Four Drivers, One Race, One Champion

Updated: November 12, 2014
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While every media outlet could not wait to write about the exact same subject regarding this week’s last race for the Sprint Cup Championship, I chose to sit back and evaluate.

NASCAR’s new Race for The Chase format for the “playoff system and Win It and You are In It “ has been tested, and the final is Sunday at Miami-Homestead Speedway. However, if you look at the final four who are eligible and will be starting the race “dead even” in points, one might ponder, did this really work? Not exactly. Ryan Newman‘s bold move on the last lap at Phoenix International Raceway put him in position for the championship due to top five and top 10 points he accumulated throughout the season. He had zero wins.

This bold move, which involved a bit of a bump and out to rookie Kyle Larson, has been debated to death. Look, its the last lap – you are told who you need to pass and what position you need to be in at the checkered flag in order to be eligible for a championship — Newman, you made the right call.

This move also took out long-time favorite, and multiple champion, Jeff Gordon. See why the controversy? It boils down to who you are rooting for. This writer’s contender needed to win in Phoenix to make it in, and thank you Baby Jesus Kevin Harvick — driver of the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Budweiser car — won it with a vengeance.

Needless to say, I wasn’t one of those fans who were taking their frustrations out on social media. I have seen two petitions from Gordon fans asking for an “exception” due to Newman’s big fat zero in the win column. Did fans truly believe that these annual changes in the Chase Format would go as planned? Seriously, come on now people. Brian France continues to throw darts in order to fill those seats at the tracks (it’s rather embarrassing at times to see how empty they are) yet, he comes up short every year.

I have seen mixed reactions to this new playoff system with three elimination rounds. Some loathe it with every ounce of their being, while others find it to be as exciting as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s “Dale Call” toy which you can purchase for $24.95 on various websites.

I have mixed emotions. I’ve never seen a reason to change the format from the beginning. However, watching the races where my drivers HAD to either win or finish strong, was exciting and this weekend in Miami will be as well. Don’t think for a second I won’t know what’s going on with Harvick and his car every moment during that race. So Brian, you win there.

So here are your contenders ladies and gentlemen:

Denny Hamlin – 1 win
Joey Logano – 5 Wins
Kevin Harvick – 4 Wins
Ryan Newman – 0 Wins

Regardless of who wins the championship , many of the fans believe THEY LOST due to their drivers unfairly not making this round. Why do I wait to bring you the news of NASCAR? Well the reaction of the fans is a million times more exciting than the actual races, so now you have the 411 (see how I did that?)


By: Robyn Vandenberg


Photo Cred (Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

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