NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Review

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season has come to an end. I won’t be looking forward to the weekends, but rather to February when the 2011 season begins. This year Jimmie Johnson again made history by winning his fifth consecutive Championship. But I have to wonder how long his reign will last. Is the chase for the Sprint Cup the reason he is doing this year after year? Or, is he just that good of a driver?

Jamie McMurray started the season out strong, winning the Daytona 500, the Super Bowl, if you will at Daytona International Speedway. He went on to win the prestigious Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jamie failed to make the chase for the Sprint Cup.

Denny Hamlin had a record year. After winning the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2009, he declared himself in contention to challenge Jimmie Johnson for the 2010 championship. After winning the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, he had surgery on his knee,  injuring it playing football with friends during the off-season. Two weeks later he raced at Phoenix International Raceway in much pain, but stayed in the car to finish the race, proving to his crew that he was doing all he could for the team. They did well for him, helping him win the next two out of four races. Then after winning back to back races, he announced, “All we do is win!” He promptly stopped winning. (Never say something like that out loud. Lady Luck will bite you.) Denny won again at Richmond International Raceway, starting the chase on top of the points with one more win than Jimmie Johnson. He won once again at Martinsville, bringing his wins to seven,and winning again at Texas for his best ever eight wins in a season. He faltered at Phoenix, pitting for fuel with very few laps left in the race and his points lead dwindled to only 15 ahead of Johnson. Johnson proved to be no match for Hamlin in that final race, where he spun himself out early in the race. Denny finished the season in second by 39 points. Maybe he can have as good a year next year and again challenge Johnson. (But I would suggest he not brag about how good he is.)

Kevin Harvick had a stellar 2010 season, leading the points for most of the regular season, winning the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona and the Carfax 400 at Michigan International Speedway. With the chase rules, he started the chase in third and finished there, 41 points behind Johnson. Kevin raced his heart out all season and had the most points of anyone all year, yet he fell short in the chase, staying in third. Perhaps something is wrong with the chase so that the points leader after the regular season is not leading when the chase begins.

This year Jimmie Johnson was not as stellar as he was in previous championship seasons. He did have five wins during the regular season, to Denny’s six, and won the second race in the chase at Dover International Speedway. This was the first year he was not leading the points heading into the finale at Homestead. But he outran the other contenders, finishing second. That was all that was needed for his fifth championship in a row. And owner, Rick Hendrick, now has the most championships with ten.

I have to include Carl Edwards in my review. His last win was the finale in 2008. He made the chase without any wins. But finished the season strong, winning the final two races at Phoenix and Homestead. Now he has momentum heading into the 2011 season.

NASCAR is talking about perhaps tweaking the chase once again. I have to add that in my opinion the chase would not be needed if more points were given to the drivers for wins all season. The driver with the most wins, wins the championship, right? But if the chase is here to stay, despite fans not liking it and ratings proving that, perhaps a good change would be to put the regular season points leader at the top to start the chase. I personally do not like a playoff system where all 43 drivers are still racing. The media likes it however, as it gives them lots to talk about. But manufactured excitement rarely makes things more exciting. And neither does talking about 12-15 drivers all season long when there are 43 drivers competing all season long. I’m not sure the sponsors care for it either. After Harvick finished poorly all 2009 season, his sponsor, Penzoil moved to Penske  and Kurt Busch, who is the first champion with the chase system. He almost won the championship for Penzoil and would have won it all if there were no chase. But that’s just my opinion as a die hard fan.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. And I love NASCAR.

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2 Responses to “NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Review”

  1. Hamlin Overcomes The Elements To Win At Martinsville | Our Internet Business Blog Says:

    […] NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Review « Sheilalovesnascar's Weblog […]

  2. Denny Hamlin Wins Rain Delayed Race At Martinsville | Our Arts And Crafts Blog Says:

    […] NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Review « Sheilalovesnascar's Weblog […]

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