Monday, March 08, 2004

NASCAR raced, too

Last season's champion, Matt Kenseth, won. Since he was noted more for reliability than for stellar finishes last season, this was a nice change! Now the question is whether or not he can keep it up.

As I watched both this race and the F1 race this weekend, I thought some more about why I am willing tolerate moving chicanes like Minardi in F1, but find them a foolish annoyance in Nextel cup racing. As I watched Dale Earnhardt Jr struggle around the track while having an uncharacteristically bad day, and then retire early, my thoughts on the subject began to gel somewhat. Minardi may struggle to keep their cars running on the track, but they rarely affect the race for the title. Since F1 doesn't score championship points for all the cars, the order of the backmarkers is largely irrelevant, they are only there to provide launching platforms for some drivers careers, and to provide signage for their advertisers. However, the non-competitive cars actually gave DE Jr a points advantage by racing and dropping out as soon as they had earned their appearance money. The extra 24 championship points that he got could easily affect the end of the season standings, particularly since the top ten teams after 26 races get put an equal footing to duke it out.

I applaud the no-hopers with a dream, I just don't think they should be allowed to affect the standings as much as they can in NASCAR.