Jimmie Johnson rates Hendrick team-mate Jeff Gordon as a serious title threat

Jimmie Johnson believes his Hendrick Motorsports team-mate Jeff Gordon is a serious championship threat, following Gordon's third win of the season in the last round at Atlanta

Jimmie Johnson rates Hendrick team-mate Jeff Gordon as a serious title threat

Four-time series champion Gordon has become a stronger contender in the last few weeks, scoring consistent finishes and securing a spot in the Chase two weeks ago by virtue of his tally of wins, which is second only to Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch thus far during the year.

Johnson's team has seen a reshuffle ahead of this season after long-time crew chief Steve Letarte was moved to work alongside team-mate Dale Earnhardt Jr, while Alan Gustafson, who previously worked with Mark Martin at Hendrick when he finished runner-up in the 2009 Chase, is now calling the shots on Gordon's #24 team.

Johnson believes Gordon and his new group have good chemistry, and he continues to see the spark in his team-mate, who's already into his 19th season at Cup level and still searching for a fifth Cup title.

"I think Jeff is a very serious threat for the championship," Johnson said. "I've been very impressed with the relationship that he and Alan have put together and the communication between those two.

"Each year we see Jeff and his excitement to continue and excitement to race and win and compete for championships. He still has that same excitement.

"This year, I think the difference has been the connection with he and Alan. They've done a great job and I feel that he is going to be a very serious threat for the championship."

Despite recognising Gordon's potential in the Chase, Johnson does not necessarily believe that his team-mate's current greater momentum is a pointer of what may happen early in the play-off. Besides Gordon's win earlier this week, he has also led the most laps in the last two races while Johnson still has only one win to his name this season.

"Momentum doesn't hurt going into the Chase; but, we've been without momentum [and other times] we've had momentum," said Johnson. "Another way to look at it is we've had momentum working against us and momentum working for us and we've been able to win [the title] either way.

"I've said all along, these final 10 races, it's its own world. When everything re-racks and the point spread is so small between first and 12th, it changes things and it's a whole new season. It's a clean sheet of paper and off you go."

Gordon has scored the most points of all four Hendrick drivers over the past six weeks, second only to Penske's Brad Keselowski among the whole field.

shares
comments
David Reutimann takes NASCAR Sprint Cup pole at Richmond

Previous article

David Reutimann takes NASCAR Sprint Cup pole at Richmond

Next article

Clint Bowyer concerned he could lose his Richard Childress Racing seat

Clint Bowyer concerned he could lose his Richard Childress Racing seat
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021