CONCORD, N.C. -- The Hendrick Motorsports haulers have all been loaded up and hit the road, bound for Daytona International Speedway.
And once they're all unloaded at the track, the very first parking spot in the garage will belong to Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team -- the NASCAR Cup Series' defending champions.
“For me, it’s cool to be able to enjoy that you won it -- now you get to celebrate a year of being the champion," Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said. "It’s good to see Jimmie parked in that spot representing the sport."
Hendrick said that while it's an amazing feeling to win the championship, it's just as fun to spend a year with the driver being discussed as the reigning champion.
"That, to me, is pretty cool," he said.
With the record-tying seventh Cup championship under his belt, Johnson said he feels less pressure -- though he acknowledged that he didn't feel intense pressure even through championships six and seven.
"I’m just trying to manage it and have a good time through it all," he said.
Regardless, he noted this offseason that he feels an eighth championship is "absolutely possible."
Hendrick nodded his head at that notion.
"It’s very possible," he agreed.
That's the type of success Hendrick is looking for in 2017, but not just from Johnson -- all across the organization.
“I look to run for a championship," he said. "I want to see Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) win. I want to see Chase (Elliott) win some races -- he was so close last year. I want to see Kasey (Kahne) have a good year. I want to see Jimmie -- I just can’t wait for number eight.”