Talladega is not worthy of a Chase race

Should Talladega have a date on the Chase race calendar?!

Talladega is not worthy of a Chase race

As a viewer and fan of this sport, I think it I can safely say I am not the only one who was disappointed with the result of the Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega this Sunday. Switching between that and the dismal attempt at a football game between San Diego and Jacksonville, I’m not sure I could pick which event was more worth my while.

Talladega has lost much of what used to make it a gem as well as being two dates that no NASCAR fan should ever miss. The side by side pack racing is gone as it was clearly evident that the low line could not mount a charge late in the race. Whether that qualifies as exciting racing is subjective yes, but that argument can be had another day.

Drivers are so afraid of making a mistake and ruining not only their day, but so many others that it puzzles me as to why Talladega is even in the chase! We have ten races to determine a championship out of 36 and NASCAR willingly allows for one of the most dangerous tracks to be part of those ten? I’m not the first and certainly not the last to ask this question, but I will pose it here. Do we not believe that the Chase drivers deserve a better track to run at as part of their championship campaign?

Austin Dillon, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in trouble
Austin Dillon, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in trouble

Photo by: Getty Images

The answer in my estimation is yes they deserve a track where they can take some risk and not have to fear wrecking out on their championship hopes. We witnessed Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth lay back in the middle of the field on the final push to the front because neither could afford to be caught up in a major wreck. That is not racing, that is playing it safe and backing into a secure position and ride out the finish. I do not blame either driver; I blame NASCAR for having this track in the Chase. It is extremely sad when competitors willingly lay back to dodge a massive wreck.

There are far more deserving tracks such as Bristol or even the much talked about road course that could be added to the chase. At least give the drivers the opportunity to put the race in their own hands and race hard for title. If Kenseth or Johnson wrecked at Talladega, that would put one of them in a secure position with four races to go and I believe NASCAR knows that.

Race winner Jamie McMurray, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Race winner Jamie McMurray, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

It was sad to watch the final laps unfold as I thought to myself that this race is going to end in single file fashion and there is nothing anyone can do to mount a challenge for the lead. McMurray should have been a sitting duck as a two car tandem draft was supposed to try to pass him. But the two rookies of Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse were the reason for the final accident and it was not too surprising to see that rookies caused a problem at Talladega.

Maybe this is the way it should be and NASCAR has it right, but I firmly believe there is a better way to approach the final ten races. Put the racing in the driver’s hands and let them fight it out for the championship. For Kenseth and Johnson, they are extremely lucky to have survived Talladega and only be within four points of each other. With it appearing to be that they are the only two in contention for the title this year, it was very possible that we could have safely crowned a champion if one of them wrecked out. NASCAR should aim to fix this problem as the shine and allure of Talladega is long gone.

shares
comments
Almirola to drive the No. 41 Ford this weekend in honor of Maurice Petty

Previous article

Almirola to drive the No. 41 Ford this weekend in honor of Maurice Petty

Next article

Labonte is close to home in Martinsville

Labonte is close to home in Martinsville
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020