I Don't Think I Like the New Chase For the Sprint Cup Anymore?

I Don’t Think I Like the New Chase For the Sprint Cup Anymore?

The first race of the second elimination round of the new NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup is over. Three of the drivers who have won races and been on the top of the standings the whole season had issues at Kansas Speedway and are now at the bottom of the standings. They are in serious trouble of being out of contention and eliminated during this, The Contender Round, of the Chase.

This has many fans upset, especially fans of Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson. How can this be? How can drivers who have won races including Keselowski who won a Chase race be on the outside hoping to get back in? It is upsetting.

It is not a foregone conclusion that these three drivers will not make it to the next round but another unfortunate circumstance or bad race and they will not. Any one of them could win this week at Charlotte Motor Speedway or next week at Talladega Superspeedway and they would move forward. They could also have good runs and some of the other drivers suffer a similar fate as they did at Kansas.

Does this mean the new Chase format is bad. No! It means the new Chase format is doing exactly what it was supposed to.

The new Chase Format was supposed to create drama and excitement for the fans. It is certainly doing that. In the Chicago area rarely do I hear people talking about NASCAR. Just the other day I overheard two people talking about these same drivers possibly missing the Chase. If this shows up in the TV ratings as this progresses then the new format will have done it’s job.

In years past many fans lamented that the Championship was settled long before the last race of the season. This year it is not and cannot be settled until the last race at Homestead Miami Speedway.

I don’t wish any ill will on Keselowski, Earnhardt Jr. or Johnson but the next two races will be events to watch to see if they can win and get to the next round. It will also be exciting to see if other drivers can win or have issues to drop out. This is far from over, We will start the drama and excitement again with an even smaller set of drivers when the Elimination Round begins.

If you cannot get to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank Of America 500 it will be broadcast live on ABC, Saturday, October 11th 2014 at 7 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 302109 Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images


6 thoughts on “I Don’t Think I Like the New Chase For the Sprint Cup Anymore?”

  1. So far, the TV ratings are down and I see a lot of empty seats at the races. If popular drivers are eliminated the drop will be far greater. The new Chase format is proving to be bust. Wonder what gimmick they will try next year?

  2. The ratings have been going down and the attendance has been dropping for years. The new Chase is not the cause of that, so stop your whining. Other sports survive when the “popular” teams are not in the Super Bowl or World Series, whatever. NASCAR is dying for many reasons and fixing the outcome so that the “popular” kids always finish first is one of the biggest. Why not just give the championship by fan vote – that’s obviously the only thing that will please the fans of the world?

  3. You can bet there will be lots of “debris” on the race track at Charlotte if any of the chosen ones are at risk of going a lap down. Instead of the teams doing the manipulating to have their cars advance, it will be Nascar to do their best to manipulate the races to make sure their cash cows go as far as possible in the playoffs.

    1. This is exactly the reason why interest, attendance and viewership have been going down. There is a perceived reality that NASCAR has been manipulating the races for years and then hammers a team for doing themselves.
      The caution for Kasey Kahne scraping the wall at Kansas was ludicrous. There was no debris, no immediate danger to other cars or the 5 and he would have gotten to pit road without issue.
      There have been too many mystery cautions over the years, and too many unnecessary cautions that years ago were not called. It was pretty much too bad you are going a couple laps down because you hit the wall. Bummer. Now, and I have seen it, NASCAR has thrown a caution for a car “spinning out” that actually did not spin out or anything. Yes it got very close to losing it but did not yet NASCAR threw a caution for no reason. Also, too many instances of the chosen team going a lap down and in danger of not being the first car 1 lap down and low and behold a caution flies for debris. Also, many time the debris is so far off the track there is no possible way it could end up on the racing surface but caution.
      NASCAR needs to look at the NCAA BBall tourney’s they are more popular than ever and if the top seed loses it adds to the drama and yes ratings may take a hit that year for the finals but up the following year as the any team can beat any team on any give night is played out.
      Biggest issue is it is team versus team not team versus, 39+ other teams.

  4. The way that Kyle Larson has been driving lately, he might win at Charlotte or Talladega and if a Non Chase driver wins … Larson or someone else, that will certainly ruin the “Win and get in” move to the next round chance for Jimmy, Dale Jr, and Brad….. but….. I do not think that it is impossible for them to climb the standings by points and still surpass some of the drivers who are now safely in the “Move on the the next round” positions… we all know that Jimmy is Strong at Charlotte and Martinsville and Dale Jr is strong at Talladega but isnt Brad just as strong at all three as well and also has help of a team mate that is already moving to the next round (nothing to lose if Lagano helps draft Brad up to a win a Talladega… right….. Keep in mind that Harvick has become a contender at about any track that they have unloaded but just hasn’t lived up to his nick name of “THE Closer” this year due to some mistakes and un-timely cautions………… in closing, I still do not think that the Chase format is where it should be based upon the type of sport that racing is compared to the stick and ball excitement of the Fall on slaught of various sports that take away attention from NASCAR……….

Comments are closed.