The Chase continues today as NASCAR’s Sprint Cup darlings will be in Concord, North Caroline on the track of Lowe’s Motor Speedway competing in the NASCAR’s Banking 500. The fifth race of the Chase today’s race is going to probably cut the field of contenders for the Sprint Cup Championship a little more. Currently Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Chevrolet leads the Chase by 12 points to his Hendrick Motorsports team mate Mark Martin in the No. 5 Chevrolet.
Jimmie is chasing history and his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in a row, while Mark Martin is just trying to do his best and win his first Sprint Cup Championship, which would probably be a nice cherry on a notable, if not spectacular racing career.
If you look at the season statistics you’ll see that both drivers have similar records. They have both won five Sprint Cup races this year and they qualified on the front row together, although Jimmie Johnson will have the inside position. Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be hard for Mark Martin to beat Jimmie Johnson in today’s race and for the Sprint Cup Championship. It might come down to who wants it the most, since both competitors have talent and experience, although Martin has no experience closing the show on a season.
Can Mark Martin beat Jimmie Johnson? This is the question isn’t it? How badly does Mark Martin want to win compared to Jimmie Johnson? The best part is we get to find out today and over the remaining races of the Chase. I admit to being a bit sentimental toward the old man Mark Martin, since I am a little long in the tooth myself. Mark Martin has had a long NASCAR career and it would be great to see him finally succeed in taming the tiger he has had by the tail for so many years. On the other hand Jimmie Johnson has already won and is still young and full of energy, so we’ll be seeing lots of him in the years to come.
This situation in NACAR reminds me of the situation in MotoGP at the current moment. Valentino Rossi is battling his Fiat Yamaha team mate Lorenzo for the MotoGP Premier Class World Championship at present, with only a few races remaining. Rossi is chasing history and his eighth MotoGP World Premier Class Championship. The biggest difference of course is the switch in the age of the current champion and challenger in today’s Banking 500, as compared to Valentino and Lorenzo.
“Image: Zuma Press”