The Frontstretch: No Chase? Great! by Amy Henderson -- Thursday September 21, 2006

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No Chase? Great!

Second Fiddle: Around the Busch and Craftsman Truck Series · Amy Henderson · Thursday September 21, 2006

 

It just occurred to me that with all the things there are to complain about with the Busch and Truck Series, (like Buschwhackers, really late start times, Buschwhackers…) they both have one really great rule (or lack of one): no Chase.

At least not yet; frankly, never would be too soon to add the manufactured title run we have to suffer through in Nextel Cup. Whether the Chase has been good for the Cup Series is certainly debatable. It's made the last ten races exciting, but it's also left us with a champion who had no right to the trophy. Some fans like it, many despise it. But whatever their reasons, NASCAR has not used the format in the Busch or Craftsman Truck Series.

Why? Well, in the case of the Truck Series, the season is simply too short. With just 25 races on the schedule, the truckers would have a scant 15 races to prove themselves for the “playoffs.” That's barely enough time to establish themselves and their place in the series before the points would be reset.

Many drivers in both series are also very young; they are drivers looking to establish themselves in NASCAR. The added pressure of making and then running a Chase system could be too much. And if a driver is labeled as unable to perform under pressure, no matter how unfair or unfounded the label, it could derail a career before it even began.

In the Busch garage, adding a Chase would only widen the disparity between the haves and the sort-of-haves. Teams like ppc Racing and Team Rensi would find themselves at a bigger disadvantage as the Cup-owned teams ramped up financially to make and win a Chase. Sure, one or two independent teams would make it, but could they compete with the dynamometered, wind-tunnel tested, Cup mechanic-tuned racecars that their richer competitors could trot out every week? Unfortunately, it’s not likely.

Nope, NASCAR (so far, anyway) has this one exactly right. These two series are not ready to support a system that has so many potential implications on their overall health. Although this year's Busch Series points race has been a yawner almost from Daytona, it is as it should be given the current rules and circumstances. Whether or not they should be eligible for two NASCAR titles, Richard Childress Racing and driver Kevin Harvick have been the class of the field in Busch, and the trucks have a decent point battle going on, with an interesting mix of drivers and teams in the Top 10. They don't need a Chase to have great racing…they have it already.

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M. B. Voelker
09/22/2006 07:05 AM
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If you can call Harvick’s record points runaway in Busch and a mere 2 teams in contention for the truck points “great” then you have a severely distorted view of what greatness means.

I lost all interest in the Busch Championship long ago and, even though I like both Bodine and Benson, can’t conjure up too terribly much enthusiasm for the possibility that Johnny might manage to gain a enough points on Todd so that Todd can’t lock it up before the final race.

Frank
09/22/2006 09:02 AM
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The only reason I like the Chase is that it gives more than 2 people a chance at the Championship. I beleive it can be modified for the other 2 series. For that matter it needs to be modified for the Cup Series, but the concept is working.

 

Contact Amy Henderson

Recent articles from Amy Henderson:

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