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Jimmie Johnson Grabs NASCAR Sprint Cup Points Lead

Has The Title Chase Struck Midnight
(Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)

It was a wasted opportunity for Denny Hamlin.  What a rocket!  A pit road speeding penalty at lap 50?  No problem!  Busted again on lap 201?  Bring it on!!  He was battling for the lead with 150 laps to go.

The car’s electrical system then said enough.  Finally Brad Daugherty can bring out the fork and stick it in Hamlin’s title hopes for this year.  How things have changed since calling the shot in New Hampshire.  It was great theater at the time, but now it’s just an empty gesture in the perspective of the championship picture.

Jimmie Johnson was as advertised.  Anyone who foolishly laid money on anyone else except maybe the driver of the Fed-Ex car was tearing up their ticket stub.  Jimmie and his crew chief Chad Knaus have Martinsville solved.  Kyle Busch could have jacked up Jimmie Johnson for sure.  He probably would have gained some fans in the process.  Kyle, you did right by Jimmie in keeping it clean.  If KB is in the chase and ten points back, Johnson’s in the fence or at least in close proximity.

There is this little matter of the points lead which Johnson currently holds.  It should be larger than just two.  The man who previously held it, could have used a few more gamblers to stay on the track and put a buffer between himself and the Lowe’s machine.  Alas, only Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Brad Keselowski saw fit to not hit pit road late and became fodder for Johnson’s victory parade.  Otherwise BK ran a terrific race by starting 32nd and finishing 6th.  That tango between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer was one more point for the Blue Deuce which he will gladly put in the hopper.  Next up is the place where Johnson hopes the saying is true that everything is bigger there.

DP

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