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Jimmie Johnson making 650th Cup start at Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson has hit plenty of milestones in his career.

After all, his 83 wins, 227 top-five finishes, 364 top-10s and 18,834 laps led are all tops among active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series. Not to mention his record-tying seven championships.

This Sunday, the seven-time champ will reach another milestone – 650 starts.

That number is the 26th-most starts in the history of the Cup Series.

The milestone race comes in the penultimate event of the 2019 season at ISM Raceway, where Johnson owns four wins, the second-most all-time. In his 32 starts at the track, his average finish of 10.2 ranks sixth-best all-time.

The driver’s most recent win at the Avondale, Arizona, venue was in 2009 when he led the field for 238 of the race’s 312 laps. Hailing from the West Coast himself, it’s fitting that the El Cajon, California, native owns the most wins of any driver on West Coast tracks.

Between ISM Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway and Sonoma Raceway, he has accumulated 15 trips to Victory Lane in his career.

In addition to his West Coast prowess, last weekend the driver of the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 saw some success at Texas Motor Speedway, leading 40 laps before contact with the wall in the final segment ended his race early.

“It felt good to get out and lead at Texas last weekend,” Johnson said. “We had a strong car. This black cloud seems to be following us around, but we are digging in harder than ever. I can’t say that enough.”

The No. 48 team hopes that hard work will pay off in the form of a trip to Victory Lane Sunday at ISM Raceway. If that comes to fruition, Johnson would become just the second driver to win his 650th start.

Fellow seven-time champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty won at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 15, 1975, in his 650th start two days before the birth of Johnson.

— Hendrick Motorsports —