Friday, November 19, 2010

Score One for Johnson

Don't look now, but Jimmie Johnson has brought his "A" game to Homestead.

In one of the most important qualifying runs of the year, the defending champ threw down a dynamite lap time to cement a top 10 start - sixth to be exact.

The best part for Johnson? His fellow championship contenders didn't fare nearly as well.

He'll begin the race 22 spots ahead of his nearest title rival - Kevin Harvick.  Meanwhile, Chase leader Denny Hamlin will have to make an unenviable run from the rear if he wants to keep his points lead. He qualified 38th.

Sure, a good qualifying run doesn't necessarily mean a winning race. And starting in the back of the pack doesn't mean you'll stay there. Just last year at Homestead, Hamlin rocketed from the same starting spot to bring home the checkers.

However, when the points spread is slim, an up-front starting spot should be cause for at least a little relief. It'll take a while for Harvick and Hamlin to catch Johnson on Sunday.  And, if he can gain just a few spots, the No. 48 will be able to lead a lap early and snag those five coveted bonus points.

So the qualifying battle goes to Johnson.

A few hours will tell if he can also win the war.

1 comment:

  1. Sitting in Oregon, watching the NASCAR Race in Homestead, FL. Pretty interesting discussion with Darryl Waltrip saying how he instigated a Twitter war between the lead drivers. He was saying how important social media is for affecting opponents and getting inside their head. When NASCAR drivers adopt social media as part of a strategy to affect a race, you know it has hit mainstream!