Today was very anti-climatic. NASCAR builds up today’s race as THE race to watch, but for me it was pretty much of a let down. Some will think it has to do with Jimmie Johnson winning the championship. Part of it is, but for the most part the racing wasn’t all that exciting. I mean Carl Edwards clearly had the best car of the day. Would the racing been better if both Denny and Kevin didn’t have their bad luck? I think it would have been. But alas, the race I wanted didn’t appear today. Once again, NASCAR nation has to sit through the off season knowing Jimmie Johnson is still the champion.
I know what he did is very historic. I am completely aware of this fact. I also give props to Chad Knaus and the #48 team for what they have accomplished over the past 5 years. I get it. I will also tell I would like to see some other team step it up and defeat these guys. I don’t think changing the Chase or going back to the old system will fix it. That just doesn’t seem right. Why change the rules because you don’t like the person who wins all the time? I have read several message boards where people say they are going to stop watching NASCAR. Sorry, that won’t be me. I love this sport too much. Others are angry about the #48 winning again and that NASCAR rigged everything. I don’t believe that either. All the drivers and teams know the rules going into the season. Teams are just going to have to figure out how to beat the #48 team plain and simple.
Denny did not do what he needed to do to win the championship. He didn’t have a good race last week at Phoenix and well, today he really wasn’t a factor after his spin. I think Kevin could have been a factor, but a costly speeding penalty hurt his day. It’s was about which team was going to make the least mistakes. Jimmie didn’t. At times his pit crew was slow on pit road, but compared to the other two drivers, Johnson made the least mistakes today. Jimmie also did what he needed to do this weekend. He qualified 6th and well, Denny and Kevin qualified, 17th and 29th respectively. Jimmie put all the pressure back on the other teams. But if you have followed NASCAR over the past five years, Jimmie puts on his A-game when he needs to. That’s just a fact my fellow NASCAR car fans whether we like it or not.
As NASCAR turns to the off-season, I am looking forward (and counting the days) until the 2011 Daytona 500. It will be interesting to see if NASCAR makes some changes to the Chase. I would like the leader of the first 26 races to have the advantage going into the Chase. I don’t know what NASCAR can do about the falling ratings. I don’t know if it’s the television packages currently in place or if there is just too much saturation. I do think the economy has played a role, but it’s not the only reason for what’s happening in NASCAR. I for one found myself doing other things on Sunday instead of watching racing. It’s evident by the attention I have paid to The Park over 2010. I hope tomorrow brings good things for Richard Petty. Like I said on Wednesday, I can’t imagine NASCAR without a Petty.
Here’s to another NASCAR season, may next be better than this year and may we crown another champion other than Jimmie Johnson.
Here’s to looking forward to February 20, 2011.