Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Edwards’ consistency, not wins, might win the championship

Carl Edwards leads the Chase by eight points over Tony Stewart and looks to be the favorite to win the championship with three races left, but he could do the unthinkable and win the title without a win in the Chase.

The #99 team has been the most consistent team throughout the entire season, and so far in the Chase. Sure, he may have run in the back much of the last two races, but they only award points for finishing position. Races such as the one Edwards had at Martinsville have always been the type of races that make a champion.

There is no better example of this than the team that has repeated near-perfection year after year to win the championship: the #48 team. It is big news when Jimmie Johnson doesn’t finish in the top 10, as opposed to when he has a good run. He gets more coverage after a bad race than a top-five finish simply because it happens so rarely.

The #48 team has been the best at turning a bad day into at least a decent day, and those consistent finishes have led to five consecutive championships.

The #99 team has been the best at salvaging bad days this year, and not-surprisingly Edwards currently sits in the lead.

Even after NASCAR has tried for years to change the rules to make the sport more about winning, Edwards could very well win this year’s championship with just as many wins as the guy who caused NASCAR to implement the Chase in the first place.

Matt Kenseth won just one race in his 2003 championship season, and NASCAR followed with a new playoff format the following year.

Now, after many tweaks to that system and an overhaul of how points are awarded this year, Edwards might do exactly what NASCAR wanted to prevent.

Edwards might win just one race on the season, and to make things worse, he could go winless in the Chase and still win the title. Does that mean we’ll get another new system next year?

That’s doubtful, but no matter how much NASCAR tries to change the meaning of the sport and make the championship more about winning, consistency still wins championships.

Johnson won the most races in only two of his five championship seasons. If NASCAR wanted wins to determine championships, it should’ve quit putting a costume on the points system and based the championship strictly on wins.

However, the problem with that is most years the end of the season would actually be less exciting, and often the champion would have the title wrapped up at least one race in advance. That would really bring things full circle as drivers clinching the championship before the final race was another issue the Chase was supposed to address.

Whoever wins this year’s championship won’t have it wrapped up before the final race at Homestead, but they might not have to win any of the final three races to win the championship.

That’s fine. The best team this year will still have the Sprint Cup Series trophy.


  1. So... Katie Scarlett O'Beagle's VooDoo against poor 'ol cousin Carl will actually work to keep the 99 out of Victory Lane and yet Edwards wins the championship? It's a win / win situation! LOL!

  2. Dwindy, Dwindy, Dwindy-

    The voodoo WILL keep him from winning the championship.

  3. If NASCAR based it's Champions on strictly wins Dale Earnhardt Senior would only be a 2 time champion, not a 7 time champion.

    Here is who would have won the Championship since 1972 if only wins counted.

    *after the name means that driver won the championship that year for real. Ties were broken by number of top 5's.

    72 - Bobby Allison - 10
    73 - David Pearson - 11
    74 - Richard Petty* - 10
    75 - Richard Petty* - 13
    76 - David Pearson - 10
    77 - Cale Yarborough* - 9
    78 - Cale Yarborough* - 10
    79 - Darrell Waltrip - 7
    80 - Cale Yarborough - 6
    81 - Darrell Waltrip* - 12
    82 - Darrell Waltrip* - 12
    83 - Darrell Waltrip - 6
    84 - Darrell Waltrip - 7
    85 - Bill Elliott - 11
    86 - Tim Richmond - 7
    87 - Dale Earnhardt* - 11
    88 - Rusty Wallace - 6
    89 - Darrell Waltrip - 6
    90 - Dale Earnhardt - 9
    91 - Harry Gant - 5
    92 - Davey Allison - 5
    93 - Rusty Wallace - 10
    94 - Rusty Wallace - 8
    95 - Jeff Gordon* - 7
    96 - Jeff Gordon - 10
    97 - Jeff Gordon* - 10
    98 - Jeff Gordon* - 13
    99 - Jeff Gordon - 7
    00 - Tony Stewart - 6
    01 - Jeff Gordon - 6
    02 - Matt Kenseth - 5
    03 - Ryan Newman - 8
    04 - Jimmie Johnson - 8
    05 - Greg Biffle - 6
    06 - Kasey Kahne - 6
    07 - Jimmie Johnson - 10
    08 - Carl Edwards - 9
    09 - Jimmie Johnson* - 7
    10 - Denny Hamlin - 8

  4. Wrote one about Carl, it is not showing up!! Just said he would not be a good example for our kids if he wins championship; he has pulled too many crazy stunts people tend to look over; examples; Brad, Kenseth, Harvick, Junior. Also, where is his wife and kids, all we see is his mother at the track?? Is he still married??