The Frontstretch: Be Prepared, The Real Hype Starts AFTER Homestead by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday November 18, 2010

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Be Prepared, The Real Hype Starts AFTER Homestead

Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday November 18, 2010


This is a public service announcement provided to the real NASCAR fan by the author of this column.

Moments after the checkered flag flies this coming Sunday, you will be told what you have witnessed this past racing season.

You will be told that you have been privy to perhaps the most exciting and thrilling NASCAR championship in modern history.

You will be told that you, the fan, begged for this finish and that NASCAR, or more importantly, Brian France, has given you exactly what you have asked for.

The odds are against Kevin Harvick heading to Homestead this year, but under the old points format, he would already be crowned your 2010 Cup champion.

You will be told that this year will go down in history as the crown jewel of France’s reign as King.

You will be told that the future of the sport you love is vibrant and thriving, despite what radical, right-wing, gonzo journalists like myself are publishing.

What you won’t be told, among other things, is this set of facts:

Denny Hamlin was eliminated from contention after Texas. Jimmie Johnson was eliminated this past week in Phoenix. Kevin Harvick is your 2010 Cup Champion (under the old points format, of course).

How do you like being told what you think?

Actually, you don’t have to wait until Sunday at all to get a head start on finding out what you believe. Sympathetic articles, such as this one by editor, Bob Henry, will get you started.

As you can see, Mr. Henry does point out some of the finer points of exactly what most of you have been saying for quite some time now. Unfortunately, as he states in his closing statements, the problem is not NASCAR, but rather, a communication problem. (Seems kind of ironic to me, seeing as how the sport’s title sponsor’s very business is communication!) Anyways, his point is you have not been giving them a chance. Maybe you should after this next race!

As longtime readers know, I am the first to yell when things go wrong and when things go right. I have applauded recent NASCAR decisions such as double-file restarts, green-white-checker finishes (not three of them, though) and more uniform start times. Conversely, I have also pointed out to you that while these changes ARE good, it was, and is, a frantic effort to stop a mass exodus by millions of fans who are tired of the general BS that NASCAR, under the direction of Brian France, has become.

Yes, there has been some very good races of late, but let me ask you… for I, unlike those in the ivory towers, see and read all your comments and I trust your judgment… don’t you think the racing would have been just as good without having to crown another possible fake champion? I say “possible” because if Harvick can pull it off, he will truly be the real Champion, despite NASCAR’s best efforts. He is, after all, only the guy who has scored the most points all season.

So be forewarned. Brian France and company are going to show you how they have carved a beautiful rose out of a hardened turd this season, and yes, it sure does look nice sometimes! However, I applaud all of you who do take the time to write and email and have the guts (and audacity) to see the “rose” for what is really is.

I trust you all to make your own decisions. Someday, we will get our sport back. Your views, through the mighty voice of your dollars staying in your wallets and the clicking of your remote controls IS being heard. And if NASCAR has to go to great lengths to convince you that you have just seen a fantastic season, seems to me that the “failure to communicate” is on their end, not ours!

Congratulations to Kevin Harvick!

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

Contact Jeff Meyer

Thursday on the Frontstretch:
MPM2Nite: Handicapping The Chasers
Dialing It In: Logano Lurking In The Shadows
Fanning the Flames: Junior’s Chief, ‘Dinger’s Future, Ragan’s Security & More
Fantasy Insider: Gordon Must Win To Keep Streak Alive

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Racing to the Point: NASCAR Has Its Own Heartbreak Kid
Beyond the Cockpit: Brittany Force, the Fastest Force
Voices from the Cheap Seats: Advertising for Dummies
Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Off Week-Richmond Edition
Couch Potato Tuesday: Picking The Best IndyCar On-Air Personalities


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MJR in Springfield Va
11/18/2010 08:20 AM

The old adage of “if you build it they we come” in the case of NA$CAR should be joined with “and if you destroy it they will leave.” Over the first 40 years of its existence, NA$CAR built one hell of a sport. Something the “average” American loved. He ate it, breathed it, and lived it. Over the last 10 years of some muck-it-dee-muck in NA$CAR has managed starve us, strangle us, and damn near kill-off every last one of us.

