Overall leader needs an advantage

Published 11:48 pm Friday, October 10, 2008

The curse of the Chase has struck again. This time, the victim is Kyle Busch. Although he has been the most dominant driver all year, he now sits way back in the pack in the Chase for the Cup standings. Many drivers who weren’t even within a rock’s throw of Busch all year are now ahead of him.

I hate to see that for any driver who has dominated the season the way he has. There must be a better way to give the leader some kind of extra advantage or benefit for being the most dominant driver through the season.

I know Busch got some extra points for his wins after the points were reset, but it wasn’t enough to give him some padding for having a bad race.

With the way the Chase is, one finish in 30th or worse will kill your title hopes, and Busch has had some bad luck with that.

One way I think NASCAR can give drivers an advantage is to allow the leader driver to have a mulligan, well kind of. What I propose is that the leader can have one bad race thrown out, and you give that driver the same number of points he would get for his average finish over the whole season. If Busch’s average finish this year was 12th, then he would get that number of points if he finished 43rd in one race. That would reward him for having such a great season.

It won’t solve all the problems, but it should give the leader a fair advantage.

Talladega lived up to its reputation – big wrecks all over the place and controversy. Denny Hamlin got the worst of it by far as he had to be hospitalized. Fortunately, his injuries weren’t too bad.

Tony Stewart finally got the breaks to fall his way including the very controversial finish last week as he got his first Cup race at the world’s largest track. I knew he was close to getting a win in the spring because he earned a Nationwide Series win in April. I’m glad he finally broke through last week.

Jimmie Johnson is poised to win his third consecutive Cup title. To keep up the lead he has on Carl Edwards, Johnson must overcome a qualifying position of 33, and it seems likely to happen tonight, especially with him at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.