The Hot 20 – It ain’t over till Johnson wins again at Dover

Jimmie Johnson won last week. The odds are that Johnson will win again this week. Nothing is for sure, but a 33% winning rate anywhere is astronomical and Six Time has done it eight times in 24 attempts in Delaware. At least we will not have to hear his name dropped in the ongoing non-story as to “when, oh when might he win again?”

No, now it will be Matt Kenseth the focal point of these nonsensical hand wringers. We have 14 races to the Chase, 14 more bids for victory to make it. Me thinks it a bit too early to worry about such things, especially when it comes to the former champ. Never in the modern era has more than 16 drivers won prior to race number 27, and considering Kenseth has the second highest point total even without a win he is just fine, for now. Those outside the Top 16, well, they might have cause for worry.

Just what in the world is wrong at Stewart-Haas? Sure, Kevin Harvick has a couple of wins and does well, as long as the car stays together. Kurt Busch has a win, but without it he would be buried in the depths with Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick. We might view Patrick’s body of work and toss her under the bus as just not being good enough, but you cannot do that for Stewart or Busch. Now, if you want to start wailing as to Smoke’s woes and his need for a victory, go right ahead. He will need one. For that matter, what about Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, and Martin Truex Jr? I think it is pretty clear now that none of them can make the Chase on points alone.

I have some sad news to bring to your attention. Soon we will say goodbye to the FOX guys after Dover, as TNT takes over for a six race run before surrendering the coverage to ESPN in late July. Enjoy Chris, Michael, Darrell, Mike, Larry, Jeff and all those infield boys and girls while you can. Savor Adam, Wally, and Kyle when they come our way from June to mid-July. Soon enough it will be back to Allen, Brad, and Rusty, but at least it will be for only one more excruciating season.

By leaving the points alone, other than giving 22 bonus points per win, we see that Jeff Gordon remains our top driver over the season, with Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards in the mix. However, if all goes according to the script at Dover, I would expect the guy in seventh to move up the ladder significantly by the time the weekend comes to a close.

Driver – Points – Wins
1 Jeff Gordon – 454 – 1
2 Kyle Busch – 430 – 1
3 Carl Edwards – 430 – 1
4 Joey Logano – 422 – 2
5 Matt Kenseth – 421
6 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 416 – 1
7 Jimmie Johnson – 410 – 1
8 Kevin Harvick – 389 – 2
9 Brad Keselowski – 383 – 1
10 Brian Vickers – 365
11 Denny Hamlin – 362 – 1
12 Ryan Newman – 361
13 Greg Biffle – 351
14 Kyle Larson – 344
15 Austin Dillon – 334
16 Paul Menard – 328
17 Kasey Kahne – 324
18 A.J. Allmendinger – 314
19 Aric Almirola – 312
20 Clint Bowyer – 309

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.


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