Jimmie Johnson wins record-tying 7th championship in season-ending race at Miami-Homestead; now in same company with Richard Petty & Dale Earnhardt

YouTube download / video by 2016 NASCAR Crashes & Finish's, 2016 Ford Ecoboost 400 FINISH - Jimmie Johnson wins 7th NASCAR Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida, on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. Below, Johnson celebrates after his history-tying performance.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

Jimmie Johnson celebrates after winning his 7th championship / Headline SurferDAYTONA BEACH, Fla.-- Jimmie Johnson captured his record-tying seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with a stirring season-ending race victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway, tying NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt atop the all-time list. 

Today's win was Johnson’s 80th career victory.

To win the 2016 championship, the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet out-dueled the other Championship 4 drivers: Joey Logano, who finished fourth, Kyle Busch sixth and Carl Edwards 34th. 

It was a year of sevens for Johnson, who took over sole possession of seventh place on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series all-time wins list after his win at Auto Club Speedway earlier this season. His wins at Atlanta and Auto Club catapulted him into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. 

Johnson breezed through the first round of the Chase, logging his two highest laps led totals of the season to that point at Chicagoland and Dover. When the Round of 12 rolled around, he added his all-time track-record eighth win at Charlotte, leading a race-high 155 laps on the way to a Round of 8 berth.

Johnson was the first to lock up a spot in the Championship 4, winning at Martinsville Speedway for the ninth time.

At 41, Johnson becomes the youngest seven-time champion. Petty was 42 when he captured his seventh title in 1979; Earnhardt was 43 in 1994.

All seven of Johnson’s championships were won under team owner Rick Hendrick and with crew chief Chad Knaus. 

Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, captured his record-extending 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Along with Johnson’s seven titles, Hendrick has won championships with Jeff Gordon (four) and Terry Labonte (one).

Knaus cemented his legacy as one of the top crew chiefs in NASCAR history with his seventh title, one shy of the all-time record held by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Inman. 

Also on Sunday, Chase Elliott was named Sunoco Rookie of the Year.

 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories narly eveenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.