Jimmie Johnson: A Year for the Ages

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 3, 2007) -- With the competitive nature of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series being what it is, no one could have ever predicted the type of year Jimmie Johnson had. Sixteen different drivers won a race in NASCAR's premier series -- the most since 2003. Yet somehow Johnson won 10.

Almost a decade has passed since we have seen a season like the one Johnson and his No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet team put together this year.

Here is a list of his remarkable 2007 accomplishments:

- Won back-to-back championships, the first since 1997-98.

- Won 10 races, the first time a driver has won double-digit races since 1998.

- Won four consecutive races, the first time since 1998.

But what makes an athlete one of the "greats" is what he or she does on the biggest stage, when everyone's watching -- when it's "crunch" time.

Johnson's performance in NASCAR's "postseason" -- the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup -- was nothing short of astonishing. He won four consecutive races to storm back from a 68-point deficit with five races remaining to win the championship by 77 points. His average finish in the Chase was 5.0, and his point total during the Chase was 1,663 -- the most since the Chase's 2004 inception.

The word most people use is "clutch" and is certainly the adjective that best describes Jimmie Johnson's performance in 2007.

Jimmie Johnson -- At a Glance
Wins: 10
Driver Rating: 110.3
Top Fives: 20
Top 10s: 24
Poles: 4
Laps Led: 1,289
Average Running Position: 9.3
Fastest Laps Run: 962
Laps in the Top 15: 8,829 (83.4%)

-credit: nascar