DOVER, Del. – With his next victory at Dover International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson will join an exclusive club.
Currently, there are only four drivers in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history who have won 10 or more races at the same track.
Richard Petty accomplished the feat at five different venues: Daytona (10), Martinsville (15), North Wilkesboro (15), Richmond (13) and Rockingham (11). Darrell Waltrip, the only other driver in the double-digit club at more than one track, amassed 12 victories at Bristol, 11 at Martinsville and 10 at North Wilkesboro.
David Pearson won 10 races at Darlington, and Dale Earnhardt Sr. 10 at Talladega, and their two names are inexorably linked to those tracks—just as Johnson’s will be at Dover when and if he records his 10th victory at the Monster Mile, an accomplishment that could come
as early as Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks race (1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).
“At this track, and at Martinsville (where he has eight wins)—there are a few tracks where I’m in a really neat position to chase history,” Johnson said before Friday’s opening Sprint Cup practice at Dover. “It’s not a situation I ever thought I’d find myself in, but now that I’m here, it’s certainly in front of me. It’s on my mind, and it’s something I would love to do.
“If I was able to accomplish it, I’d just be honored to be in that same situation that had been done by Dale Earnhardt Sr. I never had the chance to race against him. It’s one big empty void that I have in my career, I feel, is that I never had a chance to be crashed by him or to have a tire mark put on my car to pass, or to be passed by (him).
“That whole experience, I didn’t have that opportunity, and I so wish that I did.”