Hot 20 heading into Michigan are led by the hot trio from Hendrick

Free enterprise is a great concept, though in the presence of a monopoly it does not work worth crap. If one outfit gains near total dominance over any industry, there is no competition. Standard Oil, AT&T, Microsoft, U.S. Steel, and even Western Union have been accused of holding monopolies at some point in their history. Maybe you could add Hendrick Motorsports to that list.

Actually, such an accusation would be ridiculous. The company has just four entries in any 43 car field each week. However, the results they manage to compile certainly illustrates their dominance in the Cup series. The top three drivers to this point in the season, using our system of determining excellence, are all from Hendrick. Two of those drivers have ten season championships already to their credit. Jimmie Johnson has led higher than 21% of the laps run over the first 14 events, with the trio combining to take more than a third of those races.

Very dominant, but not a monopoly. SHR’s Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski of Penske Racing have both had their time in front, and combined with Johnson the trio has led more than half of the laps run to date. When you include Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, and Kyle Busch in the mix, you have eight drivers with four organizations who have led more than 83% of the laps this season. Now, that is dominance. It kind of makes you wonder what the other 35 folks are doing. My guess is that they are busy looking at the back bumpers of those other fellows.

Sunday might bring more of the same, as Earnhardt, Gordon, Kenseth, Ky. Busch, and Logano have all won there before. Interestingly, while Jimmie Johnson has not in 24 attempts, Greg Biffle has four on that track, including the race last spring. Maybe it is time for the Biff to join in the fun, running closer to the headlights than their tail lights.

(No chase, and wins are worth 25 points instead of 3)

Driver – Points – Wins
1 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 520  – 2
2 – Jeff Gordon – 520  – 1
3 – Jimmie Johnson – 519 – 2
4 – Matt Kenseth – 482
5 – Brad Keselowski – 470 – 1
6 – Kyle Busch – 465 – 1
7 – Carl Edwards – 463 – 1
8 – Joey Logano – 462 – 2
9 – Kevin Harvick – 447 – 2
10 – Denny Hamlin – 444 – 1
11 – Kyle Larson – 417
12 – Ryan Newman – 411
13 – Brian Vickers – 392
14 – Greg Biffle – 385
15 – Austin Dillon – 385
16 – Clint Bowyer – 383
17 – Paul Menard – 380
18 – Tony Stewart – 368
19 – Aric Almirola – 366
20 – A.J. Allmendinger – 360

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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