NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
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2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
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Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Mike Neff · Friday January 31, 2014
After the rumor was posted last week NASCAR was considering making a radical change to the Chase – in particular, having one race settle the final outcome of the entire Sprint Cup season – most of the fans who commented about the idea were staunchly against it. The details weren’t available, beyond some bare bones basics (i.e. – 16 drivers entered into the “new” playoff system) so the assumptions that were made ran the gamut. One thing was abundantly clear, though; enough was enough and making another change to the Chase was the last straw. The fan base was ready to abandon ship like so many rats.
However, a strange thing happened on the way to the scuttling. Brian France took to the podium at the Sprint NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway Thursday and detailed a plan that took care of all of the points but one that fans have disliked about the Chase system. The only objection to the playoffs that isn’t answered is for those people who want to see a full-season champion. NASCAR’s title is still based on the final 10 races of the season and, for now, that is not going to change.
However, among the questions that have now been answered positively include making winning a priority. Up to 16 winners in the first 26 races of the season will be automatically entered in the Chase unless the point leader after Richmond doesn’t have a win. Then, only 15 will be in and the 16th spot will be rewarded to the point leader. Fans have repeatedly voiced concern that drivers spend all of their time point racing and little to no time focusing on winning. Now, winning a race will all but guarantee a shot at the title. People will be encouraged to take chances, gamble on fuel, stretch tires, and push themselves beyond limits to attempt to grab the win that will lock them in. The new rules have not ended point racing, but they have given a much easier way to make it into the Chase than knocking out top-10 finishes.
Drivers, especially in recent years are afraid to go for wins in the Chase because one bad finish can ruin their chances at a title. These adjustments should go a long way towards changing their postseason thinking. Now, drivers are in control of their own destiny and can dig out of any hole except a poor finish at the end of a segment in which they don’t have a win. A bad finish in the first or second race of a segment, or even both races, can be overcome by a victory in the last that moves them on directly into the next round. No longer does a blown tire or a wreck not of one’s own doing instantly doom the title-winning chances of a driver. Racers and their teams now hold their destiny in their own hands, not the lines in the scoring section of the rulebook.
Fans have also wanted to see an even simpler way to crown a champion. The final race of the Chase cannot be any simpler. There’s no bonus points, so trying to lead the most laps won’t make a difference. The simple fact is, if you are the highest-finishing of the four drivers eligible for the title, you win. No graphics for points as they run now. No laps led boards. Four drivers, one race: finish in front of the other three and you are the winner.
Finally, fans have told NASCAR that they wanted to see more drivers with a shot at the title. The field has been expanded to 16 drivers. Well, that is more than half of the group who attempted to run the full 36-race schedule last season. While some might view that as too many, others have asked to see more variety in the title hunt and NASCAR has responded.
The elimination aspect of this bracket style “playoff” is going to provide Richmond-like excitement four times over the final 10 races. Drivers will be able to advance by being the best over a three-race segment without a win. If they are able to win a race, they don’t have to worry about the points and can tweak their cars, test some new setups, or simply go for a second win to break the spirit of their competitors.
As for the racers themselves, they’ll have to be up on the wheel from the beginning of the Chase until the end. Points will be reset for each segment, so drivers cannot rest on their success for long before they are back with the rest of the teams who have advanced to the next segment. At the end of the Chase, the Champion will truly be the driver who performed best when the chips were down. No longer does the driver who can pile up top-5 finishes win the title automatically. They have to go for the win or risk being left behind.
There is no doubt that situations could arise where a driver who deserves the title runs into bad luck at Homestead or a rough three races in the middle of the Chase while winning six or seven events. It could happen with the current points as well. Any scenario that skews a finish in the Chase to someone with fewer points scored or wins can happen in any point system. However, more than likely, this system is going to provide a driver who pushes the envelope and does all he or she can to finish at the front with the Sprint Cup.
For fans who are going to leave the sport behind because “they are done,” well, there isn’t much you can do to keep them around. However, for the fans who are willing to have an open mind, they just might see a title run that is fairer and more exciting than what we’ve seen for the last ten years.
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Who are these fans asking for this change? The only change I’ve ever heard a sizeable group of fans ask for is the return to the year long format. I guess most of those fans asking for this change are the silent majority because they don’t comment much on the internet.
Question: if only 8 drivers win races during the first 26 races, is the Chase field filled with the 8 non-winning drivers with the most points?
That question has come up from many fans Steve. Yes, if there are fewer than 16 race winners, the top points earners who have not won a race will be in the remaining spots. In your scenario, the eight drivers that are the highest in points without a win would fill the remaining eight spots.
If you’d like a visual aid to help understand it, check out http://www.frontstretch.com/mneff/44551/
It is also located on the Frontstretch Facebook page.
Brain France has selective hearing and is now using the mantra “you wanted change, here it is”. Well Brian fans have been complaining about “The Chase” for years. What fans wanted was a 36 race champion. Nascar doesn’t need gimmicks or playoffs. I already feel bad for the drivers in the “last race take all format”, so many things wrong with this where to start. Sad times for a once great sport. Brian if you and your yes goons opened your eyes and ears you would see the product on the track every week is lacking, fix that and the rest will follow. It is still going to be a snorefest follow the leader. I don’t like where this is heading at all. Also the qualifying format is bad, all I can see is another expsense to teams to fix wrecked race cars, in freaking qualifying. Why does everything have to be “exciting” and have fireworks. Qualify and lets have a good race. That is the entertainment. Also I bristle at the 26 race speak, the season is 36.
Here is a fun thought… What if it rains???
That would pretty much screw up that 7th inning moment.
Sue, I’m sure you meant 7th game but you make a good point. I know you are talking about Homestead, but what about the rest of the season? What if a race ends early because of rain and say Dave Blaney is out front because he is gambling on the weather? Will he make the Chase because of it? Or will they make a rule that all races have to go 100% to completion to avoid such things?
Its also possible that of the 4 competing in the last race all get in a pileup and the champion could end up finishing in 31st place at Homestead. These scenarios aren’t likely but they are possible.
Well, many of the scenarios posted here and elsewhere are no different than what can happen in the NFL or NCAA “March Madness”.
In the NFL, you can win all 16 regular season games, yet have a few fluke plays go against you and not win the superbowl. Or, remember when the Patriots were 18-0 heading into the Super Bowl. Everyone was crowning them the champs. Except, the New York Giants who beat them.
And, a 9-7 team can win the Super Bowl though not likely.
The main reason that this is more of a problem in auto racing is that their are many more things that can go wrong outside of your control.
kb, in 2003, fans complained when Kenseth won a single race and ran.away with the title. Now we’ve got this 11 year long experiment. So, yeah, we kinda asked for this. Now, you guys are complaining again. If you “fans” keep complaining, stop watching, become a fan of another sport & keep complaining until you ruin that one, too.
I’m on the fence with this one as well. It could work, it could fail. I’m not dismissing it yet, though. Not until I’ve seen what happens.
NASCAR couldn’t stick with the pre-Chase format, though. As a rule, a sport needs to constantly evolve or disappear. Who knows? Maybe without the Chase, the sport might have vanished not long after Winston left. But, it needs to evolve. All the sports need to. Yeah, NASCAR has struggled with this format, but look at other sports. NFL has gotten stricter, Hockey is trying to limit fighting. Even in other forms of motorsports, whether the IRL/Cart merger or whatnot each sport is constantly evolving, which is what NASCAR is trying to do. They just seem to be somewhat insecure about it. The qualifying change was their first great change outside of the Gen 6 car recently. Maybe this will be, too. We’ll find out.
MidTN the argument of the 18-0 Patriots does not compute. The Patriots did not play all the other teams each week and therefore we don’t know who the best team or second best or 10th best was each week each season. Racing is different, we know exactly who was best, second and 10th. In racing we have the luxury of knowing exactly how each team performed each week, each season. To ignore this, to trade this for the the illusion of excitement is wrong. The comparisons to stick and ball championships is just not valid.
Mike, Your last sentence describes the new format as more fair. Was this a mistake or can you help me understand what is fair about the 4th best team winning the championship or giving 16th place 300 points to make the show more exciting?
Thanks for the comment Jerry.
My statement refers to the fact that, with the new system, one bad race does not destroy a driver’s entire post season run. I think it is fairer that a driver who has a solid run over the final 10 races, and wins four of them, should win the title even if they blow an engine at Martinsville. The format used the last 10 years could easily see a driver win four races and lose the title because of such a catastrophic failure.
I also think, the fourth best team, if they’re able to get to that final race and out perform the other three teams, has shown they deserve the title. You aren’t going to luck into the final race.
Mike, OK I can see your point but can’t agree. The intent of this whole thing is to increase excitement and there never was a “Fair” checkbox. You simply can’t be fair to all when gifting welfare points to some. Please cease and desist spinning. You and other’s argument in favor of this should be limited to “I prefer guaranteed manufactured excitement all the time over true sport and excitement that comes naturally once in a while”. I can’t think of any other sport that gerrymanders a game or season to the extent of NASCAR. At some point NASCAR will lose the right to be described as a sport. I think they’ve reached that point already. You may be on the right side of the argument though, NASCAR ratings may go through the roof…time will tell.
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