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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Jimmie Johnson
Despite having to overtake Matt DiBenedetto and battle back from car damage and loose wheels, Denny Hamlin pulled off his fourth season win at the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.
C.J. Radune notes that while Joey Logano hasn't visited Victory Lane at Bristol since 2015, he has been one of the more consistent top finishers at the track.
Mark Taylor breaks down this week's NASCAR race as eight-time Bristol winner Kyle Busch looks to notch another victory under the lights at the World's Fastest Half Mile.
C.J. Radune describes Kevin Harvick using his front-row starting position to earn his third win at the track and his second in the last three trips to Brooklyn, Michigan.
Daniel Hemric started 11th and finished 12th at Michigan in June. A repeat of that finish would be a good payoff for fantasy players taking him with this week's bargain price tag.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
While the seven-time champion is only one season removed from hoisting the cup, there were many warts that surfaced in 2016 and carried right over into 2017. Johnson managed three wins, but they all came early in the campaign last year. The season in large part was a real struggle. The Hendrick Motorsports star netted only 11 Top-10 finishes, which were a career-low, and he took a premature exit from the Chase. That led to a lowly 10th-place finish in the final driver standings. More importantly, average start and average finish marks of 16.9 and 16.8 were both career worsts, and numbers well above his career averages of 11.5 and 12.4. It could be that after 17 seasons of racing at NASCAR's top level, Father Time has finally caught up to the best driver in NASCAR's modern history. He still carries tons of respect on the track and among his peers, but it's time for fantasy racing players to start looking at Jonson as a second tier driver instead of a first tier star.
The competition may have caught up to Johnson and the No. 48 team in many respects, but the old dog showed the new dogs he still had plenty of tricks up his sleeve last season. The Hendrick Motorsports star led the team to an incredible seventh championship with a brilliant season and even more brilliant performance in the championship finale at Homestead. Johnson won five events during 2016, although he posted a career-low in Top 10's with only 16. It was still good enough to win the championship thanks to the Chase for the Cup system. From a historical perspective, Johnson has placed his name alongside the likes of Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt with the seven titles. From a fantasy racing standpoint, realize that Johnson is now on the lower end of the elite tier of drivers.
While the competition has steadily caught up to the six-time champion, Johnson is still a top tier and championship contending driver. He's not the dominant force that he was from 2006 to 2013, but he's still an elite level driver in NASCAR. Longtime crew chief Chad Knaus will return to the No. 48 Chevrolet team in 2016 and he and Johnson will again seek that elusive seventh championship. Coming off a five-win, 22 top 10 campaign last season that can only be seen as the floor going forward. The Chase format doesn't lend itself to Johnson's strengths, so another championship is not as likely. However, the track record of this team is so unbelievable, fantasy racing players should once again expect multiple wins and 20+ top 10s in 2016.
After two seasons of failing to win the Sprint Cup Series championship, we still have to rank Johnson the number one driver entering the season. The facts show that the Hendrick Motorsports star has been one of the prime contenders to win the title each of the last two years, but has come up just short in those efforts. Johnson has won seven victories and posted a stunning 45 Top-10 finishes in the last two years, so you cannot argue with the level of performance. Once again crew chief Chad Knaus and Johnson will team to get that elusive sixth championship. There’s little doubt that he’ll be in the running come November.
Johnson fell short of a championship in 2005, and ended up fifth in the final points standings. Johnson reaches a cross-roads in 2006, and looks to regroup for another championship run. Johnson is confronted with an uphill battle as the competition around him continually gets better.
More Fantasy News
New Crew Chief
Hendrick Motorsports has named Cliff Daniels as the new crew chief for seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Johnson and the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team. Daniels will assume the role immediately and be atop the pit box for Sunday's road course race at Watkins Glen International.
Spins and Finishes 30th at Kentucky
Johnson spun out of control and posted a 30th-place finish in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night.
Third at Daytona
Johnson finished third in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway Sunday afternoon.
Top-5 Finish at Chicago
Johnson finished fourth in the Camping World 400 at Chicagoland Speedway Sunday evening.