Nascar finally has its final four, though the path it took to get sure was messy. Here’s a Nascar recap of winners and losers from Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race For The Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Win: Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman is a fine driver. He has had a great year with Richard Childress Racing. This tweet says it all.
Slight flaw in the system. RT @GeoffreyMiller Ryan Newman, no better than third for 51 straight Cup races, is now one race from a title.
— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) November 9, 2014
Actually it doesn’t. Newman wrecked a driver on purpose to get a point to make Homestead. Certain drives make aggressive moves and get vilified. Newman gets praised for doing what he had to do. Again, if I were Newman, I probably would have wrecked Kyle Larson as well. But imagine if Larson would have gotten hurt or worse?
Kudos to Newman for making Homestead; the fact he had a path to get there exposes real flaws in this new Chase format.
Lose: Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
A quick word about Gordon; he got hosed. Keselowski makes a bonehead move and cuts Gordon’s tire. Gordon responds Sunday with a second place finish and loses out on Homestead because another driver intentionally wrecked someone to qualify. Nascar added Gordon to the Chase last year; it should add him to Homestead Sunday.
As for the other three, there is a simple fix to Nascar’s playoff problem. As it stands now, drives who win a race make the Chase. Why can’t Chase drivers who win a Chase race automatically qualify for Homestead? This eliminates dumb luck and dumber drivers from ruining someone’s season and emphasizes winning. This seems simple to do.
One one hand, Nascar’s new playoff format has serious flaws and endangers drivers. It’s can’t continue in its current format.
On the other hand, Nascar will get a new champion Sunday. Kevin Harvick had a crazy comeback. Joey Logano would be great for the sport. Denny Hamlin can overcome Homestead demons of years past. Ryan Newman would be Villanova on steroids. Any way this gets sliced, people will be talking a week from Sunday. Isn’t that all Nascar really wants?
Enjoy the push to a new champion, and insert a random catchphrase here.