The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Camping World RV 400 by Matt McLaughlin -- Monday September 22, 2008

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Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Camping World RV 400

Matt McLaughlin · Monday September 22, 2008

 

The Key Moment: With eight laps to go, Greg Biffle finally got around the outside of teammate Matt Kenseth to take the lead.

In a Nutshell: If you surfed away to catch a local football game, you missed the greatest finish to a Cup race this season — the stuff of legends.

Dramatic Moment: The last 45 laps were gripping stuff, with three and sometimes as many as five drivers going after it hammer and tongs for the lead. There were fenders banging, tires smoking, and fans on their feet… if only the magic could have lasted for the final five laps.

What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week

So, how come disgruntled fans still tune in every week if they’re so dissatisfied, some of the newer fans want to know? A day like today is why. Every once in a great while, things still work out like they’re supposed to — I just wish it happened more often. All together now: “Like back in the good old days…”

I’m not ready to completely write off Kyle Busch’s chances at a title yet, but after two terrible races, it’s going to take a Herculean effort that people would be discussing for decades.

NASCAR took a tentative step forward into the 21st century this weekend with their announcement of a random drug testing policy to be implemented next year. Those subject to random tests include drivers, crew members, and NASCAR officials at most racing events throughout the ’09 schedule. My gut tells me the first to fail will be Brian France, who will then flee into his condo and deny he ever peed in a cup despite the obvious evidence of the Car of Sorrow. It seems curious that NASCAR won’t release the list of banned substances they’ll be testing for — and as a reminder to Cup drivers and crew members, Nyquil is on it.

For those of you who, with varied levels of amusement, still think Dover Delaware is some backwards hole in the wall outpost kept alive by an air base and soy beans, try thinking of Dover Downs as the Philadelphia-land speedway instead. Oh, and about those allegations of boring, one lane racing at Dover…

I’m local, so I have to say given the absolutely perfect weather on Saturday, the attendance at the Nationwide race on Saturday was absolutely pitiful. NASCAR really needs to revamp their Triple A series before it flatlines.

I may be guilty of commenting on it myself too often the last few weeks, but when it comes to scanning team transmissions during a race, motorsports fans enjoy an immediate access not available in other sports. So, when drivers and crew chiefs get a bit snippy or profane over the radio during an event, I suppose that’s their right to do so. I remember back in the day on the warmup laps, a member of the 3 team driven by Dale Earnhardt would welcome fans scanning the team’s frequency to the race, but then add that the conversations would be rated R and perhaps unsuitable for the kids in the stands.

With that in mind, I think NASCAR should never consider penalizing a driver or team member for cussing over the radio if that comment is inadvertently broadcast on TV. After all, it’s the network’s responsibility to have someone with a quick finger on the bleep key. And to those drivers complaining about what’s being said about their radio comments in the media, yes, you are free to say whatever you want — but we’re free to say whatever we want about those comments as well.

I think maybe I am beginning to understand the madness behind the actions of the NASCAR brass. Perhaps they’re thinking that if, in their greed, they screw things up so badly they start losing money, the Federal Government will step in with a billion dollar bailout to save them.

Doesn’t it seem that when a NASCAR commercial features fans in Jeff Gordon garb they’re all either female or under the age of six years old? It must be tough to be an adult male Jeff Gordon fan.

Two NASCAR officials suspended after the Mauricia Grant racial and sexual harassment suit was filed have now been fired. Initially, NASCAR said there was no substance to Ms. Grant’s allegations, which makes this development curious. A separate lawsuit has now been filed by a former black male employee of NASCAR saying he was discriminated against due to his race and marital status. But in the suit, this fellow admits he got into a heated argument with a fellow employee and threatened to stab him in far more colorful terms. OK, I support the Grant lawsuit, but this fellow has no real gripe. I don’t care how heated the argument — and I’ve been in some pretty nasty ones with fellow employees over the years — you simply cannot threaten to do them grave bodily harm. The race, religion, gender, or sexuality of the two combatants has nothing to do with it. You simply can’t threaten to “cut” someone and not lose your job. We’ve seen too many workplace tragedies in recent years to allow that.

Speaking of Jeff Gordon, I no longer see that there’s any question he’ll compete for this year’s title (he won’t) but the question is whether he can win a Cup race this season to keep his fourteen year victory streak alive (he might).

