The Frontstretch: Fanning the Flames: Readers Respond To The Season That Was by Matt Taliaferro -- Wednesday December 1, 2010

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Fanning the Flames: Readers Respond To The Season That Was

NASCAR Fan Q & A · Matt Taliaferro · Wednesday December 1, 2010


When last we spoke, Cheryl W. asked what I would look back on in 10 years and remember about the 2010 season. Considering the season wasn’t over yet, I asked for a reprieve, as well as your thoughts. So with another year of racing in the books, your votes and mine are in. What follows are snippets in a collection of your thoughts on what made the season memorable, starting with Cheryl, who started this column idea in the first place:

Thanks for posting my question, Matt! For me, 2010 will be remembered for Jimmie’s fifth title. The accomplishment is too historical to not rank first in my mind. I wonder if next year my memorable moment will be Jimmie winning number 6?
— Cheryl W.

That’s the reasonable answer. I wonder what Jimmie’s hair will look like this time next year.

I don’t think we’ll remember the 2010 season in 10 years. The only thing memorable about this year have been the empty stands and dropping TV ratings.

I hope we can look back on this year as the beginning of the end for the Chase and/or King Brian.
— Ken

Somewhat pessimistic, but that’s fair. The Chase isn’t going anywhere, Ken, and in fact, I’ve convinced myself that The Grandson is only going to make it more hokey.

What I will remember in 10 years: There was this thing called Twitter and NASCAR fined its drivers for mouthing off on it.
— Alan

Wait until video Twitter is invented. The boys’ll have a blast with that.

Can the King survive as a car owner in 2011? If his latest investment deal falls through, the ugly mess that ended this season may be the watershed moment fans remember a decade from now.

2010 will be known for the final stand and fall of Richard Petty in the sport. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Petty name will grace a team much longer. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t trust investments groups.
— Julie B., Winston-Salem, NC

I haven’t seen one of these firms save the day to this point, Julie. In fact, it’s usually had the exact opposite effect.

I hope 2010 is remembered as when Jamie McMurray put it all together and began a 10-year run as a Chase guy. The three big wins stand on their own merit, but the fact that it was McMurray in his first year back with Ganassi who won them was a shocker. Here’s to many more!
— Jacqueline Timmel, Missouri

Unreal year for your boy, Jacqueline. What makes it even more impressive were the finishes that often don’t get discussed: Runner-up showings in the Coke 600, Southern 500 and at Talladega. The third-place run in the Bristol Night Race was something, too. If France expands the Chase field to 15, 20 or 25 — why not just reset everyone’s points with 10 to go at this rate? — he and most of the rest of the field are locks for the next 10 years.

Maybe we won’t look back at 2010 as momentous for J.J.’s 5th championship because it will be just one in a line of 7 or 8 straight. Is there any reason to think otherwise?
— Daniel Nolan

Regardless of how many more he’s got in him, this one will be remembered for the crew swap and subsequent comeback — or for Hamlin’s choke job, however you choose to view it.

Rick Hendrick’s hiring of Kasey Kahne for a spot two years down the road will open a new era in free agency.
— Cami W.

That was bumbled from the start. I don’t expect to see that become a trend. Of course, I never thought Brian France — who ho’s, hum’s and double-talks his way through press conferences with a relatively friendly NASCAR media — could make any money on the lecture circuit. Guess I was wrong.

JJ’s fifth, no doubt. Although it will be interesting to look back and see how long the “boys have at it” thing was allowed to go on. My guess is Brian will reverse stance when it fits his needs.
— Paul Roe

Hopefully, France will remember a “safe for all time zones” NASCAR had both hardcore and fair-weather fans alike running for the exits.

One day Danica will look back and see she made a mistake trying NASCAR and 2010 was the start. She’ll get to Cup in 2012, but won’t have the talent to stay there. Then it’s back to IndyCars and swimsuit shoots.

And she’ll make a fortune in the process.

As for me? Long after Hamlin’s knee, Harvick’s consistency, McMurray’s renaissance, “Boys, have at it,” and lagging ratings and attendance fade, I’ll remember Johnson’s fifth consecutive title. This run we’ve witnessed — or continue to witness, I should say — is about the most impressive accomplishment I’ve seen in the sport.

Before I get out for one final time, I had to pass along Reason No. 78 to love Bobby Hamilton Jr.: Old school track operator. And props to WSMV Channel 4. Love Aaron, Holly and Paul in the morning.

