With his win Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson reached a milestone tying Dale Earnhardt Sr. at seventh on the all-time win list in NASCAR history. We are talking about a six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and I truly believe neither he nor his No. 48 team has ever gotten the credit it truly deserves.
As you know, I am always very hesitant to compare drivers from different eras, whether it's the Richard Petty/David Pearson period, or the Darrell Waltrip/Cale Yarborough/Bobby Allison era. It's hard to compare different eras because the circumstances were completely different in each. It's really like comparing apples to oranges. With that said, I honestly believe Jimmie Johnson deserves to be in the top five of NASCAR's all-time greatest drivers.
Take a moment and think about what this No. 48 team with Jimmie behind the wheel and crew chief Chad Knaus have accomplished since 2002. Sunday marked his 76th win and, as mentioned earlier, they already have won six championships. They've done it with three different generations of cars. The rule changes have been non-stop. They've done it with a wing on the back of the car and with a spoiler back there. On top of all that, there have been numerous configurations to the Chase format.
Jimmie Johnson is simply an unbelievable race car driver. He's just in a perfect situation with Chad, the No. 48 team and the resources at their fingertips from Hendrick Motorsports. Sunday at Atlanta they made a huge gamble. That's how they think over there. They do things different than others and they have the wins plus naturally the six championships to show for it. One day, folks are going to look back and realize what this team truly has accomplished, and give them the recognition they are due.