Driver Stocks: Championship Contenders after Martinsville

Photo- Getty Images

The battle got fierce at the paper clip this past weekend, and now with three races left in the season there is a new point’s leader. Five-time champion, Jimmie Johnson, has a two point lead over Brad Keselowski. Many questions remain over the next couple of races. The championship race is about to heat up.

Jimmie Johnson- Getting his first win in the Chase and taking the points lead, the rest of the season looks easy for Johnson. However, there could be more pressure on this team than most people think. Johnson really wants this championship. We all know that Hendrick and championship’s go together, and why wouldn’t Johnson get his sixth in seven years? This could also be why the pressure is on him and his team to keep winning. He has won at the next two tracks before, but not Homestead, can he get it done?

Brad Keselowski- The next three tracks for Keselowski haven’t proven to be strong. Wait. Who cares? Have any of Keselowski’s results now matched up with before? No. This puts him in a sort of wild card position. Texas is where Keselowski made his first Cup start at Texas and continues to be good at mile and a half tracks, which is two-thirds of the final three races. He said that this team has not felt any pressure, yet. Will they? Can they keep gaining and move forward to a championship? If they are going to, they have a lot of work ahead of them to beat Johnson.

Johnson has one win at Texas, but isn’t too consistent. Keselowski is strong at 1.5 mile tracks, could Texas be a problem? Which crew chief will bring the better plan to the table? Or be able to make new plans when needed?

In my personal opinion, I think Keselowski is ready to win this for himself, and his team along with everyone with it. The ability to keep getting better and to beat down the problems in his way has kept him in the championship hunt so far. The move Keselowski pulled with just a few laps to go at Martinsville kept him right in the fight. Great call. I wouldn’t have made that choice myself. However, Johnson won’t go away. I would not doubt him getting another championship. He knows what he’s doing and I believe he will either stay close to Keselowski, or pull away from him. I guess we will just have to see after Texas.

By Caleb Slouha

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