JEFF GORDON vs. JIMMIE JOHNSON

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JEFF GORDON vs. JIMMIE JOHNSON
JEFF GORDON vs. JIMMIE JOHNSON
NASCAR’S REIGN MAN:
Jimmie Johnson has made
winning Sprint Cup titles look
easy during his record run
over the past four seasons.
Comparing the drivers, it’s almost eerie. Gordon was a mentor to Johnson, both hail from California and both
have won four Cup championships. But how do they really compare? Chris Wilbers provides the tale of the tape:
AIR GORDON?
Jeff Gordon
had reason
to celebrate
after
clinching his
second Winston
Cup points
title in 1997 at
Atlanta Motor
Speedway. He
also has won
championships
in 1995, ’98
and 2001.
Hometown
JEFF
GORDON
Vallejo,
Calif.
Wins in his first
eight full seasons
Attempts
at facial hair
52
Top-10 finishes in his
first eight full seasons
166
(in 256 races)
(in 256 races)
1993
JIMMIE
JOHNSON
El Cajon,
Calif.
47
(in 288 races)
2009
THE
EDGE
GOES
TO
Gordon. As good as
Johnson and Chad
Knaus have been
together this decade,
Gordon and Ray Evernham were even better in
the mid-1990s. Gordon
posted double-digit victories in three seasons,
something Johnson has
done only once.
Belgian model
Ingrid Vandebosch
180
(in 288 races)
Johnson. A scene
in Top Gun was
filmed on El Cajon
Boulevard (and
no, it wasn’t the
volleyball scene).
By contrast, Vallejo
became the largest
California city ever
to file for bankruptcy in 2008.
Wife
Johnson.
Perhaps Gordon
thought the facial
hair made him
look older. But
Keith Hernandez
called, and he
wants his mustache back. Also,
the half-mullet
was a nice touch.
Johnson. His ability to
adapt and transform a
bad afternoon into a great
points finish is unmatched
these days. Gordon is a
great front-runner, but
Johnson’s positive attitude
in the worst of circumstances allows him to earn
points that others don’t,
and those points add up.
U.S. model
Chandra Janway
Johnson. Although few will
forget Vandebosch’s touching
performance as the third robber in “Taxi” (the 2004 movie
starring Jimmy Fallon and
Queen Latifah, not the arguably
more popular TV show starring
Tony Danza and Danny DeVito in
the 1970s), Janway’s decision to
not be seen in any Fallon movie
is enough to win her the nod.
Championships in his
first eight full seasons
3
4
Even. Sure, Johnson has
a small edge (Gordon
won his fourth title in
his ninth season), and
Johnson has won with
the old car and new one.
But Gordon would have
won the 2007 points title
under the old system,
and he was dominant in
two of his title seasons.

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