Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Insight: 3 points now separate Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart heading into the season finale in Homestead for the 2011 NASCAR Chase for the Championship. It’s a dead heat for the championship on Sunday.

Well NASCAR fans, the jury is still out on whether or not you got what you wanted when comes to the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, however I have to imagine that NASCAR got what they wanted for sure.

Following last Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at the newly redesigned and improved Phoenix International Raceway, we saw a good race for the most part. It was Tony Stewart that dominated this race while Carl Edwards was right behind him for the most part. But it would come down to a late race pit stop that would take Stewart out of the contendion for the victory when they simply over adjusted, but instead of Edwards capitalizing, it would be Kasey Kahne jumping to the lead with around 14 laps to go and never looking back to capture his first victory since 2009.

Edwards would have to settle for second and Tony Stewart would come home in 3rd place. But no points where gained and no points where lost for that matter.

So here we are, after the Phoenix race which mathematically eliminated 3rd through 12th in the Cup Series point standings, it’s now down to 2 drivers, Carl Edwards vs. Tony Stewart, separated by only 3 points heading into the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway this Sunday.

In what I’ve been hearing and reading, several fans are happy to see that NASCAR will have a “Peoples Championship” sort of speak no matter who wins the championships on Sunday. Even more, fans are excited that Jimmie Johnson is out of the chase. For some, it’s not that they don’t like Jimmie Johnson, but rather the fact that they want to see someone else win the championship this season.

Personally as a NASCAR fan as well as a Tony Stewart, Dale Jr. and Jimmie Johnson fan, it’s a mixed bag for me for sure. But as much as I don’t care for the chase itself, it’s like playing god in some ways, this seasons chase has shaped up to be something historical as this is the closes point battle in recent history. And I have to say that that is due in part to the new 1 point per position points system that NASCAR introduced at the beginning of 2011.

At the same time, sure I would like to see both Jimmie Johnson and Dale Jr. in the hunt as well, but I have to admit that even I do want to see a new Cup Series Champion this season and that is going to happen. So Jimmie Johnson being out of it is alright, but he will be back next season. I think this is going to make Johnson and the #48 team stronger for sure in 2012.

Now though, the talk should turn to two drivers battling it out for the championship, Carl Edwards who is leading by 3 points over second place Tony Stewart. This is a dead heat heading into Homestead and that’s cool for sure. However from my point of view, I want to see Tony Stewart pickup his 3rd Cup Series championship this season over Carl Edwards. In my own opinion, I really don’t want to see Edwards win it and that is because I’m NOT a fan of Edwards.

I’m not a fan of Edwards because of the way he drivers on the racetrack, especially the way he handled himself with Brad Keselowski last season. Keselowski didn’t deserve what he got and NASCAR should have handled the incidents better including taking away the victory from him at Gateway in the Nationwide race. But it is what it is and I blame NASCAR for that.

So I’m rooting for Tony Stewart all the way on Sunday to win the championship.

But I will say that Edwards learned well from his teammate Matt Kenseth in how to points race and he has earned his spot in this chase and I mean that. Edwards is consistent, something NASCAR could learn from as they aren’t.

Bottom line, it’s a dead heat, Carl Edwards nor Tony Stewart have any type of advantage heading into the season finale, sure Edwards has a 3 point lead, but Smoke wins in the tie breaker if it comes up. No driver has an advantage here. Both drivers have won at Homestead in the past and will have good cars on Sunday.

I would say that qualifying will play a big role in Sunday’s race. Last year Denny Hamlin screwed himself over by wrecking early in the race and playing ketchup after starting in the back. I look for Carl Edwards to go out and run their normal race and get what they can get.

While I look for Tony Stewart to keep doing what he is doing and go out and dominate the race, leading the most laps and letting the chips fall where they may. I truly believe that this one will go down to the last lap for the championship. Oh yeah, the only clinch deal for these drivers is win the race and in most cases, they will win the championship.

But hopefully the other Ford drivers as well as Chevrolet drivers (that goes for the other drivers too) will stay out of this and let these two race for it man to man.

And all I can stay from a bloggers stand point is, let the best man win.

But personally, Go Tony Stewart.

Oh Yeah one more thing, you can agree with me or disagree with me, but stop with the nasty comments already, I don’t care to listen to it, this is my opinion and I’m entitled to my opinion. And I know that Carl Edwards fans will read this article and all I got to them (especially the one Tumblr) is, this is my opinion, you stand behind your driver and I will stand behind my driver and let the chips fall where they may. See Yeah!