Jimmie Johnson philosophical about third-place run

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 21, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 21, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — How disappointed was Jimmie Johnson not to secure the 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup victory for team owner Rick Hendrick?

In fact, his disappointment didn’t move the needle at all — because Johnson didn’t think he had a race-winning car in Sunday’s STP 400 at Kansas Speedway.

True, the five-time champion finished third behind Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr., and Johnson was able to challenge Truex for the lead after the midpoint of the 267-lap event. But Johnson couldn’t make the pass for the top spot and resigned himself to the third-place run.

That was a far cry from the previous two races, at Martinsville and Texas, where Johnson felt opportunities to deliver the 200th win to his boss slipped away.

“This week, it doesn’t register,” Johnson said. “To me, last week at Texas . . . or to lead a lot of laps at Martinsville and have our cars (running) 1-2-3 (late in the race) and not get the victory — to get near the end and not close the deal does sting.

“Today we ran well, but we weren’t a dominant car and kind of finished where we should have. Today doesn’t bother me. Sure, I’d love to do it, but the 56 (Truex) and the 11 (Hamlin) at the end had more pace than we did.”

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.