The Sky’s the limit for Johnson

Jimmie Johnson hasn’t finished writing his legacy-by any stretch of the imagination. And Sunday’s victory at Auto Club Speedway only has the six-time champion hungry for more.

Johnson won his 77th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, breaking a tie with the late Dale Earnhardt for seventh on the all-time list. Next in his sights is Cale Yarborough, who won 83 times at NASCAR’s top level.

And it’s certainly conceivable Johnson could catch former teammate and current car owner Jeff Gordon, who retired last year with 93 victories, third all-time.

“There are a couple ‘ifs’ in there that are pretty big,” Johnson said. “If I can keep winning like this, how long I can do it?

“I feel like physically and mentally I’m the best that I’ve ever been in my career. I’m in a great space and really enjoying going to the race
shop, going to the race track, working with my team.

“So I’m in the space I want to be in, which tells me it makes me want to stick around and do this for a lot of years.”

If he does so successfully, Johnson might even approach the 105 victories recorded by second-place David Pearson.

“There’s no guarantees about when you’re going to win and have success,” he cautioned. “I’ve been very, very fortunate to win 77 of these things, which blows my mind on its own. It’s easy to look at trends and say we win X a year, but at some point that stops, that stops for everybody. I don’t know when that point is for me. I certainly hope it’s not soon. I would love to get to Jeff. But you never know.

“I know it’s important for me to handle this with class, with respect, with honor for what I’ve done. The fact that I tied Dale with the win in Atlanta, where we are now, I know there’s some more legends just ahead of me in the sport. I look forward to getting a chance to get up there and honor them as well and join them with the amount of wins.