Monday, November 10, 2008

The party's over

Game over. Jimmie Johnson will win his third championship, putting him in the elite company of Cale Yarborough as the only drivers to win the thrice in a row. It seems impossible for Carl Edwards to overcome a 141-point deficit to beat Johnson. It’s just not going to happen. Johnson usually runs poor at Homestead, but he would have to finish nearly dead last to blow this lead. He is the champion and deserves to be regardless of the championship format. Had NASCAR kept the original points standings format, however, Johnson would be leading by only 56. Still a strong lead, but not insurmountable.

A closer look at the non-Chase standings will show an airtight battle from eight to 11th. Jeff Gordon is just 57 points ahead of Denny Hamlin in 11th. That would be quite an interesting showdown between four drivers to see who could finish the season in the top-10. With this weekend’s race in Homestead will be a snoozer. Still, it’s nice to see a tight battle in Truck and Nationwide.

Standings after Phoenix
1. Jimmie Johnson – 5097
2. Carl Edwards – 5041 (-56)
3. Kyle Busch – 4878 (-219)
4. Jeff Burton – 4666 (-431)
5. Dale Earnhardt – 4655 (-432)
6. Greg Biffle – 4638 (-459)
7. Kevin Harvick – 4453 (-644)
8. Jeff Gordon – 4372 (-725)
9. Tony Stewart – 4344 (-753)
10. Clint Bowyer – 4332 (-765)
11. Denny Hamlin – 4315 (-782)
12. Matt Kenseth – 4214 (-883)
13. David Ragan – 4208 (-889)


El Duffo O Muerte said...

What? Nothing about ABC cutting to America's Funniest Home Videos with 34 laps to go? I thought the cat sliding off the slippery table beat the kid hitting his dad with a wiffle ball this week.

Roger said...

Mike, what is the postmortem of Kyle Bush? Far into the season, he seemed unbeatable. He seemed like a sure bet to bring home the Series Championship. Over a very short time period, he is out of the running.

He had a couple of bad races, which did not happen in the first two-thirds of the season. Was there a shakeup on his team that suddenly took them down a bumpy path?

I take nothing away from Jimmy Johnson. He was pretty consistent earlier in the season, never very far behind the top spot. When it really counted, he put together a run of good races.

But the Kyle Bush team must really be scratching their heads, "... what went wrong, we had this thing going our way for so long ...."