Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or @NickBromberg. We'll post them here and have a good time.
If Kevin Harvick comes back to win the 2015 championship, he'll have the worst start to the Chase of any Chase champion.
After the restart madness during the middle of the race – and Harvick not pitting to save a possible calamity –Harvick ended up finishing 42nd. The poor finish got us wondering how all of the Chase champions have started the Chase. Here's how they did. Note that New Hampshire was the first race of the Chase through 2010.
2004: Kurt Busch, 1st
2005: Tony Stewart, 2nd
2006: Jimmie Johnson, 39th
2007: Johnson 6th
2008: Johnson, 2nd
2009: Johnson, 4th
2010: Johnson, 25th
2011: Stewart, 1st
2012: Brad Keselowski, 1st
2013: Johnson, 5th
2014: Harvick, 5th
As you can see, the only driver who had a bad start close to Harvick's was Johnson in 2006. And it's worth noting that the points system back then was much more favorable for bad finishes. The ratio of points in the current system is skewed against poor finishes.
However, it's also imperative that we note the elimination format of this Chase. These results don't tell us much other than noting where the champions have started the Chase. If Harvick can get into the second round in race four, the points are reset and he's back to level ground. The small-sample size plays against him if he doesn't get a win in the next two races too.
If you're looking at the last two years and expecting the 2015 champion to come from the fifth-place finisher at Chicago, Matt Kenseth is your guy.
We got some interesting responses to our post asking what the hell New Hampshire Motor Speedway is doing having Curt Schilling give the pre-race prayer for Sunday's race. Including this gem:
Are you serious about your ridiculously left wing editorial ranting about Curt Schilling's selection for the pre-race prayer?
Are you another liberal censorship Nazi, or do you pretend to be one?
Stick to sports reporting and do NOT preach ideology, my friend. You are not God, as you think you are.
Curt is NOT controversial, he expresses only what the vast majority of us in the real world feel, not what the small percentage of those of you in the media industry think everyone else believes. - SSG Edward Diaz
What in the world? If you separate the tweet that Schilling made (and your feelings for or against it) to get himself suspended from Sunday Night Baseball at ESPN from the suspension itself, it's still an incredibly, incredibly head-scratching decision by the track. They're picking someone suspended from his current position to be part of its pre-race prayer ceremonies. And that someone would clearly not have been an option if ESPN was still televising the Chase.
Shouldn't you be picking an incredibly inoffensive person for the prayer? Or, as we referenced yesterday, maybe this attention is what the track was perversely looking for. We're not talking about this if they picked someone else.
But seriously, Edward, you need to chill out. Heaven forbid someone have a different opinion than you do that's been thought out. Same goes for this dude too. Though we must admit that we're disappointed to find out that we are not, in fact, a higher power.
— georgewanderson (@gwanders) September 24, 2015
We don't expect everyone to agree with all of our opinions on the blog. But we do at least expect y'all to understand that those opinions and columns aren't written for "a few clicks and new followers." If it's not believed and backed up, it's not going to be written. Period. There's plenty of nuance and rationality in the world if you allow yourself to see it.
@NickBromberg You're in the wrong goddamn sport then. Soccer is calling.
— BaerTraxx (@BaerTraxx) September 24, 2015
This tweet was in response to our reaction to the announcement that Florida-Georgia Line is the pre-race concert for the 2016 Daytona 500. They're bro-country's finest. The Creed of country music. The Fireball of country music. The Bud Light of country music.
But we don't have to like them. And neither do you. We really like soccer too. But just because we do doesn't mean you have to like it.
Speaking of the 2016 Daytona 500, it's getting a bit late for the 2016 Sprint Cup schedule. The 2015 schedule was released on August 26, 2014. Unless the 2016 schedule comes out in two days, it'll be over a month later this year. Though one reader tells us 2014 was relatively early.
@NickBromberg WHO IS GOING TO SPONSOR THE CUP SERIES IN 2016?
— ANNOYING RACE FAN (@annoyingracefan) September 24, 2015
Sprint? The company isn't bailing early on its contract.
If we're picking 2017 sponsors (sarcastically), big pharma seems to be a strong candidate with the prevalence of health-related sponsorships and pharmaceutical ads during Sprint Cup races.
Or hey, maybe Dunkin' Donuts could sponsor it. Chase on in to Dunkin' Donuts for a coffee and a donut!
— Bill Bowser (@BillBowser2015) September 24, 2015
The first race that pops in to our minds is Auto Club Speedway earlier in the year (sorry Brad). Kurt Busch had that race won until the caution. What pops into your brain first? Tweet Bill.
The MWR legacy will be what? Which CFB conference refs would have overturned the call on the field for 24 car? https://t.co/vynxbkUmba
— Brian Cullather (@Briancullather) September 24, 2015
Well, if the team's appeal of Wednesday's penalty isn't overturned, it's going to be penalties. And even if it is ... it's going to be penalties. Bookending your Cup tenure with crippling penalties pretty much guarantees that you're going to be remembered for breaking the rules. Add in what happened at 2013 at Richmond and you're going to have jokes for years and years.
We're also going to be nice and not pick on any conference. The call on the field would have stood because there was no evidence to overturn. And we're also going to keep hoping that NASCAR's threat to review restarts doesn't result in any actual penalties. We have no doubt that drivers are pushing/breaking restart rules. But now's not the time to change the way those rules have been enforced.
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