Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shouldn't NASCAR's Finale Be a Demolition Derby?

Today is the final race in the NASCAR season (not too much longer before the first race of next season). Right now, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick are in the running to take home the Sprint Cup championship. It's the first time the title has been up in the air since NASCAR when to the Chase format in 2004. Should be great racing.

Now, I'm not a racing guy so forgive me if this sounds dumb. But why is NASCAR more about "I" then "team"? I mean, why do they have "teams" but NASCAR is telling everyone to let the race happen?

I mean ... duh. NASCAR can't have a demolition derby where Hamlin's, Johnson's and Harvick's teammates take out their competitors. It's not good for the sport nor is it good for the TV viewing audience. After all, Johnson and Harvick would have their teammates try and take out Hamlin in the very first lap if they were smart. That's what a good teammate would do.

In hockey, those guys are called enforcers. They used to have them in basketball (some still exist). In baseball, you get "purpose pitches" to send a message. We have various defensive players ... and Hines Ward ... who get excited about knocking someone out of a game.

If NASCAR has teams, then why aren't they allowed to use them? I mean, what's the point of having teams? I know, it's stupid.

Granted, NASCAR is actually more worried about a teammate "letting" one of the drivers finish ahead of them in order to have a better shot at the Cup Championship. If Dale Earnhardt Jr is up at the front of the pack, why wouldn't he help teammate Johnson by blocking out the others in the Chase and letting Johnson pass him by?

And what if a teammate doesn't care about NASCAR's demands and does take someone out? What would NASCAR really do? Fine the team? Well, you'd have to prove that it wasn't an accident ... and even if you do, are you going to actually rip the title out of someone's hands? You can't really deduct points from the winner if he had nothing to do with the wreck.

It's unlikely, though it is interesting.

No comments: