Jimmie Johnson (L), driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, poses with his wife Chandra after finishing in second place in the Ford 400 to clinch his fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21.
Johnson became the third driver to overcome a points deficit in the last race of the season since 1975, reports the Associated Press. He was also the first driver in the brief seven-year history of the Chase Sprint Cup to overcome a large points deficit to become the five-time winner.
As he crossed the finish line, Johnson abandoned his normally cool demeanor and began pumping his fists in the car while repeatedly screaming, "This is unbelievable!"
"I've always told you the first championship, the first win, that stuff has meant the most to me," Johnson said. "This one, I think this takes the lead. We were stronger in the previous two Chases, at least, but this one, I am just so proud."
"I think this year we showed what this team is made of," Johnson said. "At times this season we didn't have the most speed, but we had the most heart."
The NASCAR driver, who mostly grew up in El Cajon, dreamed of racing when he was a student at Crest Elementary School. After last year's win, Johnson visited the school to announce the distributions of thousands of dollars from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.