FUEL MILEAGE IS STRATEGY AND STRATEGY IS A PART OF RACING

The race isn’t always to the swift. Sometimes, the dominant team doesn’t always win. Just ask the Miami Heat after Game 2 of the NBA finals. In this instance, the team with the hot hand won. At Kansas, the team who combined strategy with track position came out on top as Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag a day after Justin Allgaier coasted to the finish line at Chicagoland Speedway.

I know I’m out on this limb with little company, but I don’t have a problem with fuel mileage wins. I read where numerous fans think fuel strategy has no place in racing, and somehow drivers who win by that method aren’t really winners.

Really? How?

The last time I checked, racing was a sport. Sporting contests are sometimes won by teams or competitors who come up with a game plan to overcome their weaknesses to figure out a way to win. How else does an underdog have a chance?

I guess some fans only want the overpowering to win. I guess the New York Giants of 2007-08 should hand their Lombardi Trophy over the New England Patriots. Does anyone question who the more dominant team is there. Maybe the San Francisco Giants of 2010 should mail their spoils to Hank Steinbrenner of the Yankees; I mean, is anyone going to argue that Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff are somehow more impressive than Mark Tiexiera and A-Rod? Right.

True, we’ve seen this movie ending with more frequency of late. It is similarly true it would be boring to have a race end that way every week. Nothing beats a door-banging finish a la Kurt Busch and Ricky Craven. Every now and then, you have to expect Carl Edwards or Kyle Busch. On the other hand buzzer beaters and Hail Marys are the stuff of legend! For every North Carolina, you have to have an NC State once in a while.

It’s for that very reason that its cool to see a 25th place driver steal a win with clever use of the accelerator and brake, combined with perfect timing, and a dash of good luck. I don’t know, it seems like the same fans who complain about fuel strategy wins are also the same ilk who carp over “phantom” cautions. What else do you do to affect the outcome?

Are we saying that real racing is only about horsepower? Is it only about running perfect lines? If you take the fuel mileage element out of the mix, we may as well just have stock car drag racing.

If it gets Bad Brad in the Chase, then God bless him. If winning really matters, then he deserves it more Juan Pablo Montoya, or Mark Martin. Give me someone who finds any way they can to get a win, provided its within the rules over a points racers any day. Winning and trying to win; THAT is REAL racing.

Other articles by Jim include:
 

Chase Forecast: Who’s In, Who’s Out
Dale Jr.’s 2011 Is Cause For "The Nation’s" Optimism
Kyle Vs. Carl: The Tension Simmers