This year was sort of a disappointment for me as far as NASCAR is concerned. Jeff Gordon dominated the entire year and has nothing to show for it. He went into the chase leading by over 300 points, and wasn’t even in first when they started the race at New Hampshire. I think something needs to be done about the current system. Gordon should get something for winning the ‘regular season’. In the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL they have division and league champs. There should be some sort of trophy for finishing first in the first 26 races. I know it won’t mean as much as the title does, but it is still something. Gordon had an amazing year. He had 30 top 10’s on the season. Think about it. In 36 races he only finished 10th or worse six times. He had a season that would probably be considered his second best behind the 1998 season. Jimmie Johnson his teammate was hot when it counted. He won four races in a row to all but lock up the chase at the end. His team reminds me of the old days when Gordon has Ray in the pits. Whatever call was made was the right one. One thing that did get to me watching the Homestead race was how the announcers kept saying that Gordon had been chasing Johnson all year. That is untrue! They love to jump on the bandwagon of the new pretty boy don’t they? If it was up to them Edwards would win everything.
Here is how I did on my pre-season predictions:
Daytona 500 Winner: My pick was Tony Stewart. He of course did not win. Kevin Harvick spoiled the day for Mark Martin by passing him at the last minute for the win.
Daytona 500 Rookie of the Race: Montoya. I really did not go out on a limb here. See rookie of the year.
Race of the Year: I picked the spring Bristol race because of the track history, and the debut of the car of tomorrow. In my opinion the race of the year was the duel between Gordon and Johnson at Martinsville.
Rookie of the Year: I picked Juan Montoya because I am a smart man. He is such a good racer it would have taken a tragedy for him not to get this.
Nextel Cup (Soon to be Sprint Cup) Champion: I picked Stewart. I really thought it would be his year. His season was summed up at Homestead when he backed the car into the wall, and then keyed the mike and said “Fix it now.” He was loose all day, and finally lost it. The team did put four tires on him so he could go back out. The actual champ. See above rant.
Big Name to Miss the Chase: Dale Jr. I was right here. I think next year will be much different though.
Surprise Driver in the Chase: I had a hard time picking between Stremme and Yeley. They both were let go from their teams so that shows what I know. Bowyer was by far the biggest surprise in the chase. He was in the hunt for quite some time.
Drivers in the Chase: Here are the drivers that I thought would be in:Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, David Stremme, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Jeff Burton. I was only off by a couple. Here are the drivers that made the chase. Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., and Clint Bowyer.
The Cup will be called the Sprint Cup next season, but that is not the sad issue. The saddest thing for me is the fact that the Busch Series will be called the Nationwide Series. This is one of the last parts of NASCAR that has not changed since I started watching. Now that is gone as well. I suppose I will just be stubborn and call it the Busch Series.
Next year I will be going to the spring race at Bristol. I haven’t been to a Cup race since 2004, and it was the spring race at Bristol. We are over 4 months away from leaving, but I am already excited. I posted a small clip I found on YouTube that I thought was pretty cool.