Speaking of commercials, with their direct involvement in killing the first muscle car boom and their stressing of safe driving, does anyone else find it odd a new commercial for a car insurance company features Kevin Harvick doing doughnuts in a quiet suburban cul-de-sac in front of impressionable children? Just get caught doing that in your old Trans Am by the cops, and guess what would happen to your insurance rates…

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

The way he was driving, you just knew Robby Gordon was eventually going to take out one of the leaders. He finally got around to running into Jamie McMurray, who had a Top 5 car much of the race and desperately needed a good run. Someone desperately needs to run Gordon out of the sport.

Kyle Busch’s car was loaded up in the hauler before the Cup race at Dover was even halfway over. The way things are going these days, his championship hopes appear headed for a similar fate.

Kyle Busch’s title hopes took a hard hit when he lost an engine before the halfway point of the race. It was only the second engine failure for one of the JGR teams this Cup season.

Denny Hamlin’s chances went awry with a leaking rear end, and we all know how embarrassing that can be.

David Reutimann enjoyed a strong run until he was hit with a one lap penalty for pitting out of the pit box late in the race on his final stop.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. spent another long afternoon floundering around after blowing a tire and damaging his right side quarter panel.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

After a lackluster season, back-to-back wins by Greg Biffle to start the Chase has to be considered a major shock. It does indeed still appear to be a three way battle for this year’s title — only Biffle might be in the mix instead of Kyle Busch.

Radio transmissions by the No. 16 team midway through the race seemed to indicate that Biffle was seeing smoke from Carl Edwards’ car that indicated a potential imminent engine failure; but in the end, no mechanical gremlins spoiled Edwards’ third place run.

Jimmie Johnson found himself right in the midst of other drivers’ wrecks several times, but managed to steer clear of the mayhem on his way to a fifth place finish. A timely caution flag on lap 291 also put Johnson back in the hunt when it appeared he might have to make one more stop than his competitors.

Michael Waltrip enjoyed a strong tenth place finish. No, I’m not sure how that happened, either — but I bet NASCAR checked the intake manifold on the No. 55 car after the race.

Jack Roush enjoyed a good day at Dover with cars he owned finishing first, second, and third. Richard Childress also had to be pretty happy, seeing all three of his title contending cars finished ninth or better. Joe Gibbs… well, at least the Redskins won.

Mark Martin had a stellar run on Sunday. Even while the TV network involved was trying to paint the finish of the race as a three man battle between teammates, Martin was there in the mix right until the end.

Worth Noting

  • Four drivers (Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle) have combined to win the last eleven Cup races.
  • Biffle posted back-to-back Cup wins for the first time in his career. He didn’t miss by much midway through the 2005 season, though, winning two of three races with victories in Dover and Michigan. By the end of that year, he wound up finishing second in the Chase to Tony Stewart.
  • Matt Kenseth’s second place finish was his best of the 2008 Cup season.
  • Carl Edwards has finished third his last two times out in a Cup car.
  • Jeff Burton (ninth) has strung together three straight Top 10 finishes for the first time this year since the Coca-Cola 600, the first Dover race, and Pocono.
  • Mark Martin (fourth) has managed Top 10 finishes in his last four outings in a Cup car.
  • Jimmie Johnson (fifth) has strung together four straight Top 5 finishes.
  • Kevin Harvick (sixth) is on a roll with eight straight Top 10 finishes.
  • Jeff Gordon (seventh) has just three Top 10 and two Top 5 finishes in the last eight Cup races.
  • Michael Waltrip (tenth) earned his best Cup finish since Loudon, and his second Top 10 Cup result of the season.
  • Dave Blaney (12th) had his best finish since the last Dover race.
  • Bobby Labonte (14th) had his second straight Top 15 finish, the first time that’s happened since Loudon and Daytona in June/July.
  • The Top 10 finishers at Dover drove three Fords, six Chevys, and a Toyota. Ryan Newman in 13th was the highest ranking Dodge wheelman.
  • Michael McDowell in 29th had the best finish at Dover of any of this year’s rookie candidates. Whoever is crowned this year’s ROTY will likely be wearing one of those gold cardboard crowns they hand out to unruly kids at the local Burger King just to quiet the little monsters.

What’s the Points?

