NASCAR Fan Commentary


Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Racing this weekend is at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. They go from the biggest track to the smallest. In the wake of biggest track and the tandem racing that was there, I’d like to take time out for a fan comment.

I love watching racing. Let me make that clear. I love watching them go fast around the track and race side by side for laps before one of them gets by. You see some great racing in some of the feeder series. These guys are learning how to race and don’t spend a whole lot of time trying to bump another car out of the way to get by. They just race each other to get by. That is what I call racing.

That’s what I loved about the Sport right from the beginning. The racing. Lately, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is not racing, but instead, chasing. The only way to get into the top ten in points, is to be there by the race in Richmond that sets the chase with ten races to go. I have a problem with that. It used to be that the driver who wins the Championship had to be the best driver all year with the most top fives and top tens. Winning races has always provided more points to the drivers, but being the most consistent driver all season got you more points than driving like an idiot and taking yourself out.

Matt Kenseth won the 2003 Championship by being the most consistent driver all year. Despite the fact that he only had one win all year. But he was right there every single race. Brian France decided more effort should be forced on the drivers to win races, instead of just collecting points. But instead of giving more points to the winners, he decided on the chase. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t these drivers racing to win every race anyway? Ask any of them and they’ll tell you that they try for the best finish they can get. The points will take care of themselves.

Somehow, the chase is supposed to make the last ten races more exciting. The chase is NASCAR’s version of a playoff. Everyone watches Football because there is a playoff at the end of the year, right? Wrong. There is a playoff at the end of the year because, like all stick and ball Sports, there are divisions and Leagues. The playoffs determine the best team in each League and they play each other to determine the one best team. In NASCAR there are no divisions or leagues. There are 43 drivers out there every week racing for the win. And there are still 43 drivers out there the last ten races, going for the win. Only with the chase, only one of twelve drivers will be allowed to win the championship. Now, isn’t that how it always was? The chase gives the tenth place driver a better chance to win the title. But why should the  tenth place team be getting a better chance to win the title? Shouldn’t the best driver all year be the champion? Instead of the driver who had a great ten races in the end? This fan thinks so.

This year NASCAR changed the points system. If you finish last, you get one point. You get one point for leading a lap and one more point for leading the most laps. And three points for winning. The change is supposed to be great for the fans because they can see who is getting more points by where they are on the track. As a fan, I don’t care what the points look like during the race. It always bugs me when the announcers say “if the race were to end now” and show what the points look like. Who cares what the points are as they race? Certainly not the fans. It doesn’t matter until the race is over. It doesn’t make the race more exciting, knowing your favorite driver is leading the points in the middle of the race. NASCAR is racing and anything can happen.

My wish is that NASCAR listens to the long time fans and give us back racing, instead of chasing. Kurt Busch was the first chase champion. He didn’t have the most wins all year. He was just a tenth place driver who missed getting into the top ten the year before in the last race. Great for all those Kurt fans, but not great for the points leader all year. With that win, fans stopped watching the last ten races. Well, I can’t say stopped. I still watch. But a lot of long time fans sure did. The last ten races may be exciting races, but who wants to watch just twelve drivers in those ten races? Not the fans of those thirty other drivers. At least without the chase, you got to watch the points leader defend his points. And you got to watch drivers race into or out of the top ten.

Tomorrow I will give you my take on Talladega Superspeedway and the racing going on there lately.

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


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One Response to “NASCAR Fan Commentary”

  1. Rodney Says:

    Brian Vickers should be parked for taking out Matt, one of the chase contenders

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