Martin’s a fancy if he makes the Chase!
With eight races left in the NASCAR Sprint Series before the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, there are a number of star drivers both inside and outside the current top 12 in danger of missing out on a chance at the big pot.
On Tap This Week: NASCAR heads to the “Windy City” this weekend
Where: Chicagoland Speedway for the 2009 LifeLock.com 400, Joliet, IL
When: Green Flag 8:00 PM ET
TV: TNT & TNT HD
Who To Beat: Jimmie Johnson is the favorite
Nascar Odds To Win: Carl Edwards +800, Greg Biffle +1000, Jeff Gordon +800, Jimmie Johnson +450, Joey Logano +6000, Juan Pablo Montoya +6000, Kurt Busch +1200, Kyle Busch +600, Mark Martin +1200, Tony Stewart +800
While Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and leader Tony Stewart look comfortable, barring a run of bad luck even running over a black cat shouldn’t bring, from there on one bad race for the likes of Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman could see them plunge faster than your average sky-diver without a parachute!
Consistency is paying dividends for Stewart this season, and his ten top 10 finishes lead the series, but the one man who could make some big waves in the final standings sits outside the top 12 because consistency is something he has been lacking.
The amazing comeback of 50-year-old Mark Martin to a full-time drive in the series in his Carquest Chevrolet sees him tied for the lead in wins (three) with Kyle Busch (his luck is fast disappearing as well) yet still nowhere near qualifying for the Chase.
Martin’s big problem has been the three DNF’s the No 5 has suffered so far, and more trouble in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona last week saw him tumble two more spots with a 38th placed finish.
A win in the LifeLock 400 apart, Martin has finished inside the top 10 only twice in the last seven races, and the other one of those was only a 10th placed finish, but he is just the type of competitor who could really run into form now the pressure is on…as long as his machine doesn’t let him down.
The key for Martin could well be the run of three races from August 16. As long as he is in contention then, he goes to Michigan (2009 winner), Bristol (2009 pole) and Atlanta (2009 pole) and should pick up some big points.
And if he makes the Chase, there could be no stopping the old man of the pit garage!