No thought of a seventh title for Johnson-yet

BRISTOL, TN - APRIL 17: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN - APRIL 17: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN – APRIL 17: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

BRISTOL, Tenn.—Through the first seven races of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Jimmie Johnson has two victories. By definition, he’s locked into the Chase as long as he finishes in the top 30 in points after race No. 26.

Furthermore, Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet has shown enough speed in the first seven races—particularly on the intermediate speedways—to convince anyone who’s paying attention that he’s a likely contender for what would be his record-tying seventh championship.

But Johnson isn’t thinking about joining Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt on the top line of the NASCAR record book. In his view, the elimination format of the Chase precludes it.

“I don’t think, with this format, that you can (think about the title) until five to go or two to go at Homestead,” Johnson said. “It’s just a different feeling these days. I feel like we’re one step closer to that opportunity, but once we get in the Chase, there’s just so many things that can go on.”

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.