It seems everyone wants to go streaking these days.
First it was Hendrick Motorsports. Now it’s Ford. After Brad Keselwoski won at Loudon, Ford has won four straight races. It’s the longest streak for the brand in more than a decade. The real question is how many people noticed. It’s part of a breakdown of winners and losers from New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Win: Little Guys
Brad Keselowksi won the race and put himself into the lead with more than 30 points of cushion over Jimmie Johnson. To me, it’s the end of the standings that are far more intriguing. Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon used good finishes to be tied for the 16th and final Chase spot. Paul Menard would make the Chase. Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart wouldn’t.
Nascar wanted the final races before the Chase to have an added sense of desperation. Big names will be fighting for a few spaces; that number could shrink even further if a wild car wins (Marcos Ambrose and Watkins Glen anyone…) The new points certainly created new intrigue.
So if the points system is so exciting, why did Nascar lose? Where to start…
Why would Nascar run a race opposite the World Cup final? The World Cup clobbered Nascar races when directly competing. The race in California had meager attendance when running the same day as the Academy Awards. Nascar is at its best when it has the sporting spotlight. There’s no reason to not run this race either Monday night or Saturday night.
Why is Morgan Shepherd still racing? I don’t agree with Joey Logano about the need for a driving test. Shepherd could be 82 and if he qualifies, he qualifies. Any driver more than 10 laps down shouldn’t be on the track. Plus, any team outside this new race alliance barely has a chance to win, with the rare exception of Furniture Row Racing. If the field was 30 cars, would anyone really notice? If smaller teams want to run, isn’t that why there is a Nationwide Series? Nascar’s racing structure seems out of kilter, and Sunday’s Logano problem should serve as a topic of discussion for this racing alliance and Nascar. Had this happened during the Chase, it would be an even greater travesty.
Sunday was TNT’s final Sprint Cup race. NBC and FOX take over in 2014. The bad news is for the TNT folks who now have to find work. This is never a good thing.
The good news for fans is that the TNT crew was always in a tough spot to broadcast. Its season was only six weeks; that’s tough to develop consistent chemistry in front of and behind the camera. With ESPN having already cancelled Nascar Now, I’m eager to see what NBC and FOX can do, especially with the resources NBC is throwing behind its sports network.
Fans get to dream about 2014 a little bit since there’s no race this week. Enjoy the down time, and insert a random catchphrase here.