To help stave off some of the potential criticism, and to mitigate charges of favoritism that dogged it in the wake of the Bowyer affair of earlier this Chase, NASCAR has gone ahead and summoned the three cars which championship contenders Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick plan to use in the season-ending showdown in Homestead. (For the newbies: NASCAR drivers don't use the same cars every week, so it's not like they're taking away cars that would be used this weekend in Phoenix.)
NASCAR measured the cars to ensure they fit templates ahead of the race, and sure enough, everybody checked out. It was a minor move, yes, but a wise one. No matter what happens over the next two races, somebody's going to be very, very unhappy. And NASCAR is thus giving all three competitors every chance possible to win. (Unless, of course, that's what they want you to think, so they can rig it in favor of Jimmie! Wow, that's genius!)
It's a good move, but as always happens, the controversy is going to come from an angle that no one could possibly predict. Here's where you get the chance to talk: what could NASCAR do to head off complaints of favoritism or reduce the controversy? Plan ahead, or ride it out when it comes?
- Jimmie Johnson