Barring a last place finish by Jimmie Johnson and a 1st or 2nd place finish by Carl Edwards at the same time on Sunday, that NASCAR Cup trophy which has had Johnson's name etched on it since the Chase started will be a total waste of a race day. NASCAR brass are finally panicking at the future forecast of their sport--something they have been in denial about for the past 3-4 years much as an ostrich with his head in the sand standing on the beach as a tidal wave descends denies that he is going to get wet.
Did you ever think DEI would have to merge with anyone? Did you ever think you'd hear about shortening the racing season? Did you think you'd hear about the ratings being down an average of 10% below the figures from last year, which were 6-9% below the figures from the year before? Did you ever think you'd see so many empty seats at Atlanta that you could actually count the attendance? Did you ever think NASCAR would consider eliminating testing as a cost-savings measure? Did you ever think that the Winston-Salem Journal, which has been covering NASCAR since 1949, would ELIMINATE its NASCAR coverage at the end of November?? The multi-millionaires that own and run the sport have been out of touch with the common folks--the folks that built the sport through their enthusiasm, caring and support.
NASCAR, indeed, could have stopped some of the apathy that's become apparent during the Chase by making changes that would have leveled the playing field--such as having qualifying for Cup races the days after rainouts set the field. That in itself can be credited for the championship Johnson is poised to 'win.' There is absolutely no reason qualifying could not have been held for the rainouts in the Chase. NASCAR has changed rules mid-season before. It's not like it would be a precedent.
Cale Yarborough WON 3 consecutive championships in a time where there were not million dollar motorhomes, full time race day crews, flights in and out on raceday, 100,000 square foot shops and an industry built around racing. Cale's wins were tough, competitive and gruelling. To try and compare Johnson's soon to the 3rd consecutive 'championship' with Cale Yarborough's is ludicrous. Johnson may tie Yarborough, but there is no comparison as to the feat. It's like in the olden days of baseball when the Baltimore Orioles had four 20-game winners in 1970 -- and the wins were NOT aided by setup men and closers. If a team today has one 20-game winner (a rare feat), it is not done without limiting pitches and having top-notch closers. That's much the same type of difference between racing in the 1960's-1980's and today. Teams today are corporations and to try and compare a feat like 3 consecutive championships in Cale's era versus today is simply ridiculous.
And, one more thing....HOW ABOUT LETTING THE 43 FASTEST CARS RACE, ELIMINATE THE CHAMPION'S PROVISIONAL AND RETURN TO REAL RACING? IF YOU WANT FANS BACK, NASCAR, START MAKING IT MORE OF AN EVEN FIELD AND LESS OF A MEGA-TEAM RACE SERIES!!!