DETROIT – Jimmie Johnson, with his win on Sunday at Kansas Speedway, clinched the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ Cup for Chevrolet, which now has won the title 35 times.
“Chevrolet is a huge partner at Hendrick Motorsports,” said Johnson, who drove the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet to lead a race-high 197 laps. “We're a marketing tool for them, and the fact that we're out winning on Sundays will hopefully sell cars on Monday, like we've always discussed. It's a proud moment for myself. All I've ever raced is a Chevrolet, so to be part of them winning another manufacturer's championship means a lot to me personally, and I'm a Chevy dealer. Rick (Hendrick) obviously has a lot of dealerships, and the pride that what we do on the racetrack and how we carry ourselves, how we win races and championships, we can feel that energy in the store. It really does help the brand. So happy to do it.”
Chevrolet won its first Manufacturers’ Cup in 1958, and now with the 2011 Cup secured, Chevrolet has equaled its previous run of nine consecutive titles achieved in 1983-1991.
"Chevrolet is extremely proud of winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers' Cup for the 35th time," said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "This is an accomplishment that requires tireless dedication from everyone who is involved - drivers, team owners, crew chiefs, team members and engineers, as well as the dedicated professionals who contribute to our program. And, we certainly appreciate the support we’ve received from all of our fans and customers as Chevrolet wins its ninth consecutive title.”
Mark Kent, director of GM Racing, also was thrilled with this achievement.
“Winning the 2011 Manufacturers’ Championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the ninth time in a row is an amazing feat for our outstanding teams, drivers, and owners,” said Kent. “It is also a remarkable accomplishment for our motorsports engineers here as we record our 35th Manufacturers’ Cup. We proudly congratulate and salute all who contributed to this award-winning effort.”
With six races remaining on the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, seven different drivers have contributed to Chevrolet’s 14 victories this year: Kevin Harvick (four), Jeff Gordon (three), Jimmie Johnson (two), Tony Stewart (two) and, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman and Regan Smith (one apiece).
The 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup battle heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 31st race of the season. Harvick sits second in the standings, just one point out of the lead. Johnson jumped to the third position, only three points behind Harvick.
Chevrolet drivers have won 27 championships, including each of the last six (Tony Stewart, 2005; Jimmie Johnson, 2006-10). Chevrolet’s first drivers’ championship was won by Buck Baker in 1957.