October 20, 2012
Dean of Speed's Top 5
By DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency
1. Jimmie Johnson
There is a reason Johnson and the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team has won five Cup titles and it is the frequency with which the team ends up in victory lane late in the season.
Johnson has 13 wins at the final five venues to lead all Chase drivers. At Kansas Speedway, Johnson has a pair of victories and at Martinsville he has six, with one win at Texas and four at Phoenix.
The only track left in the Chase where he hasn’t won is at Homestead Miami Speedway.
2. Jeff Gordon
Gordon has been around more than most everyone in the Chase, but his 12 wins on the tracks that make up the second half of the 10-race deal is remarkable.
On closer examination, however, the bulk of those wins — a record seven — have been at the half-mile Martinsville oval.
The No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet does have a pair of wins at both Kansas and Phoenix, with one win at Texas.
Like Johnson, though, Gordon has yet to win at Homestead Miami Speedway.
3. Greg Biffle
The closest Biffle and the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford team has come to a Chase championship was 2005 when he was second to Stewart.
Still, Biffle has put up some pretty decent numbers in the second half of the Chase with seven wins.
He has two wins each at Kansas and Texas with three at Homestead Miami.
Biffle, however, has been shut out at Martinsville and Phoenix.
4. Denny Hamlin
Hamlin is a relative baby — with just seven full seasons in Cup competition — compared to the three drivers above him but the driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has put together an impressive record of nine wins on the five track left in the Chase.
Like Stewart, Hamlin has won on all five tracks with single wins at Kansas, Phoenix and Homestead Miami, a pair of wins at Texas and four wins at Martinsville.
5. Tony Stewart
The outstanding performance by the No. 14 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet last season in the Chase put an exclamation point on Stewart’s NASCAR career, which includes 11 wins on the five remaining tracks.
Stewart has spread his wins across all five tracks with two at Kansas, three at Martinsville, two at Texas, one at Phoenix and he has three wins at Homestead Miami.