Mark Martin Can Win It All

Misan AkuyaCorrespondent INovember 10, 2009

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  Mark Martin, driver of the #5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Going into Texas Mark Martin was 184 points behind Jimmie Johnson looking like he was once again to be a bridesmaid for the 5th time in his career.

But the unthinkable happened.

On lap 3 after Sam Hornish Jr got a tap from David Reutimann, he got sideways , got into Jimmie Johnson causing a wreck that made the 48 go to the garage for over 100 laps and being 124 laps down and finishing 38th when the day is done.

Mark Martin did an excellent job of taking advantage of this grand opportunity with a finish of 5th.

Now he is only 73 points behind Johnson with 2 races to go with the championship in sight.

The advantage must go to Mark Martin for sure.  In the Sprint Martin started on the pole and led 157 of 312 laps on his way to Victory.  Johnson finished 4th while leading just 1 lap. 

Mark Martin also runs well at Homestead coming a few inches away from winning that race in 2005 when then teammate Greg Biffle beat him to the line.

Johnson has only 2 top five finishes there and his last 3 finishes were 15th, 7th and 9th.

I did the math and this what Mark Martin has to do to win the championship by the slimmest of margins.

If Mark Martin can repeat what he did in the spring race at Phoenix Sunday and Johnson can finish 5th with 0 laps led, Mark would be only 33 points behind Johnson heading into Homestead.

If Mark can finish 5th and Johnson finish 9th both leading a lap, Mark Martin would become the oldest Sprint cup series champion winning it in the closest points race of all time by 1 point.

All of this is more than doable and Mark Martin wants more than ever to be able to finally become a Sprint Cup series champion.

If this happens then perhaps the Jimmie Johnson era is over and we can finally see some variety in the championship chase for years to come.