Sunday’s race proved once again why TV and other media’s use of the “points as they run now” statistic is completely and ridiculously meaningless.
For virtually the entire race, Hamlin – since he was leading the race – was being praised for having dramatically increasing his points lead. Some in the