here and there about it!
With that said lets hit the topic: which driver is better? Jeff Gordon? Or “King” Jimmie Johnson? It’s a great time to bring this up considering Jimmie just won his 7th Sprint Cup Championship last Sunday (WOO!!!). He not only won the Championship but won the race as well, which was his 80th in his career. He has truly set the benchmark of what a NASCAR driver should be in this day and age, not only in his attitude and how he carries himself but obviously as well in the success department. Jeff retired after the 2015 campaign and only raced 8 races this year in the 88 Chevrolet SS to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr after he was sidelined due to concussions. Jeff didn’t win while he was back, or even get a top 5, but his final 2 races netted a pair of top 10s so that was good to see. Both drivers will be in the Hall of Fame for sure and are great for NASCAR both on and off the track. But who’s the best? Well I’m going to split the post into two, one for Jimmie one for Jeff. Each post’s point is to state that the specific driver is the GOAT of NASCAR (which face it, based on competition in the modern era it’s either Jeff or Jimmie, maybe Dale Sr can be in the conversation as well, but I think it’s all 24/48). Let’s start with the new #Se7en time Champion!
Jimmie Johnson: He’s the GOAT of NASCAR because……
- He has more Championships than Jeff Gordon (7 vs 4). That’s a pretty strong argument in Jimmie’s favor, after all what’s the main goal of any particular season? To be the Champion of course, and when it comes to that nobody in NASCAR history is better than Jimmie (Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty have 7 as well, but that makes Jimmie at worst as good as them, since they don’t have more than 7 themselves). Jeff has only earned the big trophy 4 times in his seasoned career and while that’s good for 2nd most all time as far as purely the top driver after the three with 7 it’s still 3 behind. And it’s a much more reachable number than 7 so he’s closer to other drivers who can pass him. Granted only 3 men in all of NASCAR have passed what he has set but still the point stands: Jimmie’s 7 trumps 4 any day of the week.
- He won 5 straight Championships. That’s incredible. Against all 42 other drivers for 36 points paying races for 5 years Jimmie always found a way to get on top. The Chase is 10 races long and Jimmie found a way to be the master in over 50 Chase races! 50 races and he ALWAYS found a way to be the Champion by the last Chase race! That’s incredible! Plus you have to start 26 races before the final 10, meaning that for a combined 180 points paying races Jimmie Johnson found a way to be the man in the lead each time, and did a lot in those regular seasons to make sure he was in the Chase and dominated like he did. He did something we’ll likely never see again and it’s a level of dominance that is almost unheard of in the sports world, not just NASCAR.
- He won his Championships in the Chase era. A lot of people don’t like the Chase at all, thinking it changes too much about the history of the sport in a bad way, and nobody can deny it’s a gimmick for sure. But you can’t say that it’s easy to win the Cup now. Before, while it certainly had its own challenges to be sure, you just had to be the most consistent driver from January to November. Don’t get me wrong there is a challenge there I know that’s a fact, but the Chase now? You have to be at least decent in the first 26 races, which honestly shouldn’t be hard to the top teams like Jimmie’s. Then you have to survive 3 rounds of elimination in the Chase, every 3 races the bottom 4 in the points are eliminated from advancing in the Chase, then if you are one of the final 4 drivers going for it in Homestead then you have to be the best finisher against the other 3 drivers; for sure it’s a gimmick, but for sure it’s harder to win that way, more is stacked against you at each turn. Jimmie has had to go through way more to win his 7 than any of the other drivers in the past and it’s very impressive that he had 7 at all with it as hard as it is. All in 15 years folks, this guy is the real deal.
- He has 80 modern era wins. Jeff has 93 wins, 13 more than Jimmie, so that may seem a weak point for the 48 Chevrolet driver but there is something to keep in mind: Jeff, after 15 full years in the Cup series had 81 wins, 1 more than what Jimmie has done in 15 years, which again looks like a boost to Big Daddy vs Jimmie but Jeff’s winning dramatically slowed down after that season. Big time. He only got 12 more wins after that time period and while some of them were huge wins (such as the 5th Brickyard win in ’14) he got a lot more sporadic. Every driver slows with time. It happened with Richard. It happened with Dale Sr. It happened with Jeff. It’ll happen with Jimmie too, but unless something crazy happens I think Jimmie can continue to average 4 to 6 wins a season for a few more years. At 4 a year it would only take him 4 season to pass Jeff, and if he wins 4 next season 5 the next and 4 more it’s at least a tie within 3 seasons. It’s likely that Jimmie will be the all time leader in modern era wins before it’s all said and done, and that makes him incredible. If he leads (tie or not) in Championships and total wins in the modern era it’ll be hard to bet against the driver of the Lowe’s machine as the GOAT in NASCAR.
But that doesn’t mean the ex-driver of the 24 Chevrolet is a slouch either, far from it. He has some things that can very easily be argued in his case in being the GOAT; Championship wise it’s not much of a question who’s better but in some very real numbers and manners the Rainbow Warrior has “King” Jimmie trounced, yes even to this very day believe it or not! The next post will go into that.