The Frontstretch: Fact or Fiction: Edwards A Sleeper, And Can Fixes "Fix" The Chase? by Mike Lovecchio -- Monday September 6, 2010

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Fact or Fiction: Edwards A Sleeper, And Can Fixes "Fix" The Chase?

Mike Lovecchio · Monday September 6, 2010


Your championship sleeper is officially Carl Edwards

Just when it seemed he was out of contention, Carl Edwards has mounted a comeback that makes him a driver to watch going into the Chase.

Every year there is that one driver who is the popular sleeper pick heading into the final ten races. Without a doubt that driver this year is Carl Edwards. He may be winless on the season, but don’t let that fool you. After barely holding onto that final 12th position heading to Daytona in July, all Edwards and the No. 99 team has done is reel off seven top 10s in the next eight races with a worst finish of 12th. Over that stretch Edwards has five top 5 finishes, including a second place run this weekend in Atlanta. The upcoming schedule solidifies Edwards’ status as a sleeper even more. As we saw in 2008, the Chase schedule favors the No. 99 team much as it does 4-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson and if they can run at the cookie-cutters much like they did prior to 2009 they just may have a shot.

Atlanta proved Sunday night why it deserves two dates

Sure the 2011 schedule has already come out and Atlanta will indeed have just the one Labor Day date, but fans were shown again Sunday night why Atlanta is one of the most exciting tracks on the circuit. It may have long green flag runs (what track doesn’t?), but as soon as the tires go it puts the race in the driver’s hands, something a lot of the cookie-cutters don’t, and the multi-groove surface adds a dimension of excitement you just don’t see every week. Each restart last night was incredible and all the way down to the closing laps you had no idea who was going to win. ESPN deserves an A+ as well for showing the competition throughout the field, including the Chase bubble drivers Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin and Ryan Newman. The racing was there, now if only we can get some butts in those seats we could see two races in Atlanta again in the future.

The top 12 drivers will remain the same following Richmond

Jamie McMurray needed a good run in Atlanta to reel in Clint Bowyer for the final Chase spot, but after recovering from a lap down in the final portion of the race, the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 champion couldn’t pull off a good enough run to position himself for a shot at the Sprint Cup too. McMurray’s 15th place finish and Clint Bowyer’s subsequent clutch seventh place run widens the gap to 117 points between the 12th and 13th positions in points and given Bowyer’s history at Richmond, it should be a wrap. In nine career starts at the short track, Bowyer has four top 10s and a win, and with that kind of margin he can afford to play it conservative. Unless he breaks, McMurray’s chances are slim at best, and even then the No. 1 team needs to lead laps and compete for a win. I’m not saying it can’t happen…I’m just saying it won’t.

The new rumored Chase format will “fix” the Chase

As rumored on Jayski this weekend there are two possible changes to the Chase format, both of which include 16 drivers starting the Chase with the field gradually being eliminated and points reset leading up to the series finale. The points will be reset before the final race, but the only question is whether two drivers or four will compete for the championship at Homestead. Brian France’s vision is to create excitement equivalent of a Game 7, but as we’ve seen in recent history any time the sanctioning body tries to copy the stick and ball sports, it’s backfired (i.e. any format of the Chase.) This is just another way for the series to drum up excitement, but again diehard fans and drivers will be left disappointed. What the drivers want, and what the majority of fans want is the ability to crown a champion based on a full season of work. That’s one of the reasons the original Chase never caught on and that’s why the new one won’t either.

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09/06/2010 10:05 AM

The “Chase” is unfixable. Get rid of it.

Will Jolie’s next movie be “Pepper”?