You are right Jeff come Sunday afternoon we will be told how great this season was. But if it was that great why should some talking head have to tell me that. One race is not going to change me, or thousands of other folks either. And one season with a fairly decent points race is not going to do it either. NA$CAR has just about bottomed out…and every time I think or say that, they go and proved me wrong again. I’m counting on them to hold up their stellar record again next year.

11/18/2010 08:52 AM

MJR, you are 100% right.

If Kevin Harvick wins on Sunday, it will be a complete accident, and brian france will make sure it can never happen again. After all, he didn’t force this crap onto us, just to see his dad’s champion win.

11/18/2010 09:35 AM

I want the Chase gone too, but considering the tweaks being proposed, just leave it alone. If we have to stick with the format then they need to have the Chase seedings reflect regular season finish again like 2004-6 + win bonus. I did read where 15 drivers is a real possibility for next year. This is a joke. It’s the NASCAR equivalent of the elementary school participation award, and you know what Jr. will still miss the Chase. If anything they need to cut back to 10 drivers with maybe some qualifier for multiple race winners. Other than that leave it alone because it seems NASCAR only wants to gimmick it up more.

11/18/2010 12:06 PM

You are 100% right, Jeff! If anyone doubts that the talking heads will be touting just how exciting this chase has been, just play back the recordings of the past few races and see how many times they spewed about “how close the points now are”. What a joke! An idiotic, disgusting joke. You know, even though he is not “my driver”, there is no way anyone can tell me that Harvick doesn’t deserve this title. He was there, week-in and week-out, either at or near the top. How many finishes in the 30’s did Hamster have? Congratulations indeed to Kevin Harvick: 2010 WINSTON CUP CHAMPION! (Since this very same thing happened to my wife’s driver, Jeff Gordon, a few years ago, I was seriously considering having T-shirts made up stating: Jeff Gordon: 6-time Winston Cup Champion!) After all, Gordo actually led by more than 400 points before Brain Farce made them magically disappear. I will never, never accept a system that degrades a participant’s accomplishments during the “regular season” to the point that their points are randomly taken away. Ridiculous! All I can do is sincerely hope that Harvick takes the “Have at it boys” to heart and pushes both Hamlin and Johnson into the wall on the way to his big win. I hate to say that, as I don’t condone that kind of driving, but in this case, it would be MOST appropriate.

Bill B
11/18/2010 12:36 PM

I’m sure ESPN and NASCAR’s management already have their stories written. Now you know where political speech writers go after the election is over.

Don Mei
11/18/2010 01:03 PM

I just read Henry’s article. Talk about in-house propaganda! Seems we malcontents who have honest, well thought out suggestions for improving the sport shouldn’t be listened too! Good article Jeff, but I disagree with you about Harvick. If the chase did not exist, the strategies, tactics and finishes of the other major teams would have been very different over the first 26 races. Its really difficult to draw any conclusions. It is another reason to dump the damn chase!

Kevin in SoCal
11/18/2010 01:10 PM

I just shake my head at the idea that crowning Harvick the champion last week is more exciting and better than having three drivers with a chance to win the championship this week.

And I agree with Craig’s point that the 2004-2006 Chase seeding were better than the 2007-2010 seedings. I would like to see the drivers seeded by their standing after Richmond, separate them by 10,20,30,etc points, and THEN add the 10 point bonus per win. The leader after Race 26 needs to have some kind of bonus, too, like getting first pit stall selection during the last 10 Chase races.

Rob in central Illinois
11/18/2010 01:50 PM

I agree as well Jeff. Although not a fan of the chase I do believe that the chase, if it worked as planned, should create more drama. But as we have seen in the past has not. This year is an exception. I am sure that the “playoff” system was put in place to gain more “TV Money”, however if the people who make the decisions in NASCAR would just focus on us who are NASCAR they would vault themselves back to the great sport that it once was. I am still a fan, just concerned about the future path of the sport.

11/19/2010 02:43 AM

Good article but you could have posted the title only. It spoke mountains itself!


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

Voices From The Cheap Seats: The Tale Of Two Tires
BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
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Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.