Folks, have a great offseason. Enjoy the family, fellowship, food and fun the next month brings. And thanks for helping make this such a great year for me. Your e-mails have both inspired and entertained. For that, I thank you.

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Thursday on the Frontstretch:
2010 Season Review: Kevin Harvick
2010 Season Review: Carl Edwards

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NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum


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12/02/2010 08:27 AM

2010 The year little Randy “need one more?” Nacho (and his other 20 screen names) turned on his mommy’s computer and proved to the ENTIRE WORLD, that people really can be THAT STUPID and not drown in the shower.

12/02/2010 09:34 AM

2010 the year NASCAR’s chickens came home to roost. Falling attendance and ratings, they are finally paying a price for a decade of bad decisions: No Southern 500, Chase, COT looks, glut of 1.5 mile tracks. Actually, 2008 was the key year, the messes at Fontana, Atlanta and Indy + economic collapse in the fall really exposed the problems of the sport.

Kevin from PA
12/02/2010 10:20 AM

What I will remember about 2010: The year I stopped watching NASCAR after spending 10 years watching every lap. Good luck to any fan still left.

12/02/2010 11:41 AM

Jacob what happened to not personally attacking other posters on the site? RandyG was commenting on nascar fans and you immediately went on the offensive, attacking him personally.

Sounds to me that someone has some anger issues. Maybe RandyG isn’t the guy that is sitting in his mom’s basement surfing the web… hmmm????

12/02/2010 12:49 PM

I still watched races even after my driver got hosed for the Chase in 2007, but I have not spent a dime on tickets, T-shirts or anything else NASCAR-related. After watching the hype of this year’s “playoff”, I expect I’ll be finding something else to do with my Sunday afternoons. I have to admit though, it’s great to see that NASCAR has so few hardcore fans left that they have to use multiple aliases in article comment sections.

Go see NASCAR’s own latest poll on whether people like the Chase. 55% still hate it. And those are the people still watching. (I didn’t vote.)

12/02/2010 01:17 PM

The year that RG showed his self to be the biggest DA at frontstretch, Fan some flames na$car employee he ha

12/02/2010 01:54 PM

2010 marks the first year that I didn’t watch any Cup race in its entirety. I’ve been drifting away over the last few years, but still managed to watch at least Bristol, Richmond, and the Daytona 500 flag-to-flag. The lack of competition on the track combined with NASCAR’s tendency to throw phantom debris catutions finally caught up with me. An entire race does not hold my interest any more.

If I happen to be around the house toward the end of a race I’ll catch the last 30 minutes. That’s where all the action is anyway.

I still love racing, but there is nothing left that’s any good. I’ll watch the dirt track races, but those are rarely televised. Maybe a revised IndyCar series will fill the void.

Bill B
12/02/2010 03:23 PM

2010 will be remembered as the year that proved the chase made possible something that could have never happened in the old system – 5 championships in a row – and therefore there is no context by which to make any comparisons between a driver before 2003 vs a driver after 2003.

Bill B
12/02/2010 03:32 PM

FYI I am a die hard fan and I still watch every lap of every race even though I hate 90% of the changes BF has made. I will never stop griping and bitching about how much those changes suck though because that is my only recourse.

And your statement might be more accurate if it read something like this,,,,
“2010 – The year the “longtime fans” became “non-fans” and the “Jimmie Johnson fans” became the “new NASCAR stepford wives”.

12/02/2010 03:49 PM

Oooh! Stepford Wives… I loved that movie!

12/02/2010 04:49 PM

2010, the 7th time that NASCAR’s “championship” was irrelevant. If/when johnson wins 7, the pundits will crow how he’s equal with Petty & Earnhardt. Never in my book

12/02/2010 04:54 PM

Ok… fine… I’ll ask… where do all the highschool…. oh sorry…

Jerseychick, why would johnson’s 7 not be the same as petty and earnhardt’s (three fingers in the air)?

12/02/2010 08:35 PM

Some people are beyond help.

12/04/2010 07:19 PM

i heard they were introducing chocolate cars next race season to bring in a new era of this true?

The Sandbagger
12/05/2010 10:48 PM

@Randy Goldman.
Do you EVER have anything good to say or is your whole purpose in life to try to impress the rest of us with how smart you think you are and bad-mouth everyone?
You’re a tiresome ass.


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Recent articles from Matt Taliaferro:

Fanning the Flames: Of Daytona, Danica, Dale, and Duels
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2009 Season Review: Ryan Newman
Fanning the Flames: Closing the Inbox on the 2009 Season
Fanning the Flames: The Crew Chief Carousel and Other Assorted Oddities