JIMMIE JOHNSON CROWNED 2009 NASCAR SPRINT CUP CHAMPION FOURTH CONSECUTIVE TITLE FOR JOHNSON 26TH DRIVERS TITLE FOR CHEVROLET HOMESTEAD, FL -- Nov. 22, 2009 -- With a fifth-place (5th) finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway,...
JIMMIE JOHNSON CROWNED 2009 NASCAR SPRINT CUP CHAMPION
FOURTH CONSECUTIVE TITLE FOR JOHNSON
26TH DRIVERS TITLE FOR CHEVROLET
HOMESTEAD, FL -- Nov. 22, 2009 -- With a fifth-place (5th) finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Jimmie Johnson captured an unprecedented fourth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) driver's championship (2006 -- '09). While Denny Hamlin collected the 267-lap Ford 400 win, the limelight belonged to Johnson, who is the only driver in the 61-year history of the sport to win four consecutive titles.
Led by Chad Knaus, the No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS team gave Chevrolet it's 26th drivers' title in NASCAR's premier division and ninth championship for team owner Rick Hendrick.
With four Sprint Cup crowns, Johnson joins Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon as only the fourth driver to win four or more NASCAR Sprint Cup championships. On the strength of 47 career victories, Johnson moved into the 13 spot on the all-time win list for the Series.
"Congratulations to Jimmie, Chad, Rick, and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization on winning a fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship," said Brent Dewar, Vice President, Chevrolet Global. "It has been a solid year for Team Chevy, and we are thrilled to share in the success of all our Chevy drivers, teams, and owners. We are very proud of their hard work and for once again demonstrating Chevrolet's commitment to working everyday to win both on and off the track with our outstanding cars and trucks."
In the final year-end standings, Mark Martin, driver of the No. 5 Kellogg's /CARQUEST Impala SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, giving Chevrolet the top three finishing spots. With his teams and drivers capturing the top-three positions in the final standings, Rick Hendrick became the first team owner in Series history to accomplish this remarkable level of performance.
A total of six Chevy drivers and teams earned top-12 spots in the final 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, more than any other manufacturer. Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Impala SS finished sixth (6th), Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Impala SS was eighth (8th), and Ryan Newman, No. 39 U.S. Army Impala finished ninth (9th) in the 2009 standings.
As the top Chevy performer, Johnson also led Team Chevy's charge to clinch the 33rd all-time Manufacturers' Championship title for Chevrolet. In all, 10 Impala SS drivers contributed to the success of Chevrolet throughout the year. Collectively, they scored 18 wins and 262 points to edge out Toyota, Ford, and Dodge for the crown. Including the 2009 title, this marks Chevrolet's seventh consecutive year as the leading nameplate in the sport.
"On behalf of all the folks at GM Racing, congratulations to Jimmie, Chad, and everyone on the No. 48 team; along with Rick and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization on their fourth championship," said Mark Kent, GM Racing Manager. "Winning Chevrolet's 33rd NASCAR Sprint Cup Manufacturers' Cup title and our 26th drivers championship is a testament to the excellence of everyone at Team Chevy -- the drivers, engineers, teams, and support staff that make it happen.
"We look forward to kicking off the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a strong Chevy presence at SpeedWeeks at Daytona International Speedway. Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports team will be honored as the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions at the annual awards banquet on December 4th at the Wynn in Las Vegas.
-credit: gm racing