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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Secret Alliance between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson?

There were a couple of dominant headlines after Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Atlanta. The first was the impressive manner in which Kurt Busch took the checkered flag. The second was the ongoing feud between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski, that ultimately ended in Edwards wrecking Keselowski, the debate there being whether he did it intentionallly or accidentally. Neither of those stories, however, are as compelling as one NASCAR doesn't want you to know about: is there a secret alliance between drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson whereby Gordon may be sacrificing his race car in part to help Johnson win another Sprint Cup title? The evidence, while purely circumstantial, that this might be the case is intriguing nonetheless. The first thing I would point to is that Jeff Gordon owns the number 48 car of Johnson, not anyone else's car on Hendrick Motorsports, his own car included. His performance of late might also suggest an alliance between him and Johnson. At Las Vegas, many speculated Jeff Gordon could have won the race had he taken four tires on his last pit stop; instead he took only two and Jimmie Johnson ended up winning the race. Then there is the finish this past Sunday, where Gordon, who ended up 18th, was never really in the race, and Johnson, who finished 12th had a shot to win until he got banged up late. Opponents of the theory that there is an alliance between Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson would argue that it is still early in the season, and currently Gordon is alive and well in the Chase. Those are valid points. And Johnson himself is no slouch, he has a great team and is obviously a great driver. I would still argue that it is very interesting that Gordon owns the number 48 car, has not been doing great overall as of late, and at 4th in the standings now Johnson looks poised to make another run at a 5th consecutive championship. Should Jimmie Johnson win his 5th Nextel title, remember he may have had a little extra help.

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