Jimmie Johnson has won two of the last three NASCAR Sprint Cup races, as well as the non-points All-Star race for a $1 million prize.
There is nobody hotter right now than Johnson which is why the LVH Superbook has him listed as the overwhelming 3-to-1 favorite to win the Championship despite being fifth in points.
The closest driver to Johnson in odds is Tony Stewart at 7-to-1 with current points leader Greg Biffle still sitting at a very large 10-1 clip.
We are at the halfway mark in the Race to the Chase with 13 races to go until it’s determined what 12 drivers will make NASCAR’s version of the playoffs. One driver that has a long ways to go is Jeff Gordon who is currently sitting in 21st position. He‘s at the point now where the only way he can get in the 10-race Chase for the Championship is by winning races.
The final two positions in the Chase are awarded to drivers within the top-20 who have the most wins. Brad Keselowski currently has the 11th position occupied on the basis of his two wins while Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne each have one win. So essentially, Gordon would have to win at least two races in the next 13 to get a win.
It seems nearly impossible with the way his season has gone thus far. Despite having good cars, Gordon has routinely been snake bit with issues that never seemed to happen to the four-time Cup Champ. Last week at Dover was the perfect example of how Gordon’s season has been going. He not only had a good car again, he had the best car on the track, even better than Johnson.
“I’m tired of the same old thing when we’ve got the best car out there,” Gordon said following Sunday’s race. “I know we had the best car. It’s not every day you run the 48 down and pass him.”
In 13 races this season Gordon has only one top-5 finish, but he should be able to add to that total this week at Pocono, a place he won at last season which was the fifth of his career – the most among active drivers. He’s currently on a run with two straight solid performances and should be considered one of the drivers to beat.
The best example of Gordon’s performances not telling the whole story is just by looking at his weekly odds. For a driver that hadn’t won at Dover in 11 years and was finishing poorly week after week, Gordon could only be found at 10-1 odds on race day which means the sports books still respect Gordon and feel he‘s close to winning soon.
Although it‘s tough to bet a driver like Gordon to win, this week at Pocono looks like a great opportunity to finally cash in on him. Aside from his statistical short comings this season, the bigger picture here is his association with Hendrick Motorsports, a team that has won the last three Cup races between Johnson and Kahne.
They also have Dale Earnhardt Jr. running for Championship sitting in third-place, two slots ahead of Johnson.
The drivers Gordon will have to pass to get the win begin with Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Keselowski. Johnson has been amazing at Pocono despite last winning there in 2004 when swept the season.
Hamlin is a four-time winner at Pocono and currently sits fourth in points with two wins already this season. Keselowski powered his Penske Dodge to a win last fall at Pocono and should be contending again on Sunday.