Don’t hate on the 48: Are Johnson’s struggles just a bump in the road?

I know all the talk this week is about how red hot Dale Earnhardt Jr. is right now following his third win of the season at Pocono last Sunday. On the other side of the Hendrick coin is his teammate, Jimmie Johnson, who has had a string of struggles lately. Here’s a question for you — does anyone remember Jimmie’s 2013 month of August?

One year ago at Michigan, Bristol, Atlanta and Richmond his best finish was 28th. If memory serves me correctly, when the Chase started, Mr. Johnson went on to win his sixth championship, didn’t he? So for those out there asking today if his recent struggles are reason for panic or concern, Larry McReynolds is here to tell you no.

Now sure, they were caught up in a wreck at Daytona. At Loudon I think they learned more of what not to do than what to do. Pocono saw him get into the wall, cut a tire down, but honestly I thought he was still going to be up there contending for the win had they not lost another right-front tire.

So sure, I can understand No. 48 fans looking at the results from this July and going, "What in the world is going on?" but again I remind you that it is almost a mirror of what happened a year ago for them in August. I would be totally shocked once we get into this year’s Chase if we aren’t talking about Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 car a whole bunch.

I would be shocked if Jimmie isn’t one of those final four drivers and chasing this record-tying seventh championship when we get to the last race of the year at Homestead. 

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