NASCAR & Auto Racing

Johnson joins elite group, is chasing Cale Yarborough now

Jimmie Johnson joined an elite list Sunday, becoming just the 10th driver in NASCAR history to win consecutive season championships.

He’ll seek membership in a far-more-exclusive club next year.

Cale Yarborough is the only driver in history with three straight titles, those coming from 1976-1978.

The others who captured two straight crowns before missing out on the three-peat quest are Jeff Gordon (6th in 1999), Dale Earnhardt (2nd in 1995, 12th in 1992, 3rd in 1988), Darrell Waltrip (2nd in 1983), Richard Petty (2nd in 1976, 5th in 1973), David Pearson (23rd in 1970), Joe Weatherly (48th in 1964, the year he was killed in an early season crash at Riverside Speedway), Lee Petty (6th in 1960) and Buck Baker (2nd in 1958).

Yarborough was fourth in the 1979 standings, when he sought a fourth straight championship.