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Friday, September 12, 2014

Nascar - Championship "Chase / Playoffs / Elimination"!!

I've been watching NASCAR racing since February 2006.  Until the Daytona 500 that year, I pretty much refused to watch "a bunch of cars going around in circles".  Since that time, I grew to love the sport and all the Characters within it. 

What I don't love though is the new "Chase" or "Elimination" or "Playoffs" or whatever it is they want to call it this year. 

It used to be that the drivers would run 36 points races - accumulate points throughout the entire season and the team / driver who accumulated the most points at the end of the season would win the Championship.  Yes, sometimes you knew who the Champion was a few weeks before the end of the season because he would have built up a huge lead.

Maybe not always exciting, but it was a fair way to do things...in my opinion...and my fave driver won 4 Championships with that format.

Then, a few years ago they decided to change it to a "Chase format" where only the top 10 - 12 - 13 (Always seemed to be a different number) drivers raced for the Championship during the final 10 races of the season.  There were still 43 cars in the field for each race - but the driver who was the most consistent during those final 10 races would ultimately win the Championship.   This was a way to manufacture Excitement. 

It did work and the Championship race was always closer.  If you happened to have bad luck in a couple of races though, your chances might be up in smoke because instead of 36 races to make up the difference, you only had 10 races. 

I didn't like this format at first, but I grew to at least tolerate it.

Now, they've changed the format yet again, and I have to say I am not happy with it at all.  It WILL be more exciting and the final race of the season will be the most meaningful race of all thus making this a "must-see", but I'm still not a fan.

The Championship will work something like this:

16 drivers have qualified for the "Playoffs".  AFter 3 races, only the top 12 point getting teams of these 16 will move on the the next phase.  After another 3 races,  the top 8 teams move on.  Another 3 races later, only 4 teams are left.  That means that there are 4 teams racing for the Championship in the FINAL race of the season at Homestead Miami Speedway.  The team that finishes ahead of the other 3 teams during that race will be crowned Champion. 

The field for all those races will still always be 43 cars.  Which means the Champion can still finish the final race 36th as long as the other 3 teams are behind him.

Yes - excitement and nervousness for the fans and teams.  Yes, it will be entertaining and it will probably take until the last lap of the race before you're sure who will be the Champion, but I selfishly preferred the original way.

I do have to be honest though that the more of speak and think about this new format, I'm growing to tolerate if not like it.  My main problem is as a fan of certain drivers and having a full on "Maple Leafs type dislike" of other teams, seeing one of those teams win the championship at the end over my driver would drive me nuts. Even more nuts than watching the Sens lose in a 'best of 7' series against those dreaded Maple Leafs (as I've seen more times than I care to remember).

Oh well, I don't have a choice in the matter and no amount of disliking this new format is going to change it. 
I just want my driver or any of his teammates to win the Championship this year.  :)

My driver is Jeff Gordon and his teammates are Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kasey Kahne.  Any of them win and I'm a happy camper.  If either of the Busch brothers wins though...UGH!!!

On to the first race of the "Playoffs".  Let's get this thing started.

Gentlemen...uhhh...Drivers - Start Your Engines!!!

Julie / @Flip_4

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