Jimmie Johnson did his best to rattle Brad Keselowski on Thursday at the Sprint Cup championship contenders' press conference. But Johnson may have ended up unintentionally proving that Keselowski is the worthy rival Johnson's needed all these years.
Since Johnson began winning championships back in 2006, he's vanquished a host of the best names in NASCAR: Gordon, Edwards, Martin, Hamlin, Harvick. Since 2006, he's never gone toe-to-toe with a fellow driver heading into the final race and lost. But then, he's facing a far tougher challenge now than in any of his five championship seasons. He sits 20 points behind Keselowski, requiring both a strong finish from his own team and a weak one from Keselowski.
"Brad," Johnson said, mock-helpfully, "if you'd like me to call later and remind you ... of guys that didn't pull off the season finale as they would hope."