Bet NASCAR: In Saturday's Drydene 311, the Eckel 4 pick Martin Truex, but like Jimmie Johnson's chances to get the W at Dover
Drydene 311, Dover International Speedway, 4 p.m. TV: NBCS
Jimmie Johnson will no doubt go down as one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history. If you’re new to the sport, however, Johnson is Willie Mays playing for the Mets.
Johnson, a seven-time Cup Champion who will retire at the end of this season, hasn’t won in over two years and over 110 races. He stands a chance to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year after never missing it in his career.
“Time is running out,’’ Johnson told NASCAR.com this week. “I know there are some wins still out there for me. But that’s just my glass is half-full attitude.’’
Johnson heads to Dover this weekend for a Saturday/Sunday doubleheader before the regular season concludes next weekend at Daytona.
If Johnson is going to win and qualify for the playoffs, it’s only fitting it happens in Dover where he’s won an incredible 11 times in his career.
As far as the playoff standings go, William Byron holds the final spot with 577 points. Johnson (552) is 25 points behind and Eric Jones (542) is 35 behind.
Here’s the way The Eckel 4, which includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker, Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis see Saturday’s race.
Martin Truex Jr. (7-2): There’s a reason the New Jersey native is favored Saturday. He has three wins at Dover and has been in the top four in six of his last seven races here including a second-place finish last year. He has also three straight third-place finishes this season, so he’s about ready to get to Victory Lane.
Jimmie Johnson (22-1): Three of the “Four’’ still believe and none more than “Tobacco Road’’ who said, “Jimmie Johnson wins this race, book it.’’ At those odds it would be a nice hit.
Denny Hamlin (8-1): “Left Turn’’ couldn’t pass on Hamlin, who has been in the top five in this race the past two years. And it’s not often you get him at such generous odds.
Kevin Harvick (4-1): The season’s best driver has won here twice in the past five years. Seeing him on Victory Lane Saturday night would surprise no one.
Longshot Plays: Matt DiBenedetto (50-1); Ryan Blaney (16-1)