By Jared Turner
By all accounts, Jimmie Johnson hasn’t had the season that he wanted or that most observers expected. But don’t think that Johnson’s performance over the first 26 races eliminates him as a viable championship contender for the final 10. While it has been a struggle for Johnson in recent weeks, haven’t we seen this song and dance before? Well, of course. “We can get hot,” a seemingly confident Johnson said after Richmond. “We did it last year. I know we’re very capable of it again.” Johnson entered the 2016 playoffs riding a 21-race winless streak. He went on to win three playoff races — and a record-tying seventh championship. Entering this year’s playoffs, Johnson’s winless streak stands at just 13 races, and he actually has one more win to his credit than he did at the same time in 2016. Think Johnson’s title hopes are toast? Prepare to be proven wrong.