Burton has momentum going into NASCAR race

Oct 14, 2008 4:56 PM

Finish Line by Micah Roberts |

Race 6 in NASCAR’s 10-event version of the playoffs takes us to Martinsville, Virginia this week for some flat short track racing.

There isn’t much banking and just about the time a driver’s engine gets some fuel from them mashing the pedal, they have to let off the pedal, brake, and start the entire process again. For 500 laps, it’s an argument worthy of saying NASCAR drivers are athletes.

At the halfway point of the Chase, Jeff Burton pushed himself to second position in points, just 69 points from the lead. Carl Edwards is falling much in the same fashion Kyle Busch did. He finished 29th and 33rd the last two races and is now 168 behind.

Burton will have tons of support on his side to win the championship. Most of the Dale Earnhardt fans along with other top drivers realistically out will support Burton for his good nature and respect for the sport. Even though Jimmie Johnson is two-time reigning champ, the bandwagon isn’t as full as most would think.

Edwards and his altercation with Kevin Harvick in the garage area spiced things up. It was cool. I want Edwards to be the villain and see guys challenge him. Harvick isn’t exactly an angel himself and don’t believe he was so innocent. Martinsville is a perfect place for a little "Excuse me tap, sorry didn’t mean to do that … well, maybe just a little bit."

The favorite is Jimmie Johnson at 7-2, the lowest odds seen since the Dale Jr dominant days at Talladega or Jeff Gordon on a road course. Based on Jimmie’s record, the odds might be light. He has four career wins on the track including three of his last four starts. His worst finish since 2002 there is ninth.

Jeff Gordon at 5-1 is capable of challenging Johnson. Gordon is basically out of the Chase. He has hasn’t won since last fall at Charlotte and really doesn’t want to go winless in a season for the time since his rookie year. He has seven wins at Martinsville and a better career average finish position than Johnson.

Another driver with a great chance is Denny Hamlin at 7-1. He won in the spring in front of all his home state fans.

In a unique twist, Hamlin’s pit crew made the right call in the late stages of that race to take the lead away from Gordon. In several occasions last season, Hamlin had been wronged late in the races by a multitude of errors and mishaps by his crew.

Burton, another fellow Virginian, could fetch up to 25-1 just because of the shift in balance of Johnson and Gordon’s low odds.

Copyright 2008 GamingToday

ROBERTS’ TOP 5
at martinsville
1.
#24
Jeff Gordon
5-1
2.
#48
Jimmie Johnson
7-2
3.
#11
Denny Hamlin
7-1
4.
#18
Kyle Busch
7-1
5.
#31
Jeff Burton
20-1

 

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