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Brandon Daun · Tuesday August 30, 2005
If NASCAR really wanted to entertain fans, they would edit the schedule so that Bristol Motor Speedway would host the season finale event. The excitement that we witnessed at Homestead last season could never compare to a race at a short track that would determine a championship.But until Bristol can be added into the Chase, fans that love dramatic races can look back on the Sharpie 500 as the one that may have eliminated several strong contenders from this year’s championship hunt.
Veteran drivers are often regarded as having more patience and wisdom than that of younger drivers. Such was not the case Saturday night, when Dale Jarrett took the first opportunity he could to extract revenge on Ryan Newman, who spun him earlier in the event. Jarrett’s actions caused him to fall three positions in the championship standings, while Ryan Newman fell one position and Kevin Harvick lost two. Newman now is ninth in the standings while Jarrett is 14th and Harvick is 16th. With drivers such as Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, and Jamie McMurray also in contention for a place in the Chase, it is doubtful that either Harvick or Jarrett will have a chance at winning a championship this season.
Aside from damaging other drivers’ chances at claiming a championship, the events that occurred at Bristol Motor Speedway may have damaged the sport for many weeks to come. Will there be any further actions taken among the drivers? Will Kevin Harvick or Ryan Newman look to earn payback on Dale Jarrett? Anything can happen in the next two weeks among these three drivers, and the results will have a large impact on the Chase for the Championship. Dale Jarrett has damaged his reputation after his actions Saturday night. Fans may now see him as a driver with no patience and a driver who will do anything he can to get some sort of payback.
Meanwhile, Matt Kenseth is now a serious contender for a place in the Chase. While the contenders for the championship have yet to be decided, it is likely that Jack Roush will have all five drivers gunning for this year’s title. Will fans really find enjoyment in watching a Chase with five of the ten drivers on the same team, or in seeing Jack Roush earn his third consecutive championship? Before Bristol, Jarrett and Harvick had decent chances at earning a place in the playoffs, and now they will most likely be contending for the eleventh place points position. I can’t imagine hearing a lot of positive feedback to a championship that will be contended among an entire multi-car race team.
So now that the Bristol banking is now silent until next season, it is time to look to California and Richmond to see who will be contending for the championship this year. Dale Jarrett’s actions may have ended any chances that he or Harvick had to make the Chase, and may also have put Ryan Newman in jeopardy of falling out of the Top 10. The events of the Bristol race have drastically affected the NASCAR world, with the fans losing respect for drivers, and the drivers losing respect for each other. And if anything, Bristol has left many wondering if Dale Jarrett can repair his reputation, or if he will be driving with a bulls-eye on his car for the next few weeks.
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caused him to fall three
positions in the standings.
I guess you didn’t notice how
he would drop in the points when
Newman wrecked him!