|05/12/22||Winning is the Only Thing|
|04/21/22||When Dirt is Not a Four-Letter Word|
|04/14/22||How’s That New Car Smell?|
|04/07/22||It’s a Numbers Game|
|03/29/22||The Road to Success|
No Room for Error
I was wrong.
From the time this new Chase format was introduced, I talked about how I didn't like the winner-take-all finale, but did like the three race segments.
I still don't like the winner-take-all finale; but I was wrong when I stated that, at least, the three race segments would give a driver a chance to make up for a bad performance. As it's turned out, that hasn't been the case.
Kyle Busch started the Chase with 5 straight top-10s and had a third and fifth in the Contender Round leading up to Talladega. When Austin Dillon didn't get stopped in time and hit Busch from behind, it dropped the #18 team to 40th and out of the Chase.
In the Eliminator Round, Jeff Gordon finished second twice; but the 29th place finish at Texas (a race he was leading with the laps winding down) caused him to miss the final four by one point.
The fact is, I shouldn't be surprised. Take a look at the top -10 from pretty much any race in the Chase, and you'll see it filled with Chase drivers. Simply, they made the Chase because they were the best all year; that doesn't change.
What I don't want to see is NASCAR tweak the system. We need a larger sample size than one before we decide if it's working or not.