A Specific Greatness: Notes on Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus

Consider this: The guy NASCAR fans blithely call Five-Time has a chance to pull off a sixth title. Will he? Right now he’s buried deep in the Chase field, but there are eight races left in the 2011 edition. Time’s not yet against the #48 team.

Let’s just say for the sake of saying that Johnson was to win for the sixth time. In a row, we’re saying. Of course, nobody’s ever won 5 Cup titles in a row, so we already know that Johnson and Knaus are first-round inductees to the HoF, yes? But that’s not all. I’d like for you to consider what was once unthinkable; if you’d said the following ten years ago out loud in the stands or in a bar, you’d have been laughed straight to the monastery:

If Jimmie Johnson wins this year, he would achieve what it took Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt their entire careers to do. Six years as opposed to twenty, let’s say. And his next title (we’d have to presume he’d have one or more left in him after this year, after all) would place him in the pantheon of the very greatest the sport has ever seen.

The question then would be: Is the Jimmie/Chad combination¬†the greatest of all time? If you go by numbers, to argue anything else would look fairly stupid. It’s already certain we’re witnessing history, but if the #48 was to pull off the 2011 title, the implications are simply mind-boggling. Johnson/Knaus have already rewritten the NASCAR record book, but this year’s result could be the greatest in all sports history. At what risk to the sport of auto racing I don’t know, but it would be a continuation of the greatest domination we have ever seen. It makes me wonder what Dale Sr. would’ve thought.

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About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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