Pressure cooker?

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JANUARY 09:  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, signs autographs for fans during NASCAR Preseason Thunder at Daytona International Speedway on January 9, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JANUARY 09: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, signs autographs for fans during NASCAR Preseason Thunder at Daytona International Speedway on January 9, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.–If Jimmie Johnson is in position to win a seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship as the Chase develops later this year, the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet realizes that his pursuit of that monumental accomplishment might have a different, more pressure-packed feel.

After all, Johnson is one title away from tying Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the most championships in series history.

“If the opportunity is there in front of us, and we get deep in the Chase and have a shot at it, that reality is going to be hard to keep out of my mind,” Johnson told the NASCAR Wire Service on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. “I’m sure that the questions that would come with it as well wouldn’t let it slide by.

“But (it’s an) amazing opportunity to have ahead of myself. To have six championships is something I’m extremely proud of. I don’t know what it would mean or what that experience would exactly feel like, but to be up there with those two legends would be top of the list.”

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