CONCORD, N.C. -- Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS team proved Sunday at Martinsville Speedway that they can overcome adversity.
Following his second 2016 Chase win, Johnson is headed to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the first time since this Chase format was implemented in 2014.
Jeff Gordon, Johnson's longtime teammate, said that the No. 48 team has a knack for showing up when it matters.
"When things are on the line and things matter most, Jimmie and that team know how to step it up to another level," Gordon said. "They showed that today (Sunday). He'll be showing that again in Homestead. I was back there in sixth or seventh place just watching him go after the No. 11 car (Denny Hamlin). That was just phenomenal driving and racing."
While a seventh championship would tie him with Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty for the most NASCAR championships, Gordon said Johnson doesn't need that number to prove his ability behind the wheel.
"Well, seven is a number to a lot of people, but to me he is already one of the all-time greats," Johnson said. "That number might just solidify that in the history books and maybe for some others."
Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick agreed and said that Johnson is unique in that he has the experience of six other championships on his side.
"If you think back when it was three in a row, four in a row, five in a row, going for six, I mean, he's been there," Hendrick said. "It's not like somebody that's trying to get their first championship, that's been so close and never won one."
And while the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway brings with it a sort of pressure, Hendrick has complete confidence in his driver, crew chief Chad Knaus and the No. 48 Lowe's team and their ability to perform.
"I think he's just really enjoying the moment," Hendrick said of Johnson. "I think the pressure will probably build when he gets to Homestead. But he's been at Homestead six times and delivered. So I put my money on him. It's like some of these teams, when they get to the playoffs, they're hard to beat. I think that Chad is that way. He's that way. They know how to race for that deal. I really don't worry about that part of Jimmie. I think he will handle that with no problem."