Close this search box.
Close this search box.


Johnson’s First Title

Article Contents

Article Contents

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

Johnson’s First Title

Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth proved they were the top championship contenders during the 2006 NASCAR Cup Series season as they combined to win a quarter of the 36 races.

In his fifth full season with Hendrick Motorsports, Johnson showed he and his Chad Knaus-led team had matured into championship material. The fact he was driving the powerful No. 48 Chevrolet produced a feel- ing that the young, up-and-coming superstar was set to strike NASCAR Cup Series gold.

Kenseth, driving the No. 17 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford, won the Cup Series championship in 2002 and felt the organization was poised for another title. He and crew chief Robbie Reiser had worked together on the short tracks in their native Wisconsin and the two formed a potent combination.

Through the tutelage of four-time Cup Series champion and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, Johnson had become a force and was on the verge of greatness. The native of El Cajon, California, was identified by Gordon years earlier as possessing the talent to became a NASCAR Cup Series champion.

During the 2006 season, Johnson recorded five victories, 13 top-five finishes, 24 top-10s results and earned one pole position to best Kenseth in the final standings by 56 points.

Kenseth ended the year with four victories, 15 top-five finishes and 21 top-10 results. Johnson would go on to collect six additional championships, including five in a row through 2010.

Johnson’s biggest victory of 2006 came in the season-opening Daytona 500. He also won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Additional wins at Las Vegas, Talladega and Martinsville had the No. 48 team atop the Cup Series standings at season’s end.


PRESIDENT: George W. Bush

NO. 1 AT THE BOX OFFICE: Pirates of the Carribbean

NO. 1 SONG: “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter

POP CULTURE: Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion



JIMMIE JOHNSON, driving the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, ranked as the best driver of the 2006 NASCAR Cup Series season by way of consistent finishes during the 36-race campaign. Tied with Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart with five victories each, Johnson’s number of top-10 finishes (24) was slightly better than

those of his rivals. Johnson showcased his ability by winning NASCAR’s most prestigious races, while also collecting a victory at Martinsville Speedway.


HIS BRICKYARD 400 victory at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway gave Jimmie Johnson a pair of crown jewel wins on the season. He charged forward from the 38th starting position to become only the second driver (Dale Jarrett in 1996) to win both the Brickyard 400 and the Daytona 500 in the same season. Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick challenged during the closing laps, but they could not match the horsepower under the hood of Johnson’s Chevrolet.


JIMMIE JOHNSON’S NO. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet visited Victory Lane five times during the 2006 NASCAR Cup Series season. Kasey Kahne was the season’s top winner with six victories in the No. 9 Dodge owned by former crew chief Ray Evernham.



Feb. 19 | Daytona International Speedway | Jimmie Johnson

Feb. 26 | Auto Club Speedway | Matt Kenseth

March 12 | Las Vegas Motor Speedway | Jimmie Johnson

March 20 | Atlanta Motor Speedway | Kasey Kahne

March 26 | Bristol Motor Speedway | Kurt Busch

April 2 | Martinsville Speedway | Tony Stewart

April 9 | Texas Motor Speedway | Kasey Kahne

April 22 | Phoenix Raceway | Kevin Harvick

May 1 | Talladega Superspeedway | Jimmie Johnson

May 6 | Richmond Raceway | Dale Earnhardt Jr.

May 13 | Darlington Raceway | Greg Biffle

May 28 | Charlotte Motor Speedway | Kasey Kahne

June 4 | Dover International Speedway | Matt Kenseth

June 11 | Pocono Raceway | Denny Hamlin

June 18 | Michigan International Speedway | Kasey Kahne

June 25 | Sonoma Raceway | Jeff Gordon

July 1 | Daytona International Speedway | Tony Stewart

July 9 | Chicagoland Speedway | Jeff Gordon

July 16 | New Hampshire Motor Speedway | Kyle Busch

July 23 | Pocono Raceway | Denny Hamlin

Aug. 6 | Indianapolis Motor Speedway | Jimmie Johnson

Aug. 13 | Watkins Glen International | Kevin Harvick

Aug. 20 | Michigan International Speedway | Matt Kenseth

Aug. 26 | Bristol Motor Speedway | Matt Kenseth

Sept. 3 | Auto Club Speedway | Kasey Kahne

Sept. 9 | Richmond Raceway | Kevin Harvick

Sept. 17 | New Hampshire Motor Speedway | Kevin Harvick

Sept. 24 | Dover International Speedway | Jeff Burton

Oct. 1 | Kansas Speedway | Tony Stewart

Oct. 8 | Talladega Superspeedway | Brian Vickers

Oct. 14 | Charlotte Motor Speedway | Kasey Kahne

Oct. 22 | Martinsville Speedway | Jimmie Johnson

Oct. 29 | Atlanta Motor Speedway | Tony Stewart

Nov. 5 | Texas Motor Speedway | Tony Stewart

Nov. 12 | Phoenix Raceway | Kevin Harvick

Nov. 19 | Homestead-Miami Speedway | Greg Biffle

Share this:

Picture of Noah Teich

Noah Teich

All Posts