Blog Entry

Poll Position: Will Jimmie Johnson make Chase?

Posted on: February 29, 2012 4:37 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 6:57 pm

Jimmie Johnson ran just 1 lap in the Daytona 500 before a wreck took him out of contention (US Presswire)


Will Jimmie Johnson recover from 25-point penalty to make the Chase?

Pete Pistone

Jimmie Johnson's challenge to get back to the top of the Sprint Cup mountain as a six-time champion became a bit more difficult with the pending six race suspension of Chad Knaus and the 25 point penalty for the team's Daytona infractions. But JJ and the 48 team can absolutely overcome the obstacle.

In an odd way, the hole Johnson finds himself in, may actually provide even more motivation for the team.

Johnson has dealt with running without Knaus before, winning the 2006 Daytona 500 with interim crew chief Darian Grubb guiding the way as Knaus sat out a suspension. As it was then, the Hendrick organization has a wealth of talent at its disposal and perhaps more resources than any other team in the Sprint Cup Series.

If the six race Knaus suspension sticks after the team's appeal, I have no doubt someone will come from the ranks to crew chief the 48 and Johnson won't skip a beat.

Knaus won't be able to be at the track during the forced vacation, but he'll still be very much a part in the planning and preparation process back at the shop, ensuring Johnson has a potent piece for the six races. Johnson has talked a great deal about learning lessons after his run of five straight titles ended last year and how the experience provided motivation for 2012. This misstep by Knaus will simply add to the determination level.

I picked Johnson to be my 2012 champ and this doesn't change my mind.

Brian De Los Santos

In light of his disastrous finish (start?) in the Daytona 500 where he collected just 2 points after wrecking on Lap 2, a 25-point penalty would seem a mighty big  hole to have to dig out of. But I'm going to say he still makes the Chase.

Subtract 25 points from his regular-season total last year and he still would have made the Chase comfortably. Of course, he had only four finishes outside the top 20 and none worse than 31st in the 26 races.

He's already been dinged with one bad finish -- which you can almost count as two bad finishes after you tack on the penalty -- so there's no a lot of room for error. But a similar campaign to what he had last season should still put him in the mix for a Chase berth.

There's a little less room for error, but if anybody can do it, it's the five-time champion 48 team, even without the services of Chad Knaus for six races.

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Since: May 5, 2010
Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:02 pm

Poll Position: Will Jimmie Johnson make Chase?

Why is this even a headline?... Did somebody forget that we are ONE race into the season?  Give me a break.

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 5:49 pm

Poll Position: Will Jimmie Johnson make Chase?

This Poll is and should be a complete blow out. There is 12 spots in the chase and even with the 25 point deduction He'll probably be 7-9th place coming into the chase if not even higher. Jimmy has never really cracked under pressure before and if this makes him start to crack it would be very out of character.

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