Monday, September 28, 2009

Everybody, Overreact Right Now!

Jimmie Johnson dominated Dover yesterday to record his 4th win of the year and move 10 points behind Mark Martin in the championship. However, is this really the end of the championship? I think not, there are 8 races left. A lot of media types have already written their 'fourpeat' stories because Johnson won yesterday. The same way Martin won at Loudon and everyone proclaimed he was the man to beat. Things changed in one week? Really? I must have missed the part where the last 8 races of the year were a foregone conclusion. Johnson dominated yesterday, yes. He also won the first race at Dover so it's not like he has been an also-ran there and magically found something. That would be Martin's win at Loudon. Johnson is a five-time winner at Dover.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's actually talk about this championship a little. The way I see it, there are only 8 guys that have a chance now. Not by margin, but by place. I'm only including 8th-place Jeff Gordon because he is who he is. Realistically, the only guys that can run well enough in the final stretch of the year to take it all are Martin, Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kurt Busch, and Tony Stewart. I was worried about Smoke since he wrapped up a spot so early and rode around for a month, but they showed they're still going to be a factor. Busch and Montoya have shown they can go toe-to-toe with anyone. If I had to give an edge I'd give it to Montoya, who is riding a huge wave of confidence and the #42 team looks the best they have all year. Not dissimilar to the way Busch's #97 team looked in the first Chase in 2004. Next up are 3 speedway races in a row - Kansas, California, and Charlotte. These races will decide who still has a chance this year. Right now you'd have to look as those same 5 guys mentioned before as the ones to watch at those races. After Charlotte, we'll know who the real contenders are.

1 comment:

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