Suffocation, Math, and Johnson: The All-Star Race

You can change the rules, you can throw in some math, you can put in a rain delay, but nothing can faze the no. 48 team and its driver Jimmie Johnson.

There is a reason Johnson wins, and there’s a reason he’s a five-time champion. It’s a mixture of talent, a sound-structured crew, and a Chevy team that supports him all the way. The domination is justified, which bothers some people. That’s completely understandable; nobody likes too much repetition. It’s suffocation.

Because of the new car, teams are behind. Way behind. The two teams with advantages are Hendrick and Joe Gibbs Racing. It may takes weeks, months, seasons to figure this new machine out, and that puts everyone else five laps down. The domination ruins the racing, unless it’s your driver doing said dominating.

Something needs to change, although the solution is fuzzy. However, the adjustments that are needed for The All-Star Race is clear as day.

First, a recap of what happened: Each Busch brother won two segments. There was some good racing up until the final pit stop and segment. Then math happened. Then Johnson won.

The first four segments were 20 laps each, the final one ten. Before that final section, a four-tire pit stop was required. The way the cars entered the pits was determined by taking their finishes from the four previous segments and averaging them.

Confusing? You have no idea.

The final segment isn’t long enough. I don’t see why the race isn’t a full 100 laps. Five segments of 20 laps each, easy as that. Also, eliminate the math; there’s a reason I strive to become a NASCAR writer, and leaving my College Algebra demons behind in on that list. It made everyone even more upset at SPEED when they got the numbers wrong.

You can’t change a driver’s talent, yet you can change the layout of an exhibition race. The truth is, even if you threw in a field inversion, a military obstacle course, and a competitive eating competition, you can never please all the fans. They will feel suffocated no matter what you do.

It’s all about balance. And talent. And no math.

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8 thoughts on “Suffocation, Math, and Johnson: The All-Star Race”

  1. Outstanding article! And you hit the nail on the head!

    It doesn’t really matter what rule changes are made, what NASCAR does with the segments, or anything else; the cream rises to the top!

  2. I am not quite sure how JJ got placed 4th on the final stop…my math ( and the Speed crew’s) was alittle different than Nascar’s … Guess that’s why they get the big bucks! The Showdown was fairly boring…the All Star race had its moments…but quite honestly it wasn’t worth all the hype…

  3. NASCAR has finally eclipsed the WWE. The hype was too much, the racing was boring. Danica being voted in was a joke. The vote counters must have been imported from Chicago, if you know what I mean. Followed NASCAR for over 45 years and I’m sorry to say that I’m done with them,. Brian has turned a once pretty good sport into circus with the announcers nothing but shills. He has silenced the drivers. This is not just my opinion, the stands have fewer and fewer fans, TV ratings are flat at best so those not in the stands are not watching on TV.

  4. Ken, I agree. I have been watching since the days of ABC Wide World of Sports in the 60’s! I have been attending since the early 70’s. Used to be exciting and unpredictable, most of the time. There were dominant teams like Petty and the Wood Brothers. But the action was there. Today, it is so vanilla (with my apology to vanilla) that the racing is predictable. Now what is exciting about that? Stands are empty because most of us don’t want to pay the price to be bored. I can be bored at home, but at least I can turn the channel or get some food, etc.

  5. I’m with you on people on this, I haven’t watched a NASCAR race in two years. However I do read about the results, and still have my favorite drivers. But NASCAR is really just Big Time Wrestling in a car. This Danica thing they keep trying to ram down our throats really shows it all. She has the best equipment, and financial support, yet she couldn’t even win a Nationwide race in two seasons. Her finish in the Nationwide last season on the surface wasn’t too bad, until you realize that the 6 drivers in the top ten were Sprint Cup drivers, and not allowed points. That means she finished in the twenties somewhere. The cost of the sport, and the greed that forces them to manipulate the races,like the no penalties against Gibbs, is destroying the sport. It won’t be too many more years that NASCAR will no longer be on TV every week, and NASCAR will have no body but itself to blame for their greed.

  6. Get the front ends of the cars off the ground,and let the teams bump the rear spoilers up or down a few degrees. This “foot on the floor” all around a mile and a half track is rediculus. There was GREAT racing at Charlotte when ave. speeds were in 160/170MPH

  7. Yes, the Danica thing was predictable/ridiculous. The thing every poster before me quotes is that they’re a long time Nascar fan, back even to the 60’s and 70’s. Don’t you middle-aged white guys realize that Nascar doesn’t care about your opinion anymore? They want young people, women and minorities to watch because they know someday soon you’ll start to die and then Nascar is really in trouble. You complain a lot, but you still watch every week. They’ve got you (and me) but it’s like anything on TV today…it’s all about young people and advertiser dollars.

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