The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville on Sunday for the 7th of 10 races in the Chase for the Championship.  Even before the caravan of trucks head to the paper clip-shaped oval, it’s safe to say that Jimmie Johnson will leave with an expanded point lead.

Rarely does Johnson get beat by anybody at Martinsville.  In the last five races the 48 team has finished no worse than 12th and has two wins including the race earlier this year.  The other three drivers with wins over that stretch:  Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick.

Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch have never won in the top series at tiniest track on the circuit and Johnson has eight wins total with Jeff Gordon claiming seven Grandfather Clocks.

For Johnson the goal is maximum points and minimize mistakes.  Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Harvick and the rest need to maximize every opportunity and minimize the damage that the 5-time champion will most likely inflict.  Make no mistake, when you are a champion like Johnson and the title is within your grasp this is the time to pounce.  Everyone else except Kenseth are in gambling mode hoping to ride the luck all the way to Homestead.