Turn 1: Will Jimmie Johnson reach 100 wins in his career?
Ricky Craven, ESPN NASCAR analyst: It’s actually not impossible considering he could race nine more years, average two wins per year, and be knocking on the door at 50. But it’s a slippery slope for drivers in their 40s, and just assuming a couple of wins a year isn’t practical. But having this discussion puts into perspective what an amazing career he has had.
Ryan McGee, ESPN.com: No, but it’s not that he couldn’t. I think it’s entirely up to him. The number is reachable. Over the last five seasons, he’s won 23. That same pace would do it. But I don’t think there’s any way he sticks around another five seasons.
John Oreovicz, ESPN.com: would be a great storyline for NASCAR, but it’s unlikely to happen. Johnson is 41 and needs 22 wins to hit the century. Among modern-era NASCAR greats, only Dale Earnhardt won that many races after he turned 42. Darrell Waltrip won 11, Mark Martin eight, Bill Elliott just four. Even Richard Petty claimed only 10 wins post-42. Johnson is athletically in better condition than those guys were, but the likelihood of him averaging three or more wins a year for the next seven years is pretty remote.
Bob Pockrass, ESPN.com: No. He’s at 78. I don’t see him racing more than four more years after this one and don’t see him winning five each year.
Marty Smith, ESPN.com: If he wants to. But he’ll have to race until he’s at least 50. And I don’t expect him to race until he’s 50. He doesn’t race for numbers or accolades, it’s just not what fulfills him. I still can’t even fathom that he’s six wins away from tying Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison. That’s inconceivable to me. And it’s inconceivable to him, too. At heart, he’s still just a dirt-bomb kid from SoCal whose success is founded in love from his parents and their desire to spend time with their three sons in the desert, away from the static of heavy machinery and school buses. And Johnson got a shot from Ricky Johnson and Herb Fishel and the Herzogs and Ricky Hendrick and Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon. And now he’s Tom Brady in Nomex. If he’s not the greatest ever, he’s in the final sentences of the conversation.
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