For Jimmie Johnson, old habits are hard to break

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 14, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

 

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 14, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH, Texas — On a conscious level, Jimmie Johnson knows his streak of five straight championships ended with Tony Stewart’s title run last year, but force of habit is another matter.

For five years, Johnson’s transporter was parked in space No. 1, a perk accorded to the reigning champion. So Johnson can be forgiven for a momentary lapse on Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway.

“I thought I would only make the mistake at Daytona, walking into the wrong transporter,” Johnson said. “I walked in here this weekend, and my little route I’ve walked for the last five years, I walked right on by my transporter and walked up and looked at the No. 14(Stewart’s) truck and was like ‘I did it again.’

“So, those moments continue to get me, and I guess it will happen all year long. I’m trying to use it as motivation to be back on top.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.