After Saturday Night's win in Charlotte, Jimmie Johnson now takes a commanding lead in his quest to win a fourth straight title.
1) Johnson has scored 3 wins in the last four races. And in each of those wins, he has also scored the bonus points for leading the most laps.
2) The top four drivers, all in Hendrick-powered equipment, now have over a 99 percent chance of winning the championship. That's up from last week's 94 percent.
3) Mark Martin and Tony Stewart, by finishing outside the top 10, each lost 12 percent from their title chances.
4) Kurt Busch's crew chief Pat Tryson might leave the team early if they are out of the title hunt. I wonder if having less than a one percent chance counts as being out.
5) We now have 4 drivers with 0 chance of winning the title. Bad nights from Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin knocked them out. Good luck next year.
6) The previous line is being generous, because we technically haven't eliminated Juan Montoya, Ryan Newman, and Greg Biffle. But their combined chance of winning is about one in a thousand. Most likely all three of them will be eliminated after the next race at Martinsville.
7) The question now is can Martin, Stewart, or Jeff Gordon come back to topple Jimmie Johnson? A lot of racing left to go, and freak accidents happen at Martinsville and Talladega, so maybe they can make up lost ground if Johnson suffers some bad luck.
8) Remember back to the summer, with 6 races to go before the Chase started, Brian Vickers only had a six percent chance of making it in. But he rolled off a great stretch of performance and did qualify. That means the three guys behind Johnson still have a shot of getting it done.
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