Chevy’s #48 Lowe’s Car Wins 7th NASCAR Championship (With Help From Very Good Driver Jimmie Johnson)
A record-tying seventh series championship for very good NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson meant that the Chevy SS sporting a blue and white Lowe’s paint job earned the driver his seventh series ring.
“Just didn’t think the race was unfolding for us like we needed to do to be the champs, but we just kept our heads in the game,” said Johnson, perhaps using “we” to refer to himself and his vehicle. “Chad (Knaus, crew chief) called a great strategy, made some great adjustments for the short runs. Luck came our way and we were able to win the race and win the championship.”
The Lowe’s car began the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in last place as punishment for unapproved body mods, but Johnson made the most of the Chevy’s power and speed to quickly return to contention, then utilized its maneuverability to avoid a multi-car crash. The #48 Chevy took the lead with just laps to go after surging to second with the help of well-timed restarts.
Johnson and his beloved, loyal speed machine have now tied Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Sr. with seven series championships. Notably, both Petty and Earnhardt, Sr. have won championships in Chevy vehicles, making Chevy the only automaker to field cars for all three current championship pole-sitters.
The win is Chevrolet’s 31st driver championship, which inarguably, definitely proves that it’s more about the vehicle than the driver. Thirty-one beats seven in everything but blackjack.
After a remarkable streak of championships spanning from 2006-2010, Lowe’s end-of-year podium representation has been less of a certainty, with 2013 being the only series victory for Johnson before this year.
Though the vehicle itself had no comment after its legendary victory, Chevrolet US Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell called it’s (and Johnson’s) seventh championship an “amazing feat.”