QUES­TIONS & AT­TI­TUDE

Com­pelling ques­tions... and maybe a few ac­tual an­swers

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

For­get Ju­nior, what about Jim­mie?

Jim­mie John­son’s strug­gles for much of 2016 have largely taken place out­side the spot­light’s glare. Two rea­sons for this: 1. He did win twice in the first five weeks (At­lanta and Fon­tana), which puts him two up on Ju­nior in the W col­umn. And 2. When you’re sail­ing in Ju­nior’s or­bit, you tend to get over­shad­owed in good times and bad.

Is this un­prece­dented for the No. 48?

Our Re­search Dept. shows that since a third-place fin­ish at Rich­mond in late April, Jim­mie has had one top-10 in nine starts. Three fin­ishes of 32nd or worse in the past five races. We had to dig back to 10-race stretch in 2004, when he had six fin­ishes of 32nd or worse.

So he stays in your weekly top-10 rank­ing down be­low?

It’s tempt­ing to bump him, but there’s too much his­tory. Our Re­search Dept. also tells us, af­ter all, af­ter that bad stretch in ’04, Jim­mie won three straight and four of the next five. But give it a couple more weeks, and we may punt his­tory to the wall.

Ken Wil­lis has been cov­er­ing NASCAR for The Day­tona Beach News-Jour­nal for 27 years. Reach him at ken. wil­lis@news-jrnl.com

AP FILE

Jim­mie John­son is still search­ing for an­swers to re­cent woes.

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