After his win in Phoenix on Sunday, Jimmie Johnson’s lead is now 108 points over Mark Martin. We almost don’t even need a probability table for this week, but let’s go ahead and check it out anyway. (Can you tell I’m a Martin guy?)

1) First off, everybody from third place on down is eliminated. That includes you, Jeff Gordon.

2) Martin needs to outscore Johnson by 109 points or more in the last race at Homestead in order to win the title. Obviously, that’s a tough task, basically requiring that Johnson has some sort of major problem.

Let’s take a look at examples of Martin outscoring Johnson big-time from earlier this season:

A) In the spring Richmond race, Martin finished fifth and Johnson finished 36th, for a difference of 100 points.

B) In the spring Michigan race, Johnson ran out of gas and finished 22nd, while Martin won. Martin outscored him by 83 points in that race.

C) The Labor Day weekend in Atlanta saw Martin finish fifth and Johnson 36th for a difference in 95 points.

D) Obviously just last week at Texas, Martin finished fourth and Johnson was 38th for a point difference of 111 points.


3) As we see, there have been cases this year where Martin has finished many points ahead of Johnson, and it’s possible that will happen again. Not likely, but possible. That’s why three percent is still something.

4) You never know. Let’s go, Mark!

(All Left Turns contributor Dale Watermill is the creator of the Watermill Score and the FLOPPER Award and edits the racing statistics blog 36 Races. E-mail him at 36races@gmail.com.)


Related links:

Title race would be close under different point system
Winning in NASCAR is like counting cards
Chase bonus points are meaningless
Jimmie Johnson has most points at Chase tracks this season
The Watermill Score: How to win a Sprint Cup title
Replacing crew chiefs has not helped Dale Earnhardt Jr.