09/06/2010 10:46 AM

If Carl Edwards were to come back and “steal” the championship from Jimmie or Kevin, two things would happen. One, is that I would take my Carl Edwards flag, mount it on a pole, and drive around downtown Hamilton, Ontario with it flying out of my moonroof (A moonroof is a powered sunroof, as opposed to a sunroof, which is manually opened and closed), just like people do during the World Cup, or when the TiCats beat the Argos. And two, NASCAR, read Brian France, would be crucified by The Felon and the acursed chase would be gone in 2011! What am I saying? There will be no way NASCAR would let Edwards win the title. No way on earth! There would be penalties galore issued against him and the number 99 team to make sure of it! No, don’t worry! Jimmie’s fifth title is safe! And if he does win his fifth title, it will be the death of NASCAR for sure. There will be NASCAR in 2011, but that will be it!

09/06/2010 11:25 AM

Please,Please don’t go to elimination in the chase. The chase was a BAD idea to start with and will never work as intended. Sponsors will hate it and so will I.

09/06/2010 11:42 AM

Drop the chase!If Carl were to win the chase,It’d be GREAT!!

09/06/2010 12:14 PM

Gee, izzat tru? The differnce between a Sunroof and a Moonroof is that one is powered and one is not?

09/06/2010 12:38 PM

Oh great. Brain France’s ‘fix’ for the chase is to make it even more convoluted and artificial than it already is? For heaven’s sake, the leader at the end of 26 races now doesn’t even get a ‘home field’ advantage! No matter how much he wants to twist the tail on this donkey of an idea, it isn’t going to make anything better. All he has done is drain any excitement from the first 26 races of the season so that no one cares by race 27.

Michael in SoCal
09/06/2010 05:23 PM

The chase already has elimination built into it; once you cannot score enough points to win, you’re eliminated. The ten drivers in the chase need to be scored one to ten, since they are racing each other for the championship. They need a separate points system from the other 33 drivers.

09/06/2010 06:35 PM

I’m finally getting adjusted to the Chase & now they want to change it? How about some traditions being kept in Cup racing. Stop with these foolish rule changes, it will drive even more fans away.

09/06/2010 07:06 PM

GUESS it izzn’t tru or someone would have answered by now. Oh well, back to work tomorrow at Crane Poole and Schmidt

09/06/2010 07:48 PM


Dear Yahoo!:
What’s the difference between a sunroof and a moonroof?
Crawfordsville, Indiana

Dear Heather:
Having just gone through the long and drawn-out process of purchasing a new car and asking that very same thing, we here at Ask Yahoo! felt uniquely qualified to answer your question. According to the helpful salesman at our local car lot, the difference is in name alone.
Of course, we all know you can’t believe everything someone, especially a salesman, tells you, so we looked for confirmation. A search on “sunroof moonroof difference” promised to uncover the truth. Sure enough, the very first search result was a page of frequently asked questions from, a site “devoted to public awareness and education about automotive sunroofs.”

The answer?

“Sunroof” is the generic term used to describe an operable panel in a vehicle roof which can let in light and/or air. “Moonroof” is a term created by Ford in the 70s, yet is now used generically to describe glass panel inbuilt electric sunroofs.
Hmmm, so all moonroofs are sunroofs, yet not all sunroofs are moonroofs? We found further clarification — “sunroof” is the term originally used to describe a metal panel that would only allow light or air in when opened. A “moonroof,” on the other hand, is a glass panel that can allow light in even when it is closed (provided, of course, you slide back that nifty fabric-covered panel to expose the glass).

True sunroofs, those made just of metal, appear to have gone the way of 8-tracks in automobiles, and these days, most “sunroofs” are really “moonroofs” — panels of tempered glass, usually tinted, that tilt up to allow a flow of air, or slide back into the roof entirely, giving the car occupants a brief but tantalizing glimpse of life in a convertible.

09/06/2010 08:08 PM

Why doesn’t someone start a Facebook page to get rid of the Chase?

09/06/2010 09:25 PM

Did they call it the Chase because of all the fans it “chased” away? Cannot even fathom more eliminations and point resets part way through the chase.

old frmer
09/07/2010 01:35 AM

Ken—about the sunroof/moonroof thing: Does anyone really give a damn?

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