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Why the Chase is a Good Thing

Posted By Chris Demon On Nov 17 2010 @ 5:35 am In NASCAR | No Comments

Should be settled at the end of the last race.

     November 21, 2010 will be a day where history is made.  But for whom?  For points leader Denny Hamlin, it could be his first Sprint Cup Series championship and also a first for Toyota.  For second place Jimmie Johnson, it could be an unprecedented fifth straight championship.  For third place Kevin Harvick, it could also be his first championship and the first championship for Richard Childress Racing since Dale Earnhardt won it in 1994.  The next chapter will not be written until the checkered flag is waved at the conclusion of the Ford 400, thanks to the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

     Now a lot of die-hard NASCAR fans would argue that the year’s best driver just may not win the championship.  This has happened three seasons (2004, 2007, 2008) of the 6.  While this may be a valid argument, lets take a look at this years MLB playoffs.  Tampa Bay entered the playoffs at 96-66 (.593) and Philadelphia entered with a 97-65 (.599) record.  Tampa Bay lost during the ALDS to the “worst” team in the American League (Rangers)  and Philly lost in the NLCS to the “second best” team (Giants) in the National League.  That is how the playoffs work and how they are designed to work.  Take the top teams let them play each other and winner takes all.  Exactly what the Chase does.  Sometimes the best regular season team wins, and sometimes they don’t.  I am not saying the Chase is perfect, but I feel it is better than having a champion clinch the series title a race or two early.  How many time have the Superbowl champions clinched during the the game before the Superbowl itself?

     This year under the cumulative points system, Kevin Harvick would have a 295 point advantage over Jimmie Johnson (and coincidentally this is the year I am not too wild about the chase being a Harvick fan).   Therefore he would have clinched at the end of the Kobalt Tools 500k.  The only storyline would be how the 29 team was very consistent, instead of this very tight points battle heading into Homestead.    I don’t know about you, but I have been very excited for every Chase race this year. 

I really have my doubts that Travis Pastrana will work out in NASCAR.  Lucky for co-owner Michael Waltrip, Pastrana is very marketable.  The sole reason he is even considered is the almighty dollar.  Hopefully Waltrip doesn’t kick himself for letting Trevor Bayne slip through his fingers when he finds out that Pastrana is just another failed crossover (i.e. Franchitti, Villenueve, Carpantier, McGrath, Fisher, etc).  There is only so many AJ Foyts, Tony Stewarts, Tim Richmonds, Juan Pablo Montoyas, and Robby Gordons (all of which have won multiple races in the 3 premier series).  Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh on the kid since he hasn’t even raced yet.  I’m rooting for him.  Honestly I am… just not for the same reasons I’m rooting for Danica.

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