Jimmie Johnson is last in line of drivers who can clinch the next round of the NASCAR playoffs without an outright win. As long as none of the final four drivers don’t win to leap-frog him, he only needs 49 points to ensure he makes the cut.
Friday’s lone practice session only saw Johnson running 14th fastest, but the session also gave Johnson and his fans some hope.
Kyle Larson finished with an average speed of 189.056 good for more than 1.5 miles an hour faster than the second fastest car of Kevin Harvick. A lot will change between now and the end of Sunday’s race, but if, and that is a big if this early in the weekend, Larson were to dominate the entire weekend, Johnson won’t be too upset.
Other than Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski, who have already clinched, Johnson’s best bet to staying alive is the drivers behind him in the standings staying out of victory lane. Since Larson is third in the standings now, he is literally the best option of the drivers who have not yet officially clinched.