The Backstretch Blog: It's time for NASCAR fans to have "the talk"

Okay NASCAR fans gather around, it's time to have the talk. I know many of you have been dreading it. But it's time. As Jimmie Johnson is creeping closer to a sixth title, we have to start embracing the possiblity that JJ belongs in he same mention with Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty.

Here are the facts.

Petty ran far more races than the the other two. It was just the way it was back then, so it's hard to compare wins. It did take Petty six seasons to get his first championship, 23 years to get his seven titles, it was 13 years between title number one and title number six.

It took Earnhardt five years to get title number one, 19 years to get his seven titles, and it also took 13 years to get from one to six titles.

Jimmie Johnson has only been cup racing 11 years, like Earnhardt it took him just five seasons to earn his first title, but it could be just seven years to get from one title to six. Of course it has been well documented that no driver has won more then three titles in a row, Johnson has five. Plus, at just 37 years old and the way he is running, there is little reason to think he can't easily get to seven, if not more.

“I’m far from retiring I can tell you that," Johnson told Yahoo! Sports before the Daytona 500. "So if I’m out on the track and away from my family and I’m committed to this team and my sponsor, I’m going to give 100 percent. I’m here to win races and win the championship.”

But beyond the NASCAR fans, its also time for a broader base of all sports fans to start talking about Johnson. His dominance it equal to if not greater tan that of Tiger Woods during his day, and his reputation is far superior.

“I want to win eight. I want to win nine,” said Johnson. “Have I spent a lot of time looking at that mark and setting that goal? No. I’ve never been one that chases big stats. I’ve always been more in the present. That’s just my mindset.”

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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