Gas 'N' Go: Does Gordon Or Earnhardt Have Best Shot At Title?

Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon

Who has the best chance to win the title between Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.? Pete Pistone and Dustin Long debate. (Photo: Getty Images)

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The pits are open again and, MRN.com's Pete Pistone and Dustin Long each answer this week's featured question in "Gas 'N' Go."

Who has the best chance between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon to win the title this year?

MRN Staff

Answer

Pete Pistone
Pete Pistone

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Start with the cars Junior's been driving all season. Week in and week out, the No. 88 team has given Earnhardt some of the best cars - if not the best car - of the entire Hendrick stable. Speed and horsepower are certainly shared among all four Hendrick drivers and cars, but Earnhardt has enjoyed premium set-ups and handling benefits to go with those potent ponies under the hood all season long.

But there's something nobody in the Hendrick group can match that the No. 88 team possesses - intangibles. Earnhardt's confidence has never been higher and with good reason. He's running well, he has a solid team behind him, his personal life seems to be hitting on all cylinders and he has perhaps the best crew chief in the sport right now in Steve Letarte.

Corny as it may sound, the final races for Letarte with Earnhardt before he embarks on his television career will carry some momentum and even magic that when all is said and done could result in a first career Sprint Cup title for Junior. 

Dustin Long
Dustin Long

This has been a remarkable year for Dale Earnhardt Jr., but I think Jeff Gordon is the one who has a greater chance to win the title.

Gordon has finished outside the top 10 only three times in the last 11 races. One of those times came when he ran out of fuel while running toward the front at New Hampshire. 

Yes, Earnhardt outscored Gordon 412-410 in the last 11 races, but I think about what Gordon has done in recent years. He often is much stronger in the Chase than the first 26 races. I expect a similar increase in performance when the Chase begins and that could be the difference.

After trying for more than a decade, this could be the year Gordon completes his drive for a fifth title.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Netwo

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