The Backstretch Blog: Let me clear my throat

Published On: Nov 11 2013 10:35:38 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 11 2013 11:00:47 PM CST

We all know the saying it ain’t over til the fat lady sings. Well as a pudgy female, let me just say I am ready to step to the mike. I’m not sure if I am gonna start singing just yet, but I’ve cleared my role and I am ready to go.

(You know when I am making my long drives across Kansas from day to day, I am an awesome contestant on a reality singing show, and I get picked every time. But I digress.)

Here’s the simple breakdown of how the Chase can be won by points leader Jimmie Johnson. All the 48 team has to do, is finish in 23rd or better and it doesn’t matter what second place Matt Kenseth does.

“Yeah, everybody is so eager to predict the champion, but you've got to play the game,” said Johnson. “You've got to run the race and stuff happens.  There's so many variables in one of our races, I think more variables than any pro sport out there.”

And it’s not like the season wraps up a track where the 48 is dominate, like Martinsville. The last two trips to Homestead have not been kind to JJ. He was 32nd last season and 36th the year before. Ofcourse both times he was the hunter, instead of the hunted, so his team had to push. That will not be the case this time around.

“I would love to win the race and win the championship, but we'll just have to see how things develop in the race and where we are relative to the 20,” said Johnson. “The big prize at the end of the day is what we're focused on, it's not so much that individual win, but we need to go down there and be prepared and treat Friday and Saturday like we need to win the race so we can make the car as comfortable and as fast as possible to give us all our options on Sunday.”

Bottom line, Johnson says hold off on the singing. I on the other hand have started checking out sheet music, trying to pick out my song. It aint over til it’s over, but it’s pretty darn close to being…well over.

“We have all 43 teams playing, driving, racing, all the mechanical components on the race car, pit stops, other issues on other cars that can take you out, tires,” said Johnson.  “There's a lot of variables, so we don't take any of these weekends lightly, even with a nice points lead I'm not going to take any week any differently.  There's still a lot of pressure to get the job done, and it's no lay-up at all.”