Friday, October 31, 2008

Changing the Chase format would change nothing that matters

FORT WORTH, Texas – This is me. About to SCREAM!

I thought I was weary of election talk. And I am. But I would rather be forced to watch campaign ads on a continuous loop for the next three days that listen to one more Sprint Cup driver be asked how the Chase for the Sprint Cup ought to be changed.

Actually, I would rather have somebody poke me in the eye with a sharp stick than listen to more Chase questions.

OK, I am going to try this one more time. Because I am a patient man, I guess.

There is nothing you can to do ANY championship format that will change the fact that Jimmie Johnson and his team have been money in the championship bank the past three years.

In 2006 Johnson rallied from a big deficit with a streak of five races in which he finished second four times and first once. Last year, he won four in a row. This year, he has seven top-10 finishes in seven tries while everybody else in the Chase has had at least one stumble.

Johnson has 23 straight Chase race finishes of 14th or better, with 21 of those being top-10 finishes. If you can run like that, you SHOULD be the champion.

The 12-11-10-9-8 system? It doesn’t change anything. The idea of throwing out your worst finish? Changes nothing. The idea of a shorter Chase – five races instead of 10 – would make it closer after two races but if it was a five-race Chase people would gripe about that not being a fair representation of how to pick a champion. Somebody would STILL want to put a road-course race in the Chase, which is a spectacularly bad idea.

Greg Biffle said Friday he’d like to see Talladega pulled out of the Chase because it’s too much of a wild card. Let me ask this. Does everybody in the Chase have to race Talladega? I thought so.
Sports Illustrated’s Lars Anderson wrote this week that the 12-11-10-9-8 system would have Carl Edwards 19 points behind Johnson right now, meaning Edwards would “still be in the hunt.”

Well, 19 points certainly sounds closer than 183 points, which is Edwards’ current deficit. But, for the 90th time, it’s an illusion. In that system, if Edwards won here Sunday and Johnson finished 43rd, he would still be eight points behind Johnson. In that system, that’s eight positions with two races to go.

But as it now stands, if Edwards wins and Johnson finishes last year then Johnson is only 22 points back. That’s no more than five positions, and that’s counting everybody in the race. To make up ground in the 12-11-10-9-8 system, Edwards would have to beat Johnson and seven other Chase drivers to catch Johnson at Phoenix.

The way it is now Edwards could catch up by beating Johnson and just four other drivers – anybody. Or he could win and have Johnson finish as high as THIRD at Phoenix.

As would be the case in the “mulligan” system, Edwards is closer to Johnson in the current format than he would be in the 12-11-10-9-8 system.

When is an idea a bad idea? When it makes the situation you think is bad even worse than it currently is. And there’s no way to fix a bad idea by talking about – no matter how much you talk about it.


cdnnascarnut said...

I need to ask an silly questions, becuase I've missed this in the discussion over the last few weeks. What's a 12-11-10-9-8 system?

David Poole said...

Separate point system for Chase drivers. 12 points for the best finishing Chase driver. 11 for next best, 10 for next best and so on.

John said...

I know what would work. Make Johnson sit out the first half of the chase. That's no stupider than the rest of the ideas being floated around.

Why can't people just accept the fact that at the moment, Johnson is the best driver in the chase.

controlboy said...

Give the 48 a 400 lb penalty like they do in sports car racing when one car or team is having too much success. Once again. no goofier than other suggestions.

Monkeesfan said...

First of all, Greg Biffle wants Talladega out of the Chase because it's too much of a wildcard? There's no such thing as "too much of a wild card, Greg. If he dislikes Talladega racing that much, he's a coward.

Second, one can't change that Jimmie Johnson has won the last three titles (2006-7 and this pending one). The only change that does need to be made is not specific to any particular driver - the Chase format needs to be abolished, they need to revert to the basic Latford System, and add 125 bonus points per race win and 100 bonus points per most laps led. Then the sport would have a point system that requires winning and leading because then there would e no choice but to go for the lead no matter what race and what lap.

