We didn’t know it then, but when Jimmie Johnson won the 2016 NASCAR Cup Series championship, it would be Chevrolet’s last. Over the last four years now, not only has Chevy not had a title, they have failed to make the Championship 4 even. Does that continue on Sunday?
Four drivers come into the cutoff race of the third round above the cut line and four enter below it. Three of the four that come into Sunday’s Round of 8 cutoff race at the Martinsville (VA) Speedway are all Chevrolet drivers.
That’s frustrating for them.
When you enter this round with three drivers still championship eligible and now are in the transfer spots, they can’t be happy. Now, they all need to win. Can either of them do so?
Chevrolet is growing tired of not competing for championships anymore. From 2005 through 2016, the bowties captured 10 championships in the 12 year span.
If you go back to 1984 even and end it at 2016, Chevrolet had 23 tiles compared to Ford’s 5, Pontiac’s 3, Toyota’s and Dodge’s 1 a piece. At the time of Jimmie Johnson hoisting his seventh Cup championship trophy in 2016, Dodge and Pontiac were out of NASCAR while Ford hadn’t won a title since 2004.
It was pure domination.
Chevy had won at least 10 races for 16 straight seasons. They had won at least nine races every year from 1993 though 2016 too. In fact, from 2003 through 2016, they won 15 races in a single season in 12 of 14 years.
But, that’s when the bottom started dropping out.
They won just 10 times in 2017, their lowest since having nine victories in 2000. In 2018, they won only four times, their smallest amount since only scoring three wins in 1982. Last year, they’ve rebounded to win seven times, but their 11 trips to victory lane the last two years combined is smaller than every single single’s total other than 2017 (10) from 2001 on.
This season, they’ve won only seven times again. It’s going to take nine trips to victory lane now to hoist a Cup championship trophy.