CONCORD, N.C. - Jimmie Johnson wasn’t worried, really.
Though fans and pundits of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing seemed inordinately concerned about Johnson’s “drought,” the six-time series champion said repeatedly that a victory would come.
Sunday night it did. Driving a No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet that led a race-high 164 laps, Johnson beat Kevin Harvick to the finish line at Charlotte Motor Speedway by 1.272 seconds to win the Coca-Cola 600 for the fourth time.
The victory was Johnson’s seventh at CMS, breaking a tie with Bobby Allison for most victories at the 1.5-mile track in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races. Johnson’s 67th career win, eighth most all-time, broke an 11-race winless streak to start the season, matching the longest such drought of his career.
“It’s great to win, but believe me—and I promise you—all the hype and all the concern and worry, that was elsewhere,” Johnson said. “That wasn’t in my head… We’ve had great races, and we’ve had opportunities there in front of us and had stuff taken away. And we’ve had bad races. I have to be honest about that, too.”