It has been a week since I headed for Charlotte and the 2014 edition of the Sprint Media Tour Presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway. I’ve waited until now to digest all of it and come away with an opinion of the events.
The sports world is much different today than it was 20 years ago. The events themselves haven’t changed much, but the culture surrounding sports has. Professional sports are no longer just about what happens on the playing field.
There has been a lot of speculation recently that indicates some highly significant and sweeping changes could be coming regarding the points format used for NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The first indication of these changes came right after the arrival of the new year and stemmed from comments made by NASCAR Chairman Brian France during an interview with the "Motor Racing Network."
According to various sources, including the Charlotte Observer’s Jim Utter, NASCAR’s plan for the 2014 Chase is taking shape and it will have a new format. According to these sources, 16 teams would make the Chase with positions going to full-time participants who won a race during the season of 25 races.
Usually, one gets a general perspective on how a driver has been performing recently by taking a look at his past ten efforts. Ten, a nice round number that just so happens to also be the exact number of races in the Chase. You would think, barring adjustments for pre-Chase bonuses, it might give you an idea how things are going for those chasing a championship. You would think.
We waited with anticipation for the action, and Talladega once again delivered. Once again, we watched the cars (and trucks for those watching on Saturday) go flying around inches apart in aircraft formation, in wonder that they could pull this off lap after lap without it all going up in smoke and torn sheet metal. In the end, they could not avoid the unavoidable.