Are Fans Fed Up With The Chase? What System Looks Better This Season?By Ryan O`Hara
There is no doubt that the 2011 Chase for the Cup made the points race a lot closer with the addition of the 1-43 points system, but do the fans just want to see the real champion crowned? The Chase hits its ninth season this year and in these nine seasons, we have only three champions. Isn’t that astounding? I’m a Jimmie Johnson fan, but I do not see see him as a 5-time champion in the sport. He has two championship in reality, but he is still an amazing driver. The Johnson-Knaus combination is very much like the Gordon-Evernham combination from the 90′s. Gordon-Evernham produced three championships and 47 wins. The Johnson-Knaus combination is into its 11th season in Sprint Cup competition and has produced two championships and 59 wins in reality.
In reality, Johnson could have had 9 championships by the end of this season. Think about it. Johnson has been in the championship hunt in every single single season minus his rookie season. 2003: Runner-Up to Matt Kenseth. 2004: Runner-Up to Jeff Gordon. 2005: Crashed in final race at Homestead. 2006: Champion 2007: Runner-Up to Jeff Gordon 2008: Runner-Up to Carl Edwards. 2009: Champion over Jeff Gordon 2010: Runner-Up to Kevin Harvick 2011: Finished 4th. Johnson entered the final ten races with the point lead, but had bad finishes at Charlotte, Talladega, and Phoenix.
Now, take a look at the 2011 final Chase points. In NASCAR’s fantasy land, there was a virtual tie in points between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards. Tony Stewart took the tiebreaker based on wins and celebrated his fluke title. Reality shows us that Stewart was actually very inconsistent until the final ten races and started to win a lot of races. Despite the really, Stewart still came up 87 points shy of his third title. On November 13, 2011, Carl Edwards clinched his second championship. Plain and simple.
I completely understand that NASCAR wants to have a playoff system like other sports, but it is not the place for auto racing. How the heck are you supposed to make a Game 7 out of NASCAR? You can’t. It can’t be done. We are losing fans. While it is cool that more people have a “chance” to win the championship, it simply is unfair. It is just like the concept of the winning team getting ice cream after the game. Now, the losing teams can still get ice cream. The winners feel cheated out. Let the losers lose. Let the car companies go bankrupt and rebuild. It’s all the same concept.
In reality, we entered Chicago with five drivers within point range of the championship point lead. Those drivers include: Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, and Brad Keselowski. Where’s Denny Hamlin? All of this hype about Hamlin is just hot air. While the No.11 team has many wins this year, they have also had many DNF’s too close together. Jimmie Johnson is lucky. He has had six DNF’s this year, but he has made up for it with top-5 after top-5 week after week and the occasional win to go along with it. Hamlin cannot find that spark.
Brad Keselowski wins at Chicago!! What is the point difference? There is actually not much of a difference, but Martin Truex Jr. now is in point range of the championship lead. Remember that 48 points is the maximum amount of points you can earn in a race and at this point, Martin is 48 back.
Denny Hamlin wins at New Hampshire! What is the point difference? Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin are now in point range for the championship.
Brad Keselowski wins at Dover! What is the point difference? No change.
Matt Kenseth wins at Talladega! What is the point difference? No change.
Clint Bowyer wins at Charlotte! What is the point difference? Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Martin Truex Jr. have fallen out of the championship picture for the time being.
Matt Kenseth wins at Kansas! What is the point difference? Martin Truex Jr. had a good finish and is back in the picture.
Jimmie Johnson wins at Martinsville! What is the point difference? Hamlin and Truex are out of the picture for the time being.
This is what it looks like: 1. Johnson LEADER 2. Keselowski -14 3. Biffle -32 4. Kenseth -42 5. Bowyer -45.
These drivers are in the picture. In the Chase, Kasey Kahne somehow is only 29 points out of the lead. Where is he really? He would be in 9th and down about 116 points. NASCAR should dump the Chase. Let the best man win and never change this part of the system ever again.