Article first published as Johnson’s Good at Fontana on Technorati.
To say Jimmie Johnson is good at Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway is like saying there’s cheese in Wisconson. It’s an old fashioned understatement on steroids.
Okay, so how good is JJ at Fontana? Well, when you look at the stats, there’s Jimmie way up there — and then the rest of the drivers down here walking among the mortals.
Everyone knows Jimmie Johnson, five-time Sprint Cup Champion is not a fluke. He’s the real deal. You don’t walk away with five of those trophies running middle of the pack. You run hard but you run smart and Jimmie Johnson is one of the smartest drivers there has ever been and that’s saying something. That Petty fellow was pretty smart too.
As good as he is, week in and week out, his best track is Auto Club Speedway. He’s got that place figured out. Maybe a lot of it has to do with JJ seeing it as his home track. Jimmie grew up about 100 miles south of Fontana in El Cajon, Ca. He likes to put on a good show for his hometown fans.Yeah, that’s part of it, I’m sure, but the speedway really plays to Jimmie’s driving style.
The surface, the banking and the two-mile length all seem to be custom fit to the way JJ gets around the speedway. It doesn’t hurt to have a pretty smart crew chief sitting up on the tool box (Chad Knaus) or a car owner (Rick Hendrick) with pockets deeper than the Marianas Trench.
So what’s Jimmie’s stats at Fontana?
He has a series-high five wins (including three of the last five – four of the last eight); series-high in top fives with 11 and top 10s with 12 (12 is a tie with Matt Kenseth). a series-high 846 laps led (227 more than second-best Matt Kenseth…for comparison’s sake, Sunday’s Auto Club 400 is 200 laps). He owns a Driver Rating of 124.2, which makes ACS his best track in terms of the Loop Scoring Data statistics. If Johnson wins again, he would be the fifth different winner in the first five races, a first since 2005.
Is Johnson good at Fontana? When it comes to racing at Auto Club Speedway, Jimmie Johnson is tougher than a nickel T-Bone.