Even after Johnson dominated in Texas, Hendrick isn't ready to stake his claim to the championship.
FORT WORTH, Tex. -- As dominant as Jimmie Johnson was in Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, is team owner Rick Hendrick confident that the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet will deliver the organization's 11th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title two weeks from now at Homestead?
Yes, Johnson destroyed the opposition at Texas, leading 255 of 334 laps and beating teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., the race runner-up, to the finish line by 4.390 seconds.
Yes, Johnson leads fourth-place finisher Matt Kenseth by seven points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. But Johnson led Brad Keselowski by seven points after eight Chase races last year before losing the title to the Penske Racing driver.
Accordingly, Hendrick isn't ready to stake his claim to the championship.
"Absolutely not," Hendrick said after the race. "We were like this last year going to Phoenix. Anything can happen. You know, we're not going to know how this thing is going to end until the last lap at Homestead. It's so tight. Matt is such a great driver. Anything can happen.
"It happened to us at Phoenix last year (when Johnson blew a tire in the next-to-last race). It's not going to be over until the last lap at Homestead, so we just have to keep doing what we're doing."
Even in Johnson's rout, Hendrick had an anxious moment. With 15 laps left, Johnson reported a vibration in the No. 48 Chevy.
"I started walking toward the Port-o-John," Hendrick quipped in multiple Twitter accounts of the comment. "…I asked him when he had a vibration, please don't say anything on the radio anymore, not with 10 to go."
By Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service