Jimmie Johnson just did something this writer has never seen. And As a result, maybe the Chase isn’t as close fans all thought.
The Martinsville odds are out, and Johnson has 9/5 odds. That’s right. Less than 2/1. To put this in perspective, when Kyle Busch was winning every race at Bristol for what felt like ten years in a row, his lowest number was 4/1. This calculation means oddsmakers like Johnson at Martinsville more than twice as much as they like Busch at Bristol. Wow.
Johnson does have eight wins at Martinsville, but he is far from a lock to win. Jeff Gordon has seven wins at Martinsville. Denny Hamlin, while dealing with a 1,000,000 other issues, has four wins. Ryan Newman has been to Victory Lane there three times. Even Kevin Harvick has won here in the last five years. Take a look at their numbers:
- Gordon: 6/1
- Hamlin: 12/1
- Harvick: 12/1
- Newman: 30/1
I get Johnson is the points leader. I get he and Hamlin have seven of the last ten wins here. I get Hamlin has had the worst season a driver can imagine. But if you made the following fake wager for the sake of entertainment alone, the following fake payouts would be higher than 50 fake dollars on Jimmie Johnson at 9/5.
- 25 fake dollars on Gordon would pay 60 additional fake dollars.
- 10 fake dollars on Hamlin and Harvick would pay 40 additional fake dollars.
- 5 fake dollars on Ryan Newman would pay 60 additional fake dollars.
From a pure probability standpoint, the odds of this combination winning have to be greater than one driver winning, even if that driver Jimmie Johnson.
The #48 made history again, this time off the track. It will be fascinating to see if Johnson can add to his Martinsville legacy Sunday.