Six-time Sprint Cup winner Jimmie Johnson has yet to pull into victory lane this season, and apparently he doesn’t see that happening this weekend at Richmond International Raceway in Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400.
When introduced as a 3-time winner at the track, Johnson recoiled, saying “Are you sure we’ve won here three times?”, per a USA Today story.
Johnson clarified that he was half-joking, but then continued to trash his team’s performance at the Richmond track.
“We suck here. We’re terrible. Hopefully, we’re a lot better this weekend, but the last couple trips, we’ve been junk.”
The last couple of trips Johnson referred to were an allusion to the fact that he has only one top-10 finish in the last five races there, and hasn’t placed in the top five since 2010. He won three out of four Richmond races in 2007-08, but has been out of the running during practically every race there since then, despite being the most dominant driver in the Sprint Cup circuit.
“I don’t have a good answer,” he said. “We always evaluate our performance here and say, ‘Maybe it was this.’ We pursue down that road and come back with new hope – and then unload and have a frustrating practice.”
Johnson is currently 5th in the Sprint Cup standings — 27 points behind the points leader Jeff Gordon — and is still in good position to make the Chase for the Cup despite not having a win in the first eight races this season. Johnson does have three top-5 and five top-10 finishes.