Carl Edwards now leads the standings by ten markers over Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle. Johnson and Biffle are tied as far as a points total, but Johnson has the advantage with four wins compared to Biffle’s two.

Kevin Harvick had a great day in the points, moving up five positions to fifth in the standings. His teammate Jeff Burton advanced one spot to fourth. Jeff Gordon climbed three spots to eighth, while Matt Kenseth took two steps out of the cellar to tenth.

On the other end of the spectrum, Kyle Busch tumbled four spots in the standings to 12th despite having won the most races this season. He’s gone from first to last in just two weeks. His teammate Denny Hamlin fell five spots to 11th, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. also fell five spots to wind up ninth in the standings.

Outside the Chase, Kasey Kahne holds onto 13th place, just 35 points ahead of David Ragan.

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — I’ll give this one five and a half bottles of icy cold Corona with a Captain Morgan chaser. The race loses half a bottle for a long, drawn out middle section with not much happening, and the anti-climax of the final five laps.

Next Up: Hey, Toto, it’s back off to Kansas for an event most fans look forward to like a prostate exam. But hey, they’re getting a casino on the premises, so maybe soon we can look forward to two Kansas events a year where the Cup drivers make like Keebler Elves and tackle the cookie cutter.

Contact Matt McLaughlin

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MilChad
09/22/2008 07:44 AM
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Now that was what NASCAR racing should be like. Dover and Richmond so far were the best races of the year.

Douglas
09/22/2008 08:01 AM
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NA$CAR must be regurgitating in it’s own rhetoric right now!

NA$CAR wants the drivers to be “vanilla”, smile for the cameras boys,, say only good things about the sick CoT boys, no fighting boys! No throwing the helmets boys, no temper tantrums boys, show no emotions boys!

Now having stripped their “bad boy” of all his points, he who now sits in 12th place in the Chase, you know, the driver you could stand around the water cooler all day long discussing his antics and driving ability, and how much people may hate him!

NOW! We have the “vanilla” in the spotlight, yep, REAL vanilla, as in “oh, Greg Biffle won the race, oh, well, I have to get back to work”!

(now, now, don’t be jumping to conclusions, this is not a knock on Biffle, thank you)

BUT! It is a knock on NA$CAR because when their fan base is dwindling, and they try to introduce “funny” & “strange” things to the sport, I.E., the CoT, The Chase! They, NA$CAR now must put up with the mundane and un-exciting! And thus we the fans suffer greatly!

Sure, Greg Biffle deserved to win the race! Sure Greg Biffle is a good driver!

BUT! Greg Biffle is not going to create conversation and excitement enough to draw more fans to the track each and every weekend!

“You want me to spend $500 to go see if Greg Biffle can win three in a row”??

Are you serious?

I have suggested to my local ice cream parlor that they need to offer a “NA$CAR SUNDAE”! The owner asked what it would be?

I responded, plain vanilla with just a couple of nuts on top!

How boring!

Jim
09/22/2008 08:25 AM
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Douglas;

NASCAR stripped the #18 of all his points?

I think it was the Gibbs chassis department in Loudon and their engine department in Dover that stripped him of his points, not NASCAR.

Fine race, and a good column, Matt.

Douglas
09/22/2008 08:51 AM
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Hey Jim, now, now!

You know full well what I meant when I said “they stripped him of all his points”!

When the “chase” started, the playing field was leveled, and brought the most exciting, win or nothing driver, “back in to the fold” with their phony, positively PHONY Chase points system!

Oh, great, really great 28 races into the season and we FINALLY have a thriller!

Does Indianapolis ring a bell?

You know, 8 laps at a time, then throw the yellow!

So at seasons end, the hardest charging, most exiting driver, the driver with the MOST WINS, is not even on the scoreboard!

THAT’S MY POINT!

Thank you!

Bill B
09/22/2008 09:08 AM
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Douglas,
I suppose Biffle could show up naked next week and that would give you something to talk about. That’s part of the problem in my opinion, we don’t need sensationalism. Just like we don’t need the manufactured excitement of the chase. If it takes controversy for you to enjoy the race then maybe you should look elsewhere.

Douglas
09/22/2008 09:19 AM
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Hey Bill B, no, controversy is NOT what I was talking about or even referring to! It is “HARD DRIVING GO FOR THE WIN” is what motor racing usually (until the chase that is)is, or should be, about!

