The Frontstretch: Of Dreams and Nightmares, A Chase Clinch Scenario by Jeff Meyer -- Friday November 18, 2011

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Of Dreams and Nightmares, A Chase Clinch Scenario

Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Friday November 18, 2011


As per the official NASCAR press release…

Only one finish guarantees Carl Edwards his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship; a victory in Sunday’s season-finale Ford 400. Just three points separate points leader #99-Carl Edwards and second-place #14-Tony Stewart, a margin so tight, no other finish would clinch the title for Edwards regardless of where Stewart finishes. Stewart owns the tie-breaker (best finishes), and therefore could tie and win his third series championship. All other drivers are officially eliminated from championship contention. Edwards’ three-point lead roughly translates to 13 points under the previous points system. That makes it the closest margin between first and second going into the final race in Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup history, and third-closest since the inception of the position-based points structure in 1975.

First of all, I must say, this press release sounds like it was written by Brian France himself. It would lead you to believe that the ONLY way Carl Edwards can win the Championship is to win the final race. That simply is not true. The other thing it does, albeit inadvertently, is point out the utter uselessness of France’s greatest creation; the Chase itself. I mean, why even bring up the old points system at all? But more on that in a moment.

As for dreams come true, obviously Edwards winning his first Championship is a big one. The way he has (possibly) done it however, will also create its own set of dreams for some and nightmares for others. Who’s having the dreams and who’s having the nightmares? Well, let’s take a look!

Tony Stewart is already a two-time Champion; in fact, he is the only man to have won a Cup is both the old and the new fake system. While Tony has made a great run these last ten races and possesses the so called tiebreaker of best finishes, should he wind up second fiddle, I don’t think he’s going to be all crushed and seek therapy like last year’s top contender, Denny Hamlin. So no nightmare per se for Tony. If he wins the darn thing, I suppose you could say it’s a dream come true seeing as how he would be a shoo-in for Hall of Fame status. Hey, they let Darrell Waltrip in, right?

So, who’s having the nightmares? Well, if MY dream comes true, Edwards will defy NASCAR’s orders and find a way to actually beat Stewart and win the Cup without winning the race. But wait! You say. I thought that couldn’t happen? Ah, but it can! And Brian France is desperately hoping it doesn’t happen, thus I suspect the misleading press release. This scenario would be a nightmare for Brian, although he will never admit it.

Do you remember? Have you been listening to me all year? How can anyone win a Cup by winning only one race? I thought Brian’s Chase was supposed to insure that no one could ever win a Cup in the despicable manner of Matt Kenseth in 2003? Thus the nightmare for NASCAR. It would not only invalidate the whole Chase system, but also call into the question the validity of Jimmie Johnson’s five in a row, a record that he wouldn’t even hold if the old points system were used. Hey, they brought up the old system first!

As for me, longtime readers know that Edwards is my personal favorite so, of course, I will be pulling for him. But even if he wasn’t, if his winning the Chase Cup with only one win would prove what I’ve been saying for nearly ten years… well, he would be from then on! (Besides, I picked him to win at the beginning of the year! Someone will owe me some money!)

Nothing personal, Tony, but you already got two!

Go 99!

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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Today on the Frontstretch:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
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Ancient Racer
11/18/2011 07:31 AM

Were I your editor I would strike this sentence as unnecessary, distracting and pedestrian (just like its subject): “Hey, they let Darrell Waltrip in, right?”

Death to Duckboy, btw

11/18/2011 10:11 AM

Hey sicko! Nice going, wishing death on a driver! Just for your sick, asinine comment, I hope Carl wins the title, if for no other reason, it’ll be fun reading all the crybaby Edwards haters comments on Monday!

11/18/2011 12:38 PM

Jeff, your article is WAY off the mark. The press release is right. Only a win GUARANTEES a title for Carl. Any other finish is dependent on what Tony does. Carl could finish 42nd and win the title, but only if Smoke finishes 43rd. The reverse is true, if Tony wins the race, Tony wins the Cup no matter what Carl does.

Whether you like DW or not, 84 wins and 3 championships is a Hall-of-Fame shoo-in resume and puts him solidly in the top 6 or 7 all-time drivers.

No matter who wins, the Chase still sucks


11/18/2011 02:36 PM

I hope Carl wins just to put another nail in the chase coffin.

Don Mei
11/18/2011 03:42 PM

OK Pete, I’m with you. I would rather see Stewart win because I think hes a complete race driver, capable of winning in any kind of car but if Edwards winning gets rid of the chase, so be it. I still wish the point spread were a bit wider so Tony could win but Edwards could finish second and claim the title. That would REALLY be fun for Brain to explain; how a guy wins 5 races and still doesnt win the coveted cup (whats the cups name? Winston? LOL)

11/18/2011 06:47 PM

Ya know,all you complainers,I for one am looking forward to the race Sunday. Granted the points system may not be the best but that is what we have. The consistency Carl has shown this year has been fantastic. I certainly think he would be a great Champion for us. Go Carl. Go Bob and the crew. Go 99!

Granted,the pts system has been interesting but to me it
proves by the consistency Carl has shown this year what a really good driver he is and he certainly should be our Champion this year.


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
Top Ten Reasons Fans Failed To Show Up At Bristol Sunday
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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.