The more I think about all this elimination crap, the more I hate it.
On one hand, it could be a Godsend. On the other, it could show Brian France and the top brass in Daytona that they are indeed dumber than a box of rocks.
I’m praying for the latter.
Of course, it’s all been said before that surely, when it comes down to it, the true champion will be crowned at Homestead. But wait! Jimmie Johnson crashed? Dale Earnhardt, Jr. crashed? Brad Keselowski crashed out too!? OMG! Who’s sweating it out now? Surely this genius new grid can’t be manipulated… or can it?
Well, let’s use Ryan Newman’s take on it. Newman and team, as it was reported during the race broadcast, have got it figured out that, to advance to the next round, all he has to do is finish eighth or better the next three races and he should be good. Newman does have a degree in engineering after all, so he ought to know.
And how ironic is it, that just about a decade ago, it was Newman who was crying foul because he’d won eight times while the champion, Matt Kenseth, had won only once? Where is the emphasis on winning now?
Speaking of winning, as it stands now, three drivers that have a combined total of 11 wins this season are now in the position that with one little bit of bad luck over the next race or two, they could be eliminated. Mean while Newman, Kenseth, et al could just conceivably set it on cruise and let their good luck – or the bad luck of others – advance them on while the likes of Keselowski, Earnhardt and Johnson fall by the wayside.
Yeah, I know, it will never happen right?
Let me check my schedule – oh, here it is! Yes, next two races are Charlotte and Talladega. Oh, sure, luck is never a factor at those tracks. Those top guys should be safe.
Folks, I’m not gonna sit here and do all the math for you and list all the various scenarios. I’ve neither the time… OK, I do have the time but I certainly do NOT have the inclination to do so.
For now, the season’s other five-time winner, Joey Logano, is safe and advances on, and does not have to worry again until Martinsville. But Keselowski, Johnson, Earnhardt and even four-time winner Jeff Gordon… yeah, they gotta sweat!
Meanwhile, guys like Newman, Kenseth and even Carl Edwards – all of whom, let’s face it, have NOT been having anything close to a championship year – have a legitimate shot at winning this fiasco. Is this how you want your champion crowned?
No, the old system was not perfect. As I’ve said many times before, it could have used a tweak, namely just 100 points more for a win than second place, but it did award consistency as well as wins, and the truth of the matter is, in this particular sport, consistency IS an important part of the overall picture. And before all you nice people start saying hateful things because, in 2003, Kenseth did do exactly what I am preaching against now, just remember one thing (and go back and look at the stats): while Kenseth averaged a 21.3 starting spot, his average finish was 10.2 with 2 DNFs Meanwhile, Ryan “The Rocket” Newman (when’s the last time you heard him called that?) averaged a 6.7 average starting spot but had a 13.9 average finish with 7 DNFs. And THAT is why Kenseth owns a championship trophy and Newman does not.
Alas, none of that matters now. Brad Keselowski could have 2 DNFs and he’d be out. Logano could have two more bouts with misfortune and he’d be out. Kenseth could get lucky and win, or even Newman and they could get a Cup.
It all comes down to luck.
I hope it does!
Stay off the wall,