DOVER, DE - OCTOBER 05: Jimmie Johnson(L), driver of the #48 Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet, and his crew chief Chad Knaus stand in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover International Speedway on October 5, 2018 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson had as painful a defeat last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway as you can have. I had a football coach once tell our team after a particularly painful loss that we as a team can grow from this experience and become a better team down the road.  It’s easy to win, which Johnson has done plenty of in his racing career. Losing? Well, no one likes that.

Jimmie Johnson – A Champion in Defeat

Jimmie Johnson Handled Adversity

Jimmie Johnson, post-race handled that circumstance, as well as any human being, can be expected to. He answered all the questions with the same calm and courteous manner in which we’ve witnessed thousands of times in his career. He continued to answer many of those same questions with the same demeanor one week later at Dover International Speedway where the 2018 Championship continues without the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy.

Johnson, who has seven Championships under his belt is a unique modern-day athlete. Too many times we see obnoxious, arrogant and mean-spirited behavior from many of today’s sports heroes. As a fan, they are often hard to root for. Love him or hate him, Johnson has always carried himself in a way that would make his parents proud. Success has not seemed to have changed him.

Class Act

Meeting the media here at the comfy Media Center at Dover International Speedway, Johnson once again did himself proud. His answers from the members of the press were well thought out and honest. What more could you want?

When asked, probably for the thousandth time in the past week about his mishap in last weeks race, Johnson said the following.

“My desire to win has never been stronger and I’m happy that last weekend people were able to see that. I’ve been criticized about my commitment and my desire while I’ve been running 20th. This is the same fire that’s been there”.

He went on to say that it is unfair to judge one’s desire and commitment based on performance alone.

Did Johnson have any regrets in making that move at Charlotte?

“I still have to make that move. If anything I should have made a small brake bias adjustment and I think that would have helped the brakes a little bit into the corner. I would change a couple things, but I still would have gone for it”.

He once again expressed regret for taking out Martin Truex Jr but was steadfast in his position that he had to “go for it”.

It’s about winning!

Johnson went on to that he’ll do anything in his power to win a race. We are at a track, Dover, where Johnson has had a ton of success. He has won 11 races here at the Monster Mile. Does he think this might be the weekend to capture his first victory in the 2018 Monster Cup season?

“I don’t know if this weekend is that weekend but if there’s a track where I can make a tenth or two for the team, this would be one. I hope I can do that and make up the difference.”

Winning is what champions do. There is no finer champion in any sport than Jimmie Johnson. We learned that once again last week. In defeat.

Thanks for reading. Listen to WTBQ radio on Monday and Friday mornings at 8:45 am as I join Frank, Taylor and the Morning Show gang to discuss all the current happenings in NASCAR. 1110AM, 93.5FM, or online at WTBQ.COM. Follow me on twitter @JimLaplante.

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