Strengths – 2017 was a tough season for Jimmie Johnson, but I think he’ll bounce back in 2018. Hendrick Motorsports was down as an organization but with the new Camaro debuting I don’t think that will be the case again. Toyota brought a newly redesigned Camry to the track last season and in short time they dominated. I’m not saying Chevy will do that, but I’m sure their cars will prove to be more competitive. In 2018 look for Seven-Time Champion Jimmie Johnson to have his best days at intermediate tracks and short tracks.
Weaknesses – When Johnson gets into a slump watch out, because it can last a few months which could tank your season. Also there’s questions if “Father Time” has caught up with Jimmie Johnson. It’s a risk, but I’m leaning no.
Track Type Fantasy Value Key = Elite > High > Medium-High > Medium > Low
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Jimmie Johnson is an elite intermediate track driver. That said he wasn’t elite last year. In 2017 on this track type he won twice (Texas and Dover), scored the 11th most points and had a 15.2 average finish. In four of the five years prior to last season his points ranking was in the top 4, including scoring the most points in 2016 and 2012.
In 2018 at intermediate tracks I would look for Johnson to have a strong season and return to form. I think Chevy will have a more competitive product on the track in the form of new Camaro and Hendrick Motorsports certainly won’t have two down seasons in a row. Look for Johnson to have his best intermediate track races at Dover, Auto Club, Las Vegas, Charlotte and Texas.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – High
Jimmie Johnson had a tough season at flat tracks in 2017. Wrecking in all three big flat track races and then in the fall Phoenix race which led to him scoring the 19th most points and having a 21st place average finish. In 2016 he scored the 14th most points (problems in two races). In 4 of the 5 seasons prior to that his points ranking was in the top five.
Last year at shorter flat tracks minus the fall Phoenix race he was pretty good. Over those select races he finished in the top 14 every race and had a 10.4 average finish. Minus the fall Phoenix race that he wrecked all five of his shorter flat track results were between 8th to 14th. In 2018 at those tracks you should look for him to contend for a top ten every race.
In 2017 at the bigger flat tracks he wrecked every race. Next year at these venues there’s no way he’s going to wreck every race and on a weekly basis I would look for him to also finish in the top ten.
Short Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Jimmie Johnson is one of the best short track drivers in NASCAR. Last year on this track type he scored the 4th most points and had a 9.7 average finish. It should be noted he was a fairly safe option being one of just two drivers who finished in the top fifteen every race. In the two prior seasons on this track type Johnson scored the 2nd and 4th most points.
At Martinsville Jimmie Johnson is an all-time great. He’s a 9-time winner who has a 7.7 average finish. He won there in fall 2016, but overall he’s been a little bit off there in recent years. Last year Johnson had results of 12th and 15th.
At Bristol, Johnson has been pretty good. He won last spring and has finished in the top eleven in 6 of the last 7 races. In the August event last year he finished 11th.
Richmond has been a really solid track for Johnson. Last year he finished 8th and 11th. Over the last 7 races there he has 7.6 average finish.
Restrictor Plate Track Fantasy Value – High
At plate tracks Johnson can be a hero or zero performer, just like many other drivers in the series. In 2 of the last 5 seasons on this track type he’s ranked in the top two in terms of points accumulated, last year he scored the 12th most points. That sounds good but he only finished well in two races (8th at Talladega in the spring and 12th at Daytona in July). In the other two he wrecked.
In 2018 on this track type I think he has a great chance to be very competitive. Chevy is rolling out a new Camaro and in the past when other manufacturers have rolled out new models they’ve typically been really strong on this track type.
Road Course Track Fantasy Value – High
Jimmie Johnson is a very respectable performer at road courses. In 2018 at all three venues he should be viewed as a top ten driver entering the weekend.
At Sonoma Johnson is one of the best default picks you can make. He has back to back 13ths but since 2009 his average finish is 7.2. In the seven races prior to his back to back 13th’s he finished 9th or better including a win in 2010.
Watkins Glen has been a tough track for him recently. In 3 of the last 4 years he’s finished 28th or worse. Historically Johnson has been top ten good having finished in the top twelve 69% percent of the time.