You shouldn't have to praise professionalism, Joe Average's show it every day at our workplaces. But, in sports, it doesn't often show.

This year, we are seeing a couple of great examples of it; and last year we saw one as well.

I'm talking about the lameducks.

We spent a lot of time, before this season, asking how long it would be before Richard Childress was taking his watch off and going toe-to-toe with Kevin Harvick. Instead, Harvick and his team but together an impressive performance in the fourth race of the Chase, and are still in the title hunt. 

Kurt Busch is still turning in good finishes for a team that could have settled for "just being glad they made the Chase".

Part of the credit goes to the personalities of the drivers. These are highly competitive guys who are driven to win.  And, part of the credit goes to the crews. While some, on the outside, may believe that the crews are not going to turn in maximum effort for a guy who is leaving them at the end of the year, the fact is that they're professionals as well. They are not going to put in the kind of hours they do each week, just to show up at the track and go through the motions.

And, part of the credit goes to the whole "team" aspect. As long as the crews believe they're still getting the driver's best; they'll respond accordingly.

No doubt, a lameduck situation is a challenging one. And, these are pretty good examples of how to make it work.