Homestead and the Season Finale - and it's down to Two Drivers....sorta
The only driver who really has any kind of a hope of keeping Jimmie from that accomplishment is Mark Martin. As we all know, Mark has been a "bridesmaid" four times, the most recently in 2002. There is absolutely no doubt that Mark wants to win a Championship, he came out of retirement to drive again, and the fact that he is still able to dominate, right along with Jimmie Johnson, at 50 years of age is a testament to his talent and to the team that is Hendrick Motor Sports.
Jeff Gordon, the third HMS team in the Chase, is in third and as soon as Jimmie Johnson starts his engine on Sunday at Homestead, Jeff is eliminated from having any opportunity to win his fifth championship.
One thing to remember, though, as the teams get ready to fire up the engines at Homestead, is that no Hendrick car has ever won at Homestead, not the 24, the 48 or even the 5 or 25 with their various drivers. However, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon are tied for the most top five finishes. Greg Biffle has the most wins with three, Tony Stewart has won here twice, and Carl Edwards won at Homestead last year, but lost the Championship. I can never see NASCAR return to Homestead without thinking of John Nemecheck, Joe's brother. He lost his life here in 1997
I don't know about any of you reading, but I'm conflicted on how to describe the 2009 season, and the Chase in particular. The Chase was supposed to be all about heightening the competition. With Jimmie Johnson being as dominant as he has for the past 4 seasons, it's hard to say whether it's the Chase that isn't working, or whether Jimmie is just that good. I think Jimmie is just that good. In any case, the Chase for the Sprint Cup 2009 will be over in four days, and a Champion will be crowned. It's likely to be Jimmie Johnson, making history with 4 in a row.
Does Mark have a chance?