So in your mind it is indeed proper that a driver with EIGHT, count’em, 8 WINS, is no longer on the scoreboard because in essence those “wins”, or the points anyway, have been stripped from that driver? So now we (they actually) are going to crown a “seasons” chumpion, based on the taking away valid points, and creating a very short “season”, that will ultimately decide who ends up on top?

Certainly not the best “season long” car/driver for sure!

Douglas
09/22/2008 09:29 AM
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And, lest I forget, “The way he was driving, you just knew Robby Gordon was eventually going to take out one of the leaders. He finally got around to running into Jamie McMurray, who had a Top 5 car much of the race and desperately needed a good run. Someone desperately needs to run Gordon out of the sport.”

Isn’t Robby running as hard as he can to “qualify” for NEXT YEARS DAYTONA 500?

In yet another sick NA$CAR scenario, the starting field for the next years Daytona 500, you know, the race they call their “SUPER BOWL” of racing, (and gee, I thought the chumpionship was decided the last race of the year, not the first, boy, am I ever confused)!

So each and every point gained by Robby, & others, is VITAL to making “THE BIG SHOW?

NEXT YEAR?

How funny is that one!

No, lets give Robby and all the others in a similar position their due, because he knows what happens this year reflects on the starting field NEXT YEAR!

HUH! I even have a hard time writing about that scenario I am laughing so much!

PontiacGuy
09/22/2008 09:40 AM
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As long as those ricer motors keep on grenading, it will be a good day for NASCAR.

john
09/22/2008 09:53 AM
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As usual, the REAL racetracks bring out the REAL racing. That was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.

Mark
09/22/2008 10:45 AM
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I was there…. thanks goodness for the occaisional breeze that blew through the stands. I was at Richmond too, and that was HOT. But, those were 2 of the best races this year. Too bad they can’t all be that way. The stands were about 85% full, there were tons of tickets on sale outside the track, and we saw the whole race and were out and away from the track in under 30 minutes. Great day.

And this was the 2nd race for my two boys – 10 and 15. The said… “they had a great time” – “was so much better than on TV” – “would love to go to another” Are you listening NA$CAR… there are young and upcoming fans out there….. don’t blow it for them – or me!

Bill B
09/22/2008 10:55 AM
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Douglas,
To answer your question “So in your mind it is indeed proper that a driver with EIGHT, count’em, 8 WINS, is no longer on the scoreboard because in essence those “wins”, or the points anyway, have been stripped from that driver? “

I am a 24 fan. Knowing that what do you think my opinion is of the Chase? I’ll give you a hint (6 time champion).

Jim
09/22/2008 11:14 AM
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OK, Douglas, have it your way.

But even if we were operating under the old format, your boy would still be 33 points down and falling like a rock….check our Jayski’s “Classic Points” for verification.

rjh
09/22/2008 12:22 PM
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Loved watching the Roush Guys gang up on the convicted felons car, watching him go from 1st to fourth in a heartbeat…. But I really enjoyed watching Traitor joe gibbs Asian car puff its way to 43rd. joe, kyle & his fans are a disgrace to America.

marshall
09/22/2008 12:23 PM
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I’ll take all of the Robby Gordons i can get in NASCAR . Theres way too many “ Ken Dolls “ already . If Robby wants to race hard against every car on every lap , bless him for the effort .
Goodyear should start paying the announcers under the table like Snoko does . They never , never miss mentioning what brand of gasoline goes in the cars , along with very strange camera angles to get the gasoline sign in the background of interviews . I don’t believe i heard one single reference to the brand of tire on the pit stops . Don’t you just love announcers who are for sale . Makes you wonder if they’re really telling you the truth or whether they’re telling you what they have been paid to tell you and leaving out what they haven’t been paid for .
Excellent race for the win . Dover is usually a pretty good race anyway , but this one was a barnburner at the end .
Boy , it sure was lucky that the caution came out just in the nick of time to save Jimmy Johnson . And a debris caution at that . Sure was a lucky coincidence .
There should be some very worried , no , terrified drivers after the announced drug test policy by NASCAR . After the criminal bungling , lying ,and fraud that Tim Richmond was forced to endure , no drivers career is safe in the hands of NASCAR and their “ doctors “ .

