NASCAR Chase to the Sprint Cup Championship - Week 9

Homestead and the Season Finale - and it's down to Two Drivers....sorta

11/18/09 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

I missed the race at Phoenix on Sunday because I was working, however, lucky me, SPEED is rebroadcasting the race, and I am watching it as I type this.  So far, what I am seeing is a race that had a lot of green flag laps and a lot of cars going laps down earl on.  I also saw the Chase drivers up in the top 15, in fact, the only time it seems Chase drivers aren't up in the front is during pit stops.  I guess that's what we should expect from the twelve best teams in the year, and the fact that Jimmie Johnson  led almost every lap of the race, is another indication that he will likely be crowned Sprint Cup Champion for 2009, his fourth championship in a row, breaking Cale Yarborough's record,  tied last year.

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?
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11/21/09   |   BobbiSue   |   2 respect

Jimmy Johnson is a very good driver.  I would like to see him win (because I know Bobby L won't)!  However, I mwould love to see Joghnson WIN the race.... and not only win by the points.  I wish him well...

11/19/09   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Regardless of whether Mark or Jimmie wins, it will be an historic event.  Mark, if he wins, will do so at FIFTY years of age - an incredible feat.  If Jimmie wins, of course it is four in a row, history in the making.

11/19/09   |   wcl3922   |   4 respect

well you can!t said mark try his best to win .He will be back next not give up it not over till the fat lady sing.go mark

11/18/09   |   Alpha_Dawg   |   1258 respect

Go Mark Go!!! I have faith in ya!!! Anything is possible

11/18/09   |   Scott   |   54624 respect

Jimmie Johnson dominating at Phoenix basically ended any of the suspense about whether Mark Martin has a chance to win the championship.  Yes, there is still a realistic possibility that Martin can win and stranger things have happened but there are alot of things that have to go Martin's way.  I predict Martin goes all out while Johnson just cruises around the track looking to stay out of harms way.  Martin finishes with a top 5, Johnson finishes right outside the top 10 and Johnson brings home the title.

As for the season in review, obviously there continues to be some problems with the COT and how drivers have a hard time passing.  If you like single file racing, then Nascar is the sport for you at this time.  That said, I wont argue or complain with Jimmie Johnson dominating the way he does.  Johnson and Knaus have done there homework and stayed ahead of the COT curve and they deserve to be where they are. 

11/18/09   |   wcl3922   |   4 respect

 never give up till the checker flag falls. Go mark.!

11/18/09   |   BigTone2475   |   326 respect

Yes slim to none but then again that's why we race the race.