Monday, November 11, 2013
Just What I Wanted
The politically correct thing to do would be to say how much I wish the Phoenix race had ended differently for Matt Kenseth because what I really want to see is the excitement of a 7th game moment for the NASCAR championship....but that wouldn't be true and all my NASCAR friends would know it wasn't true. What I was hoping for was exactly what happened....Jimmie coming out of Phoenix with a nice points cushion. Even at that I don't feel totally safe. I'm one of those worriers who think about everything that could go wrong. I think about a Homestead race like Jimmie had last year.
I like Kenseth a lot, I really do, and I feel badly for him but not badly enough.
I was lucky enough to be at Homestead in 2010 to watch Jimmie win his fifth championship and I'd give anything to be there again. I don't know why so many people suggest moving the final race to another venue. Homestead is a terrific track. It is beautiful and the weather in southern Florida in November is perfect, neither too hot nor too cold. The racing is good and you can see the action all the way around the track. If you want to stay in the area while, there is much to see and do in the Miami area or maybe go on down to the Keys to salute your team or drown your misery at the outcome in the happy revelry Key West is famous for.
I don't care what the JJ haters think or say. Let them spew their vitriol if they can't recognize that they are watching something spectacular....as spectacular as The King and the Intimidator and the Boy Wonder....those other NASCAR heroes - a team that has spent 10 years at the top of its game. I'll laugh all the way to Las Vegas.
Some people want to give the bulk of the credit for the 48's success to Chad and he deserves a lot of it but if, as Carl Edwards said, you saw those two incredible saves on Sunday and can't admit sheer mastery behind the wheel, then you're deliberately refusing to be impressed. Some people want to give the bulk of the credit to Mr. H. and his money and he deserves a lot too. Without his commitment to giving his teams the best resources available, they couldn't compete on the level they do. The pit crews come in for praise as well. As people constantly say, NASCAR is a team sport. It is the combination of driver, crew chief, pit crew, owner and everyone else involved that have created the 48 team as the powerhouse of excellence that it has been for the last decade.
I didn't become a NASCAR fan until 2008. I know that makes me a newbie in the eyes of all the old hands. I've felt the sting of their contempt a time or two...or more. I realize I missed the years of Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon and I regret that I didn't come to NASCAR sooner. Nevertheless, I feel fortunate to have been able to celebrate most of the Jimmie Johnson Era.