Ariana
09/22/2008 01:06 PM
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Douglas, You contradict yourself so obviously that it’s actually pretty funny. On the one hand you complain about Nascar introducting ‘funny’ and ‘strange’ things into the sport and how it’s coming back to bite them. I agree.

Yet on the other hand you complain about the so-called vanilla drivers. That puts you squarely in the demographic that Na$car is targeting when they come up with lame ideas like The Chase and the Lucky Dog rule. Na$car panders to the fans who need WWE-style gimmicks and ‘controversial’ drivers to hold their very limited attention spans.

Vanilla, chocolate or strawberry, who cares?? Real fans want to see good hard racing. I’m not interested in whether or not a driver fits your definition of entertaining.

Plenty of fans are capable of appreciating the more subtle yet equally passionate and determined personalities of a Greg Biffle or a Matt Kenseth. Kenseth in particular has a hilarious dry wit which evidently you are oblivious to or don’t have the mental acuity to appreciate. There is a depth to their personalities, it’s not all “in your face”. But if it’s not loud and obvious it’s not going to appeal to the water cooler set. So much the better for the rest of us.

I like Kyle, and I hate the Chase. So we’re basically on the same page. But you lose me when you start mocking class acts like Biffle and Kenseth.

MilChad
09/22/2008 01:14 PM
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According to Jayski, if we were still using the classic point system, we’d have a barn burner of a championship on our hands without the need of the effing Chase.

Douglas
09/22/2008 01:34 PM
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Hey Jim, minor correction to your numbers: tied at the top with 3978 “classic” points would be Kyle & Cousin Carl, followed by Johnson with 3916, & Jr. with 3739. Just for the record, maybe Jayski changed something? who knows?

But the real crux of the matter is the format for the “chase” itself. Of all the really great possibilities of creating excitement for a “playoff” format, Brian and his band of drunks sure missed the boat on this one! BIG TIME!

First, don’t really think anything special needed to be done in the first place!

Second, why on earth couldn’t the “original”, or classic points system be tweaked, rather than just thrown out?

The whole idea of 12 cars racing for the chumpionship over a 10 race schedule might have been good IF!! And I say IF? They only raced themselves, 12 cars, the best wins the chumpionship!

That would be a real playoff format, not “contaminated” by having 31 other cars on the track at the same time! Have two races on a Sunday!

(then we won’t have people blaming Robby Gordon for taking points away from them)

What other sport “eliminates” teams from the championship rounds, through the regular season, BUT then still allows those non-qualifiers to continue playing in the playoffs?

How sick would that be?

In “normal” playoff systems, as the playoffs progress, teams are simply dropped from competition as they lose! The winners survive and the champion decided on head to head competition between two (2) teams/drivers!

Not in our beloved NA$CAR! No sirree sir! Even at the VERY LAST RACE, ALL TEAMS ARE STILL COMPETING, and a “back-marker”, one who had been “eliminated” some 10 races ago, can still help determine who the chumpion might be! Either by taking finishing points away, or by causing/being involved in an accident!

THE CHASE” makes no sense whatsoever! NONE! ZERO! NADA!

And so we have a driver, driven to win, and actually winning 8 races thus far, sitting last in chase points, and actually sitting in the points behind FOUR (4) drivers who have not won a race!

HUH?

And for Arriana, I am not mocking anyone, (Brian France excepted), and thoroughly appreciate the talents of the Kenseth’s & the Biffles! My point is, NA$CAR is trying to ‘attract” more fans (to replace those finally giving up on the sport) and are (they, NA$CAR) introducing “gimmicks” to try and attract newer fans!

So, my point is, if a “newer” fan was to watch a Biffle, or a Kenseth, win a couple of races, would this be enough to grab that fan’s attention and get him hooked for life?

Me thinks not! why do you think Dale Sr.s legacy is still alive and kicking? Because he was a “vanilla” driver?

Why do you think in the old days, the stands were packed with fans? To see “vanilla” drivers?

Oh sure, everyone loves Mark Martin, good stuff, but did he ever pack the stands? NOPE! Good? Yes, but way to “vanilla”!

Gee, I hope that made sense of things, at least my way of “sense”!

Nice also to have a column you can get your arms around and “discuss”!!

alan4s
09/22/2008 01:43 PM
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As Douglas mentioned, Robby was racing hard for the future of his team. It was really McMary’s spotter who was at fault. Robby had been running the high line all day, and was consistently loose off of the corners. Anyone who had payed any attention at all to him could have seen it. There’s no way McMary’s spotter should have had him passing Robby on the outside.

