Jimmie Johnson ran a 28.08 to win the pole for the Bank of America 500. He didn't lead the first lap but managed to lead 92 laps grabbing his 6th win of the season, 46th win of his career on his way to another championship perhaps as he is 90 points ahead of Mark Martin, 135 points ahead of Jeff Gordon, 155 points ahead of regular season champion Tony Stewart, 175 points ahead of Kurt Busch, and 195 points ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya.
This isn't however what the chase was to go bring.
The chase to bring different champions, closer championship battles each and every year.
When Matt Kenseth won the 2003 championship with only 1 win and clinched it at Rockingham the week before the season finale at Homestead, NASCAR decided it would be in the best interest for the sport, it's competitors, and most importantly fans to have a playoff system.
It worked in 2004 as Kurt Busch was the 2004 cup champion by a mere 8 points over Jimmie Johnson.
Then in 2005 Tony Stewart was the champion by 35 points over Mark Martin.
Then in 2006 it all began with Jimmie Johnson winning the championship.
He went on to win it in 2007 and 2008 looking stronger each and every year.
Now in 2009 he is perhaps stronger than ever.
The 48 has a formula and it is making a mockery out of the Sprint Cup series.
The team "hangs around" the first 26 races of the season winning about on average 3 races.
Once the chase starts it is on and 8 of the 10 tracks in the chase are perhaps Johnson's bets tracks. 9 of which he has won at.
Plus it is clear he has an advantage that nobody in the garage has, not even his Hendrick teammates. Chad Knaus being the crew chief he is has found this advantage and has kept it to himself.
This formula has been so successful and so far has kept on being successful. By the looks of it Jimmie Johnson could become NASCAR's first 10 time champion. For a driver is a fair driver at best being on the best team in the sport with the most crafty crew chief has paid dividends.
Let's look at who would be champions without the chase.
It is funny how without the chase there would be more variety championship wise and the 48 would be only 1 time champions.
Championships should be decided on consistency over the whole entire season.
10 races does not make a champion.
What can NASCAR do? Put Sonoma in the chase, Bristol, Atlanta , tracks where the 48 hasn't done well at in recent seasons. Take out Auto Club, Martinsville, Charlotte motor speedway, Dover tracks where the 48 flourishes the most.
Bring back testing so other teams can try things to beat the 48.
Tweak the chase a little bit.
I am almost certain NASCAR doesn't want this as it is one of the reason for ratings going down.
Something has to be done before NASCAR becomes like golf:you know who is going to win why bother watching?
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