Yesterday I wrote about which JGR driver had the best shot at winning this Sunday in Martinsville. The clear choice was Denny Hamlin with his 5 wins to 0 by his other teammates.
At Hendrick Motorsports the choice is almost as clear, almost. Kasey Kahne has either forgotten how to drive or has lost his drive. He hasn’t just not won anywhere he hasn’t run well. He won’t be a factor this weekend in Martinsville.
Chase Elliot will run well at the clip but not for the entire race. The circuit’s shortest track is a Marathon day requiring horsepower, a great setup, and patience. Chase will have the first two but not enough of the third. He will run well but won’t have the experience to win.
Jr. will have a great car but his qualifying has been off this season. I think another bad qualifying day at the clip will put him too far back in the pack and give him too poor a pit stall to win.
Jimmie Johnson has Matinsville figured out, as he does a lot of tracks. He has won 8 Grandfather clocks. Three more than Hamilin’s 5. He has had speed, speed, and more speed this year. Look for Jimmie to qualify well and get a good pit selection. This is going to make him tough to beat.
This is a big year for HMS and the 48 team. Things are changing. Jeff is in the booth and perhaps a up and coming superstar has taken his seat. Jimmie arrived and passed a huge milestone in his Hall of Fame career catching and passing Earnhardt. Let’s be honest, Jimmie won’t be around for more than a few more years. I think he wants, very badly to win two more championships. That doesn’t bode well for the other drivers at any track, especially Martinsville.