Ariana
09/22/2008 02:18 PM
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Douglas, I still don’t understand your point. You said that Na$car is resorting to stupid gimmicks to attract more fans. Check.

Then you go on and on about drivers like Earnhardt who put fans in the stands. Check.

OK, now what would you like to see happen — have NASCAR give the ‘colorful’ drivers special equipment or some other competitive advantage over the so-called vanilla drivers? I mean, what is your remedy? Have only ‘colorful’ drivers compete in cup?

The cup drivers represent all personality styles, and that’s the way it should be. Should Na$car hold back the low-key guys who don’t seek the spotlight?

I really think that the word ‘vanilla’— used in this context — is very subjective. I don’t find Biffle and Kenseth vanilla at all. I find them smart and interesting. And I find the Tony Stewart’s of the world obnoxious and boring. So there you have it. One person’s trash is another’s treasure.

I think the single most important thing Na$car needs to change is its image as a pseudo-sport. It has lost a great deal of credibility and respect due to unequal enforcement of rules, blatant driver favoritism (which apparently, you would support as long as the favored driver were a headline grabber)…idiotic ideas like the Lucky Dog rule and of course the hated Chase…mystery cautions, scripted endings…I could go on. Outside of Nascar’s fan base the sport is viewed very much with the same degree of respect as WWE. And that is Nascar’s biggest problem, not lack of headline grabbing personalities.

Graceann
09/22/2008 02:26 PM
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Douglas, My driver (Kahne)did not make the chase while others with no wins get continue on. Was I mad? You bet I was, did it make a difference? No, Kahne would be sitting 9th in points right now had he made the chase. Complain all you want but the fact is there are others out here that feel we have been cheated too, so cry in your own beer. It won’t do any good.

Michael
09/22/2008 03:02 PM
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You’re right , there aren’t very many Jeff Gordon fans who aren’t under 12 years old and/or female . Most of us are fans of real drivers .

Rocky
09/22/2008 03:26 PM
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Let’s add to the excitement of the Chase for Douglas. When you go a lap down, park it!!! Only lead lap cars can run the Chase races. How exciting would Dover have been to be sitting there watching 16 cars race at the end?!? Suit you Douglas?

Kevin in SoCal
09/22/2008 04:08 PM
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MilChad, three drivers in contention for the championship is a “barn-burner” to you, instead of 12 drivers (well, 10 realistically now) ? I guess my definition of barn-burner is different than yours. I like the idea of the Chase, I just dont like the way its implemented. And it certainly would not have been a barn burner last year. Jeff Gordon would have locked it up with three races to go. That’s only exciting if you’re a Jeff Gordon fan.

Douglas
09/22/2008 04:56 PM
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Lets see now, how to respond to the various points (which are well taken by the way, well mostly well taken anyway).

First, to Arianna, “OK, now what would you like to see happen — have NASCAR give the ‘colorful’ drivers special equipment or some other competitive advantage over the so-called vanilla drivers? I mean, what is your remedy? Have only ‘colorful’ drivers compete in cup?”

Nope, but let the “colorful” drivers speak their piece, and show emotion at times! Don’t threaten them in drivers meetings “shut up about the CoT” as happened in Michigan, or “off to the NA$CAR Hauler” for your tirade!

These drivers put their life on the line each and every weekend, BUT the powers to be at NA$CAR disallow ANY comments even after a driver hits the wall at 200MPH! Or just “vanilla” comments anyway! Isn’t driving a race car at times “emotional”, either good or bad?

And what did NA$CAR tell Tony Stewart, your favorite driver, after he criticised GOODYEAR BOMBS, ERR, TIRES, that were used at Atlanta!

SHUT UP TONY!

And then along came Indianapolis! BINGO! 5 lap tires, 10 if you went slow!

But oh no, Tony is called on the carpet for criticizing GOODYEAR, AFTER being on a track with tires that would simply, and without warning EXPLODE! Please, watch the races!

BUT! The real point of using the term “vanilla”, is this does not fill the stands, never has, never will! It takes the Dale Sr.‘s of the world, and the DW’s, and the Cale Yarbroughs to show the emotion, to fight for their rights each and every Sunday. This is what brings the fans in, good racing, tough racing, racing with emotions! And showing same!

And your, “not lack of headline grabbing personalities”! HUH?

NA$CAR lacks “headline personalities”, big time! Sure, we the old “core” fan hate the “CHASE”, and the “COT”! But add to that, drivers not allowed to speak their mind,drivers that go out each and every Sunday and just find a comfortable place to race, (kinda like Jr. does) collect all the “safe” points he can, and we have a formula for disaster!

And, for Graceann, I use Kyle as an example, not because I am a fan of his. I am just pointing out the fallacy of the current “chase” format.

I think most fans (at least in my mind anyway) want a champion that drives hard & wins races! No matter the name! Lets not throw out the baby with the bath water!

And further, if we have 12 cars in the chase, racing against each other, then how can the 12th place “chase finisher”, (i.e., Kyle Busch) only end up with 43 place points? Because “non=chase” cars are continuing to run and influence the championship!

And for Rocky, that’s something I stated not long ago! It is like the old “australian pursuit” races, once passed, your out! But seriously, does it really make sense that NA$CAR selects 12 cars to compete for a championship, but EVERYONE is still on the track?

And in closing this fine segment, do you find it strange, that it is the 28th race of the year before anyone see’s a “good race”?? What happened to the other 27 races?

Well, I guess if your a Brian France fan, one (1) good race out of twenty-eight (28), ain’t bad!

We have certainly waited a long, long time for one!

RJ
09/22/2008 05:04 PM
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Maybe NFL players should still be wearing leather helmets, maybe modern hockey goalies are wimps because they wear safety masks. NASCAR changed the rules a few years ago to the chase format and everyone knew after race 26 the points were reset and they were seeded with 10pts for every win. If Nascar went down last race and took a hammer and broke the heim joint or dropped a screw down the carb yesterday to damage the engine then maybe you could blame them but they didn’t. NE Patriots had a killer season but too bad so sad NY beat them. On the issue of Robby Gordon, last I look he was racing, not skiing, not bowling, not ballroom dancing but racing the other people on the track. Yes he got loose and got into Jamie, not like Jamie should be complaining since he has taken people out left and right. I guess it is like Kyle racing JR and getting loose and taking JR out, it’s called racing, you are supposed to be racing all the others on the track. Bradshaw once said if you can’t tackle the QB put a dress on them, should be make the chase drivers wear dresses!!!

Tim
09/22/2008 05:31 PM
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Yeah Michael and Matt. Explain how Gordon is 2nd in merch sales and tends to finish 2nd in the popular driver standings every season. Must be a lot of 6 year olds using their Visas and clicking that website.

Connie
09/22/2008 05:51 PM
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I still think if this Chase has to exist that Nascar should split the races in half and have two races. The 1st being the Chase Drivers only and then the 2nd race the non chase drivers. That would force the chase drivers to race hard at all times and not have to deal with the non chase drivers. It could get pretty interesting.

What other sport has the teams who didn’t make it in the playoffs, world series, Super Bowl and etc.?

Now the rookies will be thrown in also to see how much damage they can do. What a joke. The Championship drivers deserve to have their own race. (If we must have the Chase.) Your local tracks have heat races and then only the best move on.

I have also read KB would be 2nd in points somewhere besides in Jayski.

SallyB
09/22/2008 06:06 PM
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Amazing how a track designed for stock cars (not Indy cars) makes for better racing, isn’t it? As to why disgruntled fans keep watching? Well, it’s like the little kid digging thru the pile of horse manure in his front yard on his birthday saying, “There’s got to be a pony under there somewhere!” At Dover, race fans found the pony.

Battiman
09/22/2008 07:52 PM
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1. The only thing “colorful” about “Junior” is the fact that he is Dale Earnhardts’ son.
2. In Phoenix, I sit near at least 30 Jeff Gordon fans…none are less than 50 and all are men…at least they’re not Earnhardt fans ( the ones that boo and “flip-off” Gordon and the Busch Brothers…in front of the 6 year olds and women…real class…not!)

mkrcr
09/22/2008 08:19 PM
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Douglas,
“So at seasons end, the hardest charging, most exiting driver, the driver with the MOST WINS, is not even on the scoreboard!”
At least you get some things right, he is the most “exiting” driver. Got to love that Karma.