Thursday, 08 December 2022
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Let’s have a little history lesson, folks.

The year is 2003. Matt Kenseth wins the Winston Cup championship, with a grand total of 1 win. 2nd place points finisher Jimmie Johnson had 3 wins and ended up 90 points behind Kenseth in the standings. Meanwhile, Ryan Newman won a stunning 8 races that year (by far the most wins in his career in one season), but finished just 6th in points. Kurt Busch had 4 wins, and he came in 11th in points.

Matt Kenseth showed us in 2003 that consistency will win you a title, even moreso than wins. In addition to his 1 win, he had 11 top 5 finishes, and 25 top 10 finishes in 36 races. His average finish was 10.2, with only 2 DNFs. Newman, meanwhile, had an average finish of 13.9, and 7 DNFs. Stay out of the wall and finish well every week, and you’ll be champ without a showroom full of trophies.

The outcry was, of course, plentiful (yes, even before social media, people complained about everything in NASCAR). “How can you have a champion with only one win?” was the refrain often heard. 

And so we got (drumroll, please): The Chase. Yes, starting in 2004, NASCAR launched its own version of the playoffs, in large part a reaction to how Kenseth won in 2003. Winning through consistency was boring, and they wanted drama. And drama they got that first year.

Posted On Tuesday, 28 April 2020 00:15 Written by
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I’ve never liked the ‘what about?’ crowd.

You know the type. Any time somebody says or does something so wrong that everybody knows they shouldn't do it, this group is quick to jump online and defend, saying, “What about _______ ?” (fill in the blank for a completely unrelated matter that in no way excuses what was said or done).

If a politician says or does something inexcusable, the retort from this crowd is, “What about that unrelated thing their opponent did 10 years ago?”

If a person says something clearly offensive, they say, “What about if so-and-so said that? Would it still be offensive?”

This stupidity literally never ends. It’s one of the worst parts of being on the Internet. Everybody thinks they are correct, and there are always ‘two sides to every issue’.

The reality is, of course, that on many issues, there is only one side.

Posted On Tuesday, 14 April 2020 01:16 Written by
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Greetings race fans. It's Daytona 500 day.
When the green flag drops at 3:18 p.m. today at Daytona, here are some storylines to watch. 

Team alliances
How much will teams work together, if situations on track allow for them to do so? I foresee this being a major strategy, once again, for Chevy, Ford and Toyota. But history has shown the best plans usually are interrupted by the reality of plate racing. Those alliances usually don’t last, especially after cars get knocked out after big wrecks. We’ll see how this plays out and how much it determines the outcome of the race.

Blocking
Brad Keselowski and others have expressed concern about blocking and the major wrecks it is causing this Speedweeks. How much will drivers take that into account when they are making decisions as they battle for the lead and through the field? Hopefullly cooler heads will prevail, but when chasing the checkered flag common sense often goes out the window. We’ll learn this afternoon which side wins out.

Posted On Sunday, 16 February 2020 13:28 Written by
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One thing is clear after this weekend: Ford has hit a home run by bringing Hailie Deegan on board.

The 18-year-old phenom has a strong racing pedigree, talent to spare, and a great attitude overall. Previously, her detractors have critiqued her willingness to use the chrome horn to get a victory. But in Saturday’s ARCA race, she showed she has the patience to go far in this sport, and not make enemies unnecessarily.

Deegan’s efforts landed her a 2ndplace finish, sandwiched between two Venturini cars in 1stand 3rd, and she was happy with her effort.


“Pretty much at the end there, all I wanted to do was finish. My goal for this race was top three to top-five was a victory for me,” Deegan said. “It is a long season and I have to race against these guys week in and week out. It is best to stay on good terms with them. Second is really a win to me this weekend. Winning the first race would have maybe been a little too high of standards for the rest of the season. Everything would have been downhill. This gives me something to still work towards.”

Posted On Monday, 10 February 2020 01:45 Written by
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As I watched Joey Logano’s car turned into a lawn mower, Jimmie Johnson take a brutal hit into the wall, and so many other cars losing sheet metal today, part of me was thinking that this Busch Clash crashfest (which came late in the race after mostly single file racing through the early parts) may be an anomaly. It’s a non-points race, first of the season, etc., and won’t carry over to Sunday’s Daytona 500.

But that part of me is probably wrong. My other half, the realistic one, knows that winning the Daytona 500 is probably going to be the biggest win of their career for most of the drivers on the grid. So while I’m somewhat confident we’ll have more than 6 cars finishing the Daytona 500, don’t be surprised if the crazy blocks and big-time wrecks just keep on coming when the field of 40 takes the green on Feb. 16.

Posted On Monday, 10 February 2020 01:40 Written by
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