NASCAR media and fans alike were writing off Jimmie Johnson after the second race of the Chase at New Hampshire. Johnson left New Hampshire Motor Speedway in tenth in the points, 29 back of the leader. It seemed that everybody was just excited to see Johnson look vulnerable for the first time since his reign of dominance began in 2006.
However, that was just wishful thinking. Johnson went to Dover the following week, which is arguably his best track on the circuit and finished second to Kurt Busch. He entered Kansas this weekend 13 points back of the leaders in fifth place.
Today, Johnson showed everybody that he wasn't out of it, but was just getting warmed up. The 48 team absolutely dominated the Hollywood Casino 400. Johnson led 197 of 272 laps to get his first win of the Chase. At one point Johnson held a ten-second lead over second place.
With six races left in the 2011 NASCAR season, Johnson is now in third in the points and is only four points behind leader Carl Edwards.
After five years of dominance, it makes you wonder why anybody would say the 48 team is out of it until he actually loses in Homestead. Johnson has won the championship when the Chase only had ten drivers instead of 12, with the old car, the new car, and with a spoiler on it. Every time it seems like Lowes team is down for the count they manage to come back and win it.
It looks like the same story may repeat itself in 2011.