Let it here be understood that this article was not written in rebuttal to anyone in particular or to one certain situation. It's just stuff that is old and tired.
Boiling tea kettle in 5....4....3....
How many dead horses can we beat and how often can we beat them? Is there a law? Are animal cruelty rights in play? Does it hurt the horse if it is already dead?
Those questions are, in a word, ridiculous. A definition which suits some of the topics of today’s angry posting, as well as the relentless berating of NASCAR and anyone associated with the decision making process therein. Hence, therefore, and ergo, I will ride this wave of evil thoughts and you, the unfortunate soul who hath wandered upon these pages, shall have either the privilege or the pain of perusing. Remember, if it gets too bad for ya, that little “x” up in the right corner will solve all of your problems.
Let’s get to it.
First on the block this week is letting drivers from one series compete in a series “beneath” their own, such as a Cup driver competing in an Xfinity or Camping World Truck Series race…or both.
Whack! Slam! Smack!
I see you, over there beating the horse, but it is already dead. The horse doesn’t care. Neither do I. Do you ever go to minor league baseball games? Ninety percent of you who just said “yes” are probably lying. I’ll confess. I don’t either. I’ve probably been to two in my life. I don’t go to baseball games to see Bobby Nohitz. I go to see Johnny Crushdaball, Sammy Makinacatch, and Pitcha Nohittah. Sure, I understand that the minor leagues are where the stars of tomorrow come from, just the same way that the Xfinity and CampingWorld series are building the stars of the Cup series for tomorrow. I’ve seen far more of those races than I have minor league baseball games. Why would I do that? The ticket prices are higher, around 25.00 for a lower series race versus a nice 9.00 ticket for the Bowie Baysox, the Baltimore Orioles AA team. The trip is longer for the race, as I can get to Dover, legally, in about 105 minutes. Bowie is 20 minutes away from me. I’ll put it in a simple way. I’d probably go see the Bowie Baysox play a little more often if Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and J. J. Hardy were in the line up every now and then. Now, we all know that’s not going to happen, and neither is running lower tier series without some cup guys in it, so move on.
Next on deck is The Chase.
Thump! Wham! Kapowee!
Aww, the poor horsey! Oh, I get it…believe me I get it. Some don’t like The Chase. They have their reasons. They say they are a purist and wish things would go back to the way they were. They say they are mad because NASCAR is “creating drama.” They have said they are mad because the guy with the most points at the end of 26 races might not be the Champion at the end of the year. They say they are mad because drivers are eliminated from competing for the championship. The claim they are mad because they think the last ten races don’t mean anything. They say they are mad because some driver might not clinch the title with three or four races to go, the way it used to be. I get it. That’s their right to be mad. But I’ll tell you what…that anger they have? It might be a little misguided. Let’s break it apart.
Reasons Some Don’t Like The Chase…
1. 1. Because NASCAR is “creating drama.” Uh, NASCAR’s been “creating drama” since way back when…probably race number one. Here’s some examples. Ricky Rudd spins Davey Allison on the final lap where we were told “anything goes” for so long. NASCAR penalizes Rudd for aggressive driving and Allison takes the win. Clint Bowyer has an itch, and the result is a 13th driver, Jeff Gordon, in the Chase. How about every time two drivers came together OUTSIDE of their cars under the “Boys Have At It” era, only to be fined? What about NASCAR refusing to allow Wendell Scott his moment of glory, because there’s no way a black man can win in a southern sport and get a kiss from the lady in Victory Lane, who was white, especially in front of a southern crowd. Banning Curtis Turner for trying a drivers’ union. Debris Cautions. Remember the “designated spinner?” It’s been happening for a long time, long before the Chase.
2. 2. Because the guy with the most points at the end of 26 races might not be the Champion at the end of the year. I’m not going to do the homework, because again, it’s not my argument, but…oh hell, why not. 2002: Sterling Marlin and three other guys were ahead of Tony Stewart with ten races to go. Stewart won the title. Ten years prior it was Bill Elliott with the lead with ten races remaining. Bing, he finished second to Alan Kulwicki. 1990 and Mark Martin was 48 points ahead with ten races left. We’re going to go ahead and call that Dale Earnhardt’s 4th Championship. Keep going back…in 1989 it was Earnhardt with the lead and Rusty Wallace took his only Championship. All this happened before the Chase.
3. 3. Because drivers are eliminated from competing for the championship. This one is so laughable. Drivers have been “eliminated” from Championship contention before the season end since the dawn of NASCAR. Let’s do the math. Currently, in the Chase, NASCAR “unfairly” eliminates 4 drivers before the final race. Those four didn’t move on because they didn’t score an unknown and undetermined amount of points. Let’s go back to 2003. Matt Kenseth left Rockingham, the 35th of 36 races, with a 226 point lead over Jimmie Johnson in second place. The series then went to Atlanta for the final race. Do you know how many drivers could win the Championship that day? How about one. Matt Kenseth. The only thing you had to do to be eliminated before actual “eliminations” came into play in the Chase was be behind the point leader by more points than what was still available to be scored in the rest of the season. Not too difficult…the max points you could score was 185 if you won and led the most laps. The least amount of points was 34 for finishing dead last…dead, like the horse. Quick math shows that the max points you could gain on the point leader per race was 151. Multiply by ten, that 1510. With ten races to go, if you were 1511 points behind the leader, guess what, you’re not going to pass that guy. Ever. Even if you won all ten races, and led the most laps in each one, and he finished last in each race, and didn’t lead, you’re still finishing one point in arrears. Hence, therefore, and ergo, eliminated with ten races to go.
4. 4. Because they think the last ten races don’t mean anything. No, sillies, they’ve got it backwards. The last ten races are everything. They determine the Champion. The first 26 determined who gets to fight for the title, and the last ten races figures out who wins it.
5. 5. Because some driver might not clinch the title with three or four races to go. Wait, that is not making sense. I thought eliminations were not desired, but now the request is for drivers, not some of them, but ALL of them, to be eliminated with three or four races remaining?
Remember what I said about misguided anger?
And finally, those who were mad because a storm messed up your race weekend? You know who you are. Listen, while you were pouting on your pleather divan, swirling around your pretentious craft beer in its stupid little snifter while testing the brie to see if it’s at room temperature, people were losing their homes as they washed away. Their cars, as they washed away. Their jobs, as they washed away, and their lives…as they washed away. I’m sorry your race schedule was affected, but try swapping places with those poor folks. I hope you feel like crap now. That was my goal.
Okay, I know…everyone has his or her own opinion and I respect that, because I have my own, obviously. While your opinion and mine might be as different as day and night, we’re always going to have the one thing in common…that little bit of common ground…that one thing that makes us sit back on the curb and laugh at ourselves after we’ve been fighting in the gutter for 17 minutes. We’re all passionate, we all have our favorites, and…we’re all Race Fans…hopefully Forever.
Now go getcha shine box! And here's a reminder...be nice if you comment.