Sunday, May 9, 2010

Johnson's Drive For Five; Updated Vegas Odds to Win NASCAR Cup Title

Since Jimmie Johnson is showing signs of struggle the last three races, including the pounding he took at Darlington, it seems appropriate to start looking in Las Vegas sports books at real possibilities to win the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup title other than Johnson.

Last season Johnson started out slow, but then took off in usual fashion. Even though Tony Stewart was making a nice story as he was thought of as a possible candidate, not many actually believed that Johnson could be stopped when it was all on the line during the Chase.

This season feels kind of different. Johnson got off to such a great start winning three of the first five races, but hasn’t won a race since. The new spoiler seems like a nice match to place blame because he hasn’t won since, but Johnson does have four top-10 finishes in those six races.

Johnson’s teammate Jeff Gordon doesn’t seem to have any lingering affect with the new spoiler as he has looked better than ever. The thing that stands out with Johnson the last two weeks at Richmond and Darlington is that the car wasn’t perfect coming off the hauler like it normally is.

Chad Knaus and his crew usually have everything technically sound at the team garage in Charlotte with little tinkering needed during practices and the race. At Richmond, they used the same chassis as they did at Phoenix, where they finished third, but struggled in practice and were fortunate to finish in 10th place. At Darlington, they brought a new chassis and it was one of the most ordinary cars seen by Johnson in any race, even before it got beat up.

The luck factor is also coming into play. Whether it’s just purely a matter of being in the right place at the right time, Johnson never seems to have those gremlins attacking, doesn’t have tire issues, and his pit stops are always amazing.

It’s hard to remember the last time we saw Johnson get unsuspectingly whacked like an also-ran as was the case when A.J. Allmendinger came out of no where to end his day. Maybe the rabbit’s foot and horse shoe Johnson has held onto for so long has finally had all the luck run out and he’ll just be a normal driver from here on out.

Based on all the 1.5 and 2-mile tracks remaining, it doesn’t seem likely Johnson will struggle too much, but there is good reason to hope based on the first 11 races that there are plenty of other viable candidates equally up to the task to stop Johnson’s drive for five.

Here’s a look at updated odds of the top candidates to win the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship from the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book.  

Jimmie Johnson 3/1
Jeff Gordon 9/2
Kyle Busch 9/2
Denny Hamlin 9/2
Kevin Harvick 12/1
Jeff Burton 12/1
Kurt Busch 15/1
Mark Martin 18/1
Greg Biffle 25/1
Matt Kenseth 20/1
Carl Edwards 20/1
Tony Stewart 30/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 35/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 35/1    


CNote Racing said...

Station Casinos with a 16-1 on Hamlin to win the Cup last night.

Fireballr7 said...

Oh my, that is pretty sweet. Did you take it?

i just posted this, how'd you get on so fast?

CNote Racing said...

The tweet txts are the way to go...saw it and your article was there. And yeah..had to take 16-1.