|Jimmie Johnson has 20 Chase wins in 80 starts (Getty)|
We have our final 12 drivers set for the Chase, and despite some having a few more bonus points than others, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship is wide open. Any of the 12 drivers can win. The first race of the Chase begins on Sunday at Chicago, one of five 1.5-mile tracks we’ll see over the next 10 races that will determine the winner. Doing well on those 1.5-mile tracks is the gateway to a championship.
Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to participate in all eight Chases and has compiled 20 wins with an average finish position of 8.9 during those 80 starts. In each of the five seasons he won, he did so by being the best on the 1.5-mile tracks. It also helps that he has the top crew chief, pit crew and engine builders, but the point is that to win this thing, the teams have to tackle the type of tracks that are more frequently encountered.