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2008 Sprint Cup Points Update – Race 6

NASCAR Odds and Lines – Johnson seeks victory at Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson will be looking to make it four wins at Martinsville Speedway in the past five races on Sunday afternoon when he hits the track in the TUMS QuikPak 500. However, those that did any NASCAR betting on Johnson last weekend weren’t happy.

The series standings leader started from the top spot on the grid last time out in the Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but he then had to settle for a sixth-place result. Sprint Cup Championship rival Carl Edwards started from the second spot on the grid at that event but he fared even worse, crossing the finish line in 33rd place.

Your winner at Lowe’s was Jeff Burton, and the victory allowed him to move into second place in the driver standings. Burton trails Johnson by 69 points for top spot, while Greg Biffle (who was seventh at Lowe’s) is now 86 points back in third place. Edwards had been second before racing at Lowe’s, but he’s now 168 points behind Johnson in fourth.

Here’s how the driver standings look heading into the sixth race of the Chase schedule:

Jimmie Johnson — 5878
Jeff Burton — 5809
Greg Biffle — 5792
Carl Edwards — 5710
Clint Bowyer — 5693
Kevin Harvick — 5671
Tony Stewart — 5650
Jeff Gordon — 5633
Kyle Busch — 5552
Dale Earnhardt Jr. — 5524
Matt Kenseth — 5518
Denny Hamlin — 5498

Along with Burton, the only other Chase contender who rose in the standings at Lowe’s was Kyle Busch, as he turned in a fourth-place result. That pushed Busch up from 11th to ninth in the driver standings, but he’s out of contention at 326 points behind top spot.

The other Busch brother, Kurt, isn’t involved in the Chase this season, but he’s coming off a third-place result at Lowe’s. As well, Kurt Busch has won at Martinsville Speedway before; he visited victory lane there in the Old Dominion 500 back in October of 2002.

However, it’s Johnson who has been the master of Martinsville lately; he won the Subway 500 there in 2004, 2006, and 2007, and the Goody’s Cool Orange 500 in 2007. Denny Hamlin broke up Johnson’s winning streak at Martinsville back in March at the ‘08 Goody’s Cool Orange 500; Johnson was fourth, behind Jeff Gordon and Burton too.

Burton won at Martinsville back in 1997, while Gordon picked up wins there in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2003 (twice), and 2005 (twice). Tony Stewart won Martinsville events in each of ‘00 and ‘06, Bobby Labonte won there in ‘02, and Mark Martin won there in ’00.

Johnson was still pegged as the -150 favorite to win the Sprint Cup Championship earlier this week; that line was unchanged from last week. If you picked up Burton at +1000 to win the championship last week you would have enjoyed seeing him win on Saturday; those odds will get less lucrative if he finishes ahead of Johnson again this weekend. Edwards (+200) and Biffle (+325) were the other top contenders for the Cup.

Here’s where the Sprint Cup Series drivers will be for the final four races of the season:

10/26/08 – Pep Boys Auto 500 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
11/02/08 – Dickies 500 – Texas Motor Speedway
11/09/08 – Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 – Phoenix International Raceway
11/16/08 – Ford 400 – Homestead-Miami Speedway

Check the BetUS Sportsbook online NASCAR odds section for all the latest lines for this weekend’s race.

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