Sunday afternoon, veteran NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson will get behind the wheel to take part in the Auto Club 400. This will mark the 651st consecutive start of his racing career. Johnson had been tied with Ryan Newman at 649 at the beginning of the 2020 NASCAR season, but this streak came to an end.
With Newman unable to race following his wreck at the end of the Daytona 500, he was unable to start during the Pennzoil 400 in Las Vegas. This ended his consecutive starts streak at 649 races and gave Johnson sole possession of sixth place on the all-time starts list.
While Newman is unable to move further up the leaderboard, he did achieve history to start the season. With him taking part in the Daytona 500, the veteran driver moved ahead of Dale Earnhardt on the consecutive starts list. This moved him into the tie with Johnson, albeit a short-lived one.
Jimmie Johnson & Ryan Newman are currently tied with 649 consecutive Cup starts.February 20, 2020
The veteran in Johnson may be retiring at the end of the 2020 NASCAR season, but he does have the opportunity to move up the list. Terry Labonte is in fifth place with 655 consecutive starts while Rusty Wallace is in fourth with 697.
If Johnson continues to start each week, he will move ahead of Labonte on the all-time list, but he will not be able to catch Wallace during his final season. He will still finish a historic career, likely in fifth place on the all-time list.
Newman, on the other hand, will have to restart his consecutive starts streak when he returns to the No. 6 Ford Mustang later in the season. At 42 years old, it's unlikely that he will ever move further up the list as a full-time driver.
Newman's first race was the Daytona 500 in 2002. The veteran driver finished 7th in the race and started his consecutive starts streak. It has now come to an end, but the fans are focusing on something far more important than a number of consecutive starts.
"On the brightside, hes still here with us!" one NASCAR fan wrote on Twitter after realizing that the consecutive streaks start would be coming to an end. They were sad that this historic streak would not continue following the Daytona 500 wreck, but they were much happier to see Newman among the living and recovering from a head injury.
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