My Brain on NASCAR: Is it game, set, match for Johnson?

When the expectations of winning are decreased, do the chances of winning proportionally increase? Martina Navratilova thinks so. In fact, she believes that Jimmie Johnson is a very dangerous man.

Navratilova, a longtime spokesperson for AARP, visited Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) on Nov. 4, where she hung out with fellow senior-population advocate Jeff Gordon. In a pre-race interview, Navratilova remarked that sometimes the end of a winning streak can be a good thing, because it takes the pressure off.

The true, and truly honest, fan would have to concede that Navratilova is the greatest female tennis player of all time. She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and is one of just three women to have accomplished a career “boxed set,” winning the Grand Slam in singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. She reached the singles finals at Wimbledon nine consecutive times, and won 74 consecutive matches.

Yes, Martina Navratilova knows a thing or two about streaks.

She also knows plenty about their aftermath. In a pre-race interview at Texas, Navratilova remarked that sometime a loss is almost a relief, because then the pressure is off. She made a winning streak sound like a long war, where too much worry about the end result can erode the focus on success individual battles.

Jimmie Johnson currently has a streak of sorts going, sitting on the pole and winning races number seven and eight in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Some feel that while other drivers are scrambling around like desperate souls who are running late and fighting clogged Interstate traffic on their first day at a new job, Johnson has already switched on his cruise control.

But he is quick to correct them, because he knows better. While Johnson has been considered the lion king for the better part of a decade now, he knows there is one particular young lion out there that is aggressively sniffing around the throne; Brad Keselowski is hot on the five-time champion’s bumper in the driver standings with two races remaining. “The gloves are off and it’s bare-knuckle fighting,” Johnson said after the race at Texas.

TMS is pretty consistent about providing an exciting show for fans, and the AAA Texas 500 was no exception. Johnson started up front and led most of the race, but three cautions in the final 20 laps kept the field tight, and the result was far from a foregone conclusion.

There’s not a lot of room for biting and scratching during a race, but a late-lap caution did include a bit of gesturing. Johnson and Keselowski had driven the fine line between competing and crashing prior to the yellow flag, and Johnson expressed his opinion by way of a single finger. (Get those minds back on the sidewalk, you guys; it was his index finger.)

“Yeah, I just pointed at them. I just wanted him to use his head. There is no sense in taking us both out in the process, “Johnson said. “If he was taking me out, you can count on the fact that I would have been on the gas and trying to take him with me.  You know, it just doesn’t need to come down to that … The cool thing about it is we walked right up to that line, got right to the edge, and then it stopped. He showed a very classy move coming to victory lane and shaking my hand afterwards, too.”

Johnson leads Keselowski by only seven points as the Cup Series heads to Phoenix for the penultimate Chase race. Johnson has four wins at the desert track, and finished fourth back in February. So far, Keselowski has yet to hoist a checkered flag at the 1-mile oval.

Martina Navratilova once shared the secret of her success by explaining, “I just concentrate on concentrating.” Jimmie Johnson is a pragmatic kind of guy. Knowing full well that it doesn’t take very long at all to count to seven, and one bad break can change everything, he has been very careful not to come across as too cocky or confident, concentrating very hard on the fact that it isn’t over until it’s over.

Or is it?

Comments

comments

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks Saturday

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks SaturdayIt took a couple of extra minutes in overtime, but [more]

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGA

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGAThe St. James High girls golf team turned in another [more]

NMB captures runner-up finish at Hub City Classic

NMB captures runner-up finish at Hub City ClassicThe North Myrtle Beach volleyball team scored some big victories [more]

Coast FA girls teams shine at Charleston tournament

Coast FA girls teams shine at Charleston tournamentTwo Coast FA girls teams entered the Women's Charleston Select [more]

Edward's late grab sets up Gamecocks' game-winner

Edward's late grab sets up Gamecocks' game-winnerSouth Carolina receiver and Conway High product Bryan Edwards made [more]

Tigers wake up in time to knock off Boston College

Tigers wake up in time to knock off Boston CollegeFour fourth-quarter touchdowns led the No. 2 Clemson Tigers to [more]

CF girls, MB boys prevail at St. James Invitational

CF girls, MB boys prevail at St. James InvitationalThe Myrtle Beach boys and Carolina Forest girls swam to [more]

Leathernecks lay leather to Chants in blowout fashion

Leathernecks lay leather to Chants in blowout fashionWestern Illinois, ranked 19th in the NCAA Division I FCS [more]

Chiefs come out swinging for quick TKO of Camden

Chiefs come out swinging for quick TKO of CamdenThe No. 2-ranked North Myrtle Beach High football team scored [more]

Braves blast past Sharks, win Battle of Highway 707

Braves blast past Sharks, win Battle of Highway 707The Socastee High football team showed it can rebound from [more]

Saints win another thriller, set program victory mark

Saints win another thriller, set program victory markFor the second consecutive week, the Christian Academy of Myrtle [more]

Panthers excel in all three phases in shutout of Lions

Panthers excel in all three phases in shutout of LionsThe Carolina Forest High football team bounced back in a [more]

Lady Chants rally to down Troy in double overtime

Lady Chants rally to down Troy in double overtimeThe Coastal Carolina women's soccer team had a flair for [more]

Photo Gallery: Rivals clash in Battle of Highway 707

Photo Gallery: Rivals clash in Battle of Highway 707Socastee defeated visiting St. James 65-14 in Friday's installment of [more]

Seahawks shock Tigers, keep Victory Bell in MB

Seahawks shock Tigers, keep Victory Bell in MBIn the long, rich rivalry of the Battle of the [more]

Photo Gallery: MB claims Battle of the Victory Bell

Photo Gallery: MB claims Battle of the Victory BellMyrtle Beach stunned No. 5 Conway 13-12 on Thursday night [more]

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Seahawks net region wins

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Seahawks net region winsThe Carolina Forest volleyball team completed a clean sweep of [more]

Socastee stays perfect in region play at midpoint

Socastee stays perfect in region play at midpointThe Socastee High girls tennis team captured its 10th win [more]

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Sharks, Braves try to reply

Week 6 Previews & Picks: Sharks, Braves try to replyThe Battle of the Victory Bell rings into action one [more]

Golf: Sharks target future; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks target future; Panthers knock off BravesHow good is the St. James girls golf program? Good [more]

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT win

White goes from goat to hero in Coastal's OT winSenior Wes White took a loose ball and found the [more]

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of Tigers

MB tennis, volleyball rule the net in sweep of TigersThe Myrtle Beach High girls tennis and volleyball teams dominated [more]

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meet

Socastee boys, NMB girls take second at XC meetFive Grand Strand area cross country teams hit the ground [more]

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivals

Tennis: Braves, Saints net big wins over region rivalsThe Socastee High girls tennis team delivered an impressive 1-2 [more]

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foes

Volleyball: Panthers, Saints, Sharks sweep region foesIn a showdown for first place in Region 6-5A standings, [more]

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks Saturday

Chants fall to Rams in OT, face Gamecocks SaturdayIt took a couple of extra minutes in overtime, but [more]

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGA

St. James takes runner-up to Lexington at WSCGAThe St. James High girls golf team turned in another [more]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach