The reason? His wife Chandra is currently pregnant with the couple's second child, with the due date in early September just about the time the final pre-Chase race at Richmond is scheduled. If Johnson can pull out a big enough lead that his first seed status for the play-offs is assured, then he might consider dropping out of a race should the birth take place over the weekend.
"If Chani goes into labour early, I don't have to worry about Richmond," Johnson said on Sunday after winning Pocono. "That's what I'm working so hard for."
And as NASCAR history and five Cup titles have already ably demonstrated, the prospect of Jimmie Johnson motivated by a clear mission objective is a fearsome one indeed because the Hendrick driver is not one to be thwarted, as the way he bounced back from the still-vociferously disputed restart penalty at Dover last weekend proves.
"Jimmie is switched on right now," said Johnson's crew chief Chad Knaus. "He's as good as better than I've ever seen him." Given that Knaus has been together with Johnson for the last 12 years and all his championship seasons, that's got to send alarm bells ringing throughout the NASCAR paddock among any of their rivals who have the temerity to believe that they have a chance of blocking five-time's path to a six-pack in 2013.
Full race results
and Sprint Cup Championship standings