CONCORD, N.C. -- Plagued with a 24-race winless streak during the 2016 season -- the longest of his 15-year career -- Jimmie Johnson brought that streak to an end with his Oct. 9 win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Johnson followed that win up with a win this past Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, which punched his ticket to the Championship 4 round at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20.
"The turnaround, I'm way impressed with," Johnson said of the team's recent success, "especially from where we came from to where we've ended up. It's one thing to see progress, but to advance and go back to leading a lot of laps and contending for many wins is very, very impressive."
Every department at Hendrick Motorsports has been all hands on deck throughout the summer months to get the four teams back on track.
"We couldn't have done it on our own," Johnson said. "It took all four teams, then it took all the departments at Hendrick Motorsports."
Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, agreed and said he has never seen the organization come together like they have this year.
"There's a tremendous amount of respect between the guys," Hendrick said. "Having Jeff back in the car has helped a lot. It's all coming together. The engine shop's doing real well. Chase has been so good on the mile‑and‑a‑half's. Alex has done a good job. Jeff has done a good job. Kasey has picked up the second half and had a bunch of top-10s."
Johnson contributed much of the recent turnaround to Hendrick himself.
"Honestly, it took Rick Hendrick showing his commitment," the driver said. "For him to sit in the wind tunnel for a 24‑hour shift with all the teams, his commitment. He couldn't help being in that wind tunnel, but his presence there, the message that sent to the organization. There's other examples like that, as well. He's led by example. We've come a long way in a short period of time, which is really impressive."
And as the four teams head into the final three races of the season, the organization will strive to continue the momentum they have displayed recently.