Jimmie Johnson may have scored four victories in the 2014 Sprint Cup season, but the six-time and 2013 Cup champion was unable to completely recapture the form he had one year ago and was eliminated from the Chase in the Contender Round.
Not having to tend to the champion’s duties this year has given Johnson a bit more sleep during Champion’s Week. That’s a small comfort at best for Johnson, who is raring to get 2015 underway.
However, he’s also taking the opportunity to reflect on how he and his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team have been so dominant over the years.
“[Not winning the title] just makes me hungry to be in that spotlight again,” he told NASCAR AMERICA’s Kelli Stavast before tonight’s Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony. “But it also helps me appreciate what we’ve accomplished. It isn’t easy to win the championship in this sport, and the fact that we’ve won six and have been the one honored is really special to me.
“So today, sitting through the events and the banquet itself, I’m gonna reflect on that stuff. At the same time, I’m happy for [new champion] Kevin [Harvick] and his family. Kevin and I have a long history together that started off at Ron Hornaday’s house, so watching him accept these awards reminds me a lot of the early days and it’s cool to see him up there accepting those.”
For Johnson’s full interview, check out the clip above.