NASCAR Odds: Johnson Behind the Wheel Again at Kentucky
Jimmie Johnson has got to be very grateful to be in action again this week because he doesn’t have a lot of weeks left.
As you may be aware, Johnson tested positive for the coronavirus last week and was prevented from being involved in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Of course, he was very worried about his family and had to go into quarantine. At the same time, he missed out on something that was also important – the IndyCar test that was scheduled for July 8 in which he was going on the Indy road course, conducted by Chip Ganassi Racing.
That test will eventually happen. And it appears the McLaren team has some interest in him as well, regarding IndyCar.
But this week it’s the Quaker State 400, starting at 2:30 PM ET at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY. It will be televised by FS1.
So what’s the future hold?
According to offshore sportsbooks, the seven-time Cup champion will no longer be a full-time Cup racer after this season according to offshore sportsbooks. That is a decision that will stand, regardless of the irregular way the 2020 season has unfolded. But he is going to be involved in a part-time capacity, hence the exploration of road racing.
His team, Hendrick Motorsports, replaced him last week with Justin Allgaier, who had a couple of seasons as a Cup competitor under his belt. But Allgaier hadn’t been in a first-tier NASCAR race since 2016. Things didn’t go well, as wound up in a wreck on the pit road, and that was a disappointment to him because he was hoping to put himself in line to take Johnson’s seat in the #48 car next year.
Johnson was going to have to test negative twice for COVID-19 in a period of time where the tests were separated by at least 24 hours. He has done just that.
Here are the numbers…..
Could Johnson close things out with a bang? He makes the top ten, as far as the BetAnySports odds for each NASCAR driver coming away with the Cup series driving championship:
Cup series Driving Championship Odds to Win
|Martin Truex Jr||+650|
Allgaier suffered a setback on Thursday night after he crashed on the last lap of the Kentucky 200, an Xfinity Series race, and had to be taken to the hospital. That was bad news for the Hendrick team, which owns a piece of JR Motorsports on the Xfinity circuit.
Meanwhile, there is a discussion about how the Hendrick team is going to be situated next year. Brad Keselowski, the former Cup champion, is rumored to be headed there in 2021.
Frustration for Johnson
What makes things frustrating for Johnson is that he isn’t even aware of whether he had the coronavirus. His wife had a positive test, then he had one. But after being tested negative twice he has his doubts as to whether his initial test may have been a false positive. And he lost the chance to race as he is battling for a playoff position. Currently, he is 15th in the points standings.
He says: “I’m the most frustrated person out there, especially living in a world of facts that we do. To not have the facts drives me bananas.”
The JJ forecast?
Well, for this particular race, he comes in at +3300. And his possible Hendrick replacement, Keselowski, who is posted at +950, is a three-time winner of this event.
Johnson has had his share of troubles negotiating the tricky tri-oval in Sparta.
“Kentucky has been probably one of my top two or three most difficult tracks to compete at,” says Johnson, who is listed at +3300 for this individual race.
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