After seven titles in 18 years at the top level, Jimmie Johnson starts his last full-time NASCAR Cup campaign at Daytona this weekend. It hasn't all gone to plan over the past two seasons, in which the now-44-year-old has gone winless. But he is hell-bent, convinced that a record-breaking eighth title is on the table this year, however unlikely that may sound.
Stadium Trophy Truck driver-turned-NASCAR dominator Johnson burst onto the scene full-time in 2002 and just a year later finished second in the Cup standings, hailed as the young challenger to threaten superstar Hendrick Motorsport team-mate Jeff Gordon. Gordon himself helped Rick Hendrick set up the #48 team to launch Johnson to stardom, perhaps creating a beast he couldn't tame in the win-thirsty upstart who has so far amassed 83 victories - the sixth highest in Cup Series history.
Johnson won the 2006-10 championships - earning the nickname 'Five-Time' as the first to win five Cup titles in a row - and added the 2013 and 2016 crowns as others caught up and perfected the tactics of 'The Chase', a 10-race shootout introduced for 2004 which he had immediately taken to.