A bad idea is one that makes a bad situation orse. The Chase format has done this; the suggested "improvments" to the format can't possibly help. Only abolition and reversion to a wins/laps-oriented point system will make a bad situation good again.

Anonymous said...

No need to mess with the chase format. The post-race inspectors just need to be sure they're paying attention when the 48 rolls through. Lord knows what Cheatin' Chad gets away with. I'd rather watch my driver finish 2nd than to know that he has a CC with absolutely no morals/character.

Anyway, if we wanted to mix it up a bit, we'd have a road course in the chase. A real championship caliber like Stewart or Gordon can turn right too.

Mike Hutton said...

Biffle thinks that Talladega is the wild card? Shouldn't someone remind him that this fall HE was the joker in that deck who caused the problem?

Charles C said...

Please let me be the one with the fork! Everyone knows you think JJ is the best since King Richard and sliced bread, Poole - why write about it every year? I guess to make sure everyone is fooled into to missing how you love to rewrite history. The bottom line though is that in 2007 without the Chase points system - and that is ANY Chase points system - JJ finishes second behind Gordon (300+ points behind actually), and Gordon has his 5th Championship. Johnson is a great driver on a great team - no doubt. There's just no reason for you to keep trying to pad his please, hold steady and look straight ahead...

Lance said...

I would only like to see one change to the chase. I think they need to add bonus points for a chase win.(25pts) Why do you get bonus points for a "regular" season win, but not a chase win? That makes no sense to me. Biffle won the first two chase races, but was still in second. How absurd! That needs to change.

World 600 said...

Everybody knows it's all about making NASCAR and the sponsors more money.If this turns out to be a yawner chase like the Kenseth championship was and viewers/attendance continues to drop off, you can bet your sweet bippy changes will be a comin'

Of course, it's a screwed-up "championship" anyway. I would respect a driver who either won or blowed up that somebody who finished second or third every race of the year.

Anonymous said...

I AM NOT A JJ FAN!! that said, why-o why do most of you people hate the fact he(and Chad) are doing exactly what they get paid to do?!?! The whole idea in motorsports is to destroy the field, lap them several times, etc. The fact that they have hit on an exceptional combination of car, crew, driver and owner should make everyone happy- not crabby! If it was YOUR favorite driver- you would be singing right now. I seem to remember the "king" wasn't loved by everyone in his day either. I guess nobody loves a winner in NASCAR.......................

Anonymous said...

Biffle got runover my goofy Carl and it was HIS fault, did I miss something? Everyone needs to quit bitching and go find something else to watch if they don't like it. Nascar started this crap when they changed it from 10 to 12 drivers in the chase! They should have left it at 10. Now everyone is a rocket scientists and thinks if they bitch enough nascar will make more changes.SHUT UP AND ENJOY THE RIDE OR GET OFF AT THE NEXT STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

First off, I'm biased towards Hendricks Motorsports. I'm a huge Jeff Gordon and Earnhardt Jr. fan. I don't dislike Jimmie Johnson, but clearly there's something "unique" about the 48 team. I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but I think it's time to review the great fortune, luck, decisions, non-decisions, and overall performance of the team. Especially since the Chase has started.

Is JJ a good driver? Absolutely. Is he good enough to have won three straight championships? Hardly. The competition is too tough nowadays (and I'm old school) and somehow, the 48 team just starts doing the right things when the Chase starts.

And no, this isn't sour grapes, but there have been more than a few races over the last 5 years where JJ's car has been junk most of the race, and all of a sudden, the car "comes to him"?

Please, lets go to the tape.

Anonymous said...

People who believe there is an "S" at the end of the name "Hendrick" don't deserve to be NASCAR fans.

It's Hendrick Motorsports, not Hendricks. Go back and tend the still, moron.

carrie said...

Pooley just think in a couple of months everyone will be spending weeks upon weeks trying to understand and change Daytona's qualyfing.


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