Hamlin’s stats show: 1-win, 7-Top 5, and 17 Top 10.
Newman’s stats show: 0 wins, 4 Top 5, and 15 Top 10
Compare those numbers with several drivers eliminated from the Chase:
Keselowski: 6 wins, 16 Top 5, 19 Top 10
Gordon: 4 wins, 14 Top 5, and 22 Top 10
Earnhardt: 4 wins, 12 top 5, and 20 Top 10
Actually compare Hamlin’s and Newman’s stats with those of Kyle Larson.
Larson: 0 wins, 8 Top 5, 17 Top 19
Larson’s stats are better than Newman’s and Larson can do no better than finish 17th in the point standings.
It seems to me that if either Hamlin or Newman should be crowned champion on Sunday that they will be champions of the new format, certainly not the top driver of the season.
I am not a fan of Joey Logano either. He certainly does have talent, and is showing it after his move to Penske Racing last year. I am just not a fan, no logic to it, just not.
I do not have a problem with Kevin Harvick winning the championship. He has performed well, even though his team has had problems-more so before the crew switch leading into the Chase though. He has 4 wins, 13 Top 5, and 19 Top 10. That is a championship like season. So, I will be cheering for Harvick to finish ahead of the others at Homestead.
Homestead could very well be a race that one of the four Chase contenders does not win. With each elimination round, the odds of a non-Chase driver winning increases. Do you think Jeff Gordon would like to win on Sunday? Or Keselowski, Johnson, Earnhardt, and others?
I think there are 10-12 drivers outside the Chase that could win the race. That is disturbing in that those drivers doing well means Newman has a better shot at winning the championship. I don’t have any great dislike of Newman, but when I think of “winning a championship,” it starts with winning. Never before has a Sprint Cup champion-by whatever name-not won a race, and I am just as sure that never has a Sprint Cup champion had just 4 Top 5 finishes.
I realize that the Chase format was done to create excitement among young people. NASCAR’s demographics show the average age of fans is well over 40, and TV and sponsors love youth. I think the leaders of NASCAR should tweak the Chase yet again-heck, they do that about every year anyway. I like the win and advance, and I am not opposed to eliminations after every three races. What I would like to see is that the drivers who advance on points don’t do so based on all three of each round’s races, rather on their best two of the three.
I haven’t studied all the finishes of the nine Chase races, but my system might have created a final four of Harvick, Keselowski, Gordon, and either Earnhardt or Logano. Tell me if those drivers racing for a championship on Sunday would create a buzz.
Thanks for stopping by.