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History Suggests Jimmie Johnson Still a Title Favorite, Despite Summer Slump

How can Jimmie Johnson not be the favorite for the Sprint Cup championship? In the past nine seasons, Johnson has won the title six times. The all-time record, shared by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, is seven. He has already won four races this year. He is fifth in the points standings. All the numbers are in line with his performances in championship seasons of the past. Only once, in 2007, did Johnson lead in points at the end of a regular season. Though Johnson and his crew chief, Chad Knaus, who has been with him for his entire career, are reluctant to talk about it, the numbers reveal the existence of a master plan. "You know, confidence, even though we've won six championships, and a bunch of races (74), for me at least, it never...

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