NASCAR

Who has the psychological advantage?

Larry McReynolds recaps Jeff Gordon's win at Martinsville.
Larry McReynolds recaps Jeff Gordon's win at Martinsville.
Share This Story

Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
 
   
 

Last Sunday at Martinsville, both Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson had chances to win but didn’t. Matt did finish ahead of Jimmie at the track that is clearly one of Jimmie’s best all-time tracks. Martinsville, as we told you all last week has never been that great for Matt.

Matt also came back and tied the points up as we head to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Even though they are tied, I still have to believe that Matt has the psychological advantage this weekend. Let’s face it, Jimmie has won eight times at Martinsville and Matt never has, but he came out of there in better shape. Matt also led the most laps Sunday. That simply had to be a big victory for the No. 20 camp to be able to do all that.

You have to give the nod to Matt for this weekend and at Homestead because they are both mile and a half tracks that are his bread and butter. Sandwiched in-between both those races is Phoenix where I believe you have to give the nod to Jimmie.

I just bet NASCAR has to be thrilled to see how this is playing out. This is how it envisioned the Chase format to work where we head into these last races with two guys dead even and don’t forget, you have Jeff Gordon now lurking in the wings.

Last Sunday saw a lot of cautions and some upset folks after the race. Hey guess what? That is short-track racing and particularly Martinsville short track racing at its finest. Looking at our Chase drivers from Sunday, we had one win the race and had eight of the 13 finished in the Top 12.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/shakeandbake
Looking for the NASCAR on FOX blog? Check out Shake and Bake.

I have to say I was a little surprised how Kyle Busch really faded there at the end to 15th spot. I think we can safely say, despite only being 36 points behind that Kyle’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship hopes have faded for 2013. With only three races left, Kyle would have to leap-frog four drivers and I just don’t see that happening.

If I were to do a color chart today of our 13 Chase drivers, I would put everyone from Kyle Busch and back in red. I’d put Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick in yellow because they are 27 and 28 points back. To be honest, Kevin’s sixth place finish Sunday was a surprise to me. The best he ever was all weekend leading up to the race was in qualifying. He struggled in all the practices. Give them credit though, that sixth place finish still keeps them on the fringe of this thing should something happen to both Jimmie and Matt in these last three races.


 

Tagged: Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch

More Stories From Larry McReynolds

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NASCAR Videos

Larry’s Notebook: Is Jimmie Johnson Behind the Curve? Posted: Jul 15, 2014
Larry McReynolds weighs in on whether or not the No. 48 will be at a disadvantag...

Larry’s Notebook: Off-Week Blues Posted: Jul 15, 2014
Larry McReynolds weighs in on which teams will benefit the most from the week of...

Winner's Weekend: Brad Keselowski Unstoppable at Loudon Posted: Jul 15, 2014
The biggest issue the No. 2 team faced at Loudon was where to hide the champagne...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Danica_Patrick/browse/featuredproduct/974547/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_974000/ff_974547_xl.jpg&w=100 26.95 Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal
    Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Kyle_Busch/browse/featuredproduct/1011659/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1011000/ff_1011659_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Matt_Kenseth/browse/featuredproduct/1011661/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1011000/ff_1011661_xl.jpg&w=100 9.99 Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Carl_Edwards/browse/featuredproduct/1041164/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1041000/ff_1041164_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash