The Deserving Winner
|Kevin Harvick led nearly more than 600 laps than|
the next driver during the 2015 season.
The Irony Factor
The champion, however, could have very easily been Ryan Newman, who finished second to Harvick at Homestead and second in the Chase. The irony would have been that in a season where there was more emphasis on winning then ever before, a winless driver could have won the title. Now, it's hard not to like Ryan Newman, don't get me wrong, but if say, Harvick had finished third, just behind Newman at Homestead to give No. 31 the title, a driver who led just 41 laps throughout the whole season would be the champion. And while a good portion of fans could not have helped but be happy for Newman, he was not close to being a dominant driver not only for the season, but for any race. That would have had a lot of NASCAR fans waving a red flag on the new Chase format. Some still are waving that red flag, and when change comes, that will always be the case. But the last race did have drama by design, and that's not all bad.
That No. 46 thing
|Jeff Gordon nearly drove the No. 46 car, but luckily it didn't happen.|
Will Gas Prices Matter?
One of the reasons that was heard in recent years for the general attendance drop was that gas prices made it more difficult for fans to make long drives to get to races. So, now, with gas prices hitting nearly five-year lows, it will be interesting to see if at least some fans return to the stands due to the money they are not spending on gas. Maybe that, combined with the special ticket offers that many tracks offer and the stands that some tracks are removing, will help make the stands at least look a little more full at some places in 2015.
Will no testing narrow gap?
We know for sure that Sprint Cup teams not being able to test at tracks this year will save teams money. According to Michael Waltrip, it will save his team well over $1 million, so no matter how big a team is, that's not pocket change. The big question though is will the no testing rule close the gap between the big budget and smaller teams. Unfortunately, that answer is still probably no. The issue is that the big teams are still the ones that can afford to put their cars in wind tunnels to check the aerodynamics. They are also the ones that can afford to run their engines in the shop longer to see how long they will last or find where a weak part may develop. Let's face it, the big money teams will spend whatever they need to get an advantage, no matter what the rules package is. Maybe it will help the smaller teams a little, by taking away one piece of the puzzle that bigger teams had. But it will still be an uphill battle for the little guys.
Osborne back on the box
|Bob Osborne will be an experienced voice for Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
No sleep 'til Daytona
Friday makes it 43 days until the Daytona 500. It seems like forever right now in the midst of the snow and extreme cold in much of the country. But it will be here before you know it. And that's the best news of the day.