The Mystery Of Why Jimmie Johnson Hasn't Won At Michigan

Jimmie Johnson has won 52 career races: 39 on speedways, 10 on short tracks, two on superspeedways and one on a road course.

It seems like Johnson wins all the time, everywhere NASCAR goes.

But Johnson, despite winning the last four championships, has a big fat zero in the win column at Michigan.

It's bizarre, really. Johnson has been to Michigan 17 times and only has two top-five finishes. Last year, he led 279 out of the 400 total laps in two Michigan races (the most in both races) but finished 22nd and 33rd after running out of gas.

Yet at Fontana, which is the most similar track to Michigan, Johnson has won five times.

"I would say Sonoma and Bristol were my most frustrating tracks and now this would be the third," said Johnson, who has won at both those tracks this year. "Now that I've gotten those out of the way, I think out of the tracks that are left, this is definitely it."

Johnson only has three tracks on the circuit where he has never won: Michigan, Homestead and Watkins Glen. But he's come oh-so-close at Michigan.

"Last year was so disappointing to lead and dominate both races and then run out of gas," he said Friday. "We've seen fuel mileage bite us here before that and then there were a few races where some tire strategy worked out.

"One, we got beat by two (tires), so the next time we tried two and got beat by four (tires), so we've been all around a victory and just haven't nailed it yet. We're hopeful we can get it done."

Johnson had a sixth-place finish in June at the 2-mile oval, a result which he called "decent."

Is Sunday the day he finally gets it done at Michigan?

"I'm not coming in here with the confidence that I did, say, last year knowing that we led both races and all that," he said. "It's a long race and a track that I really enjoy running on and so does Chad (Knaus). So I feel we'll be good and hopefully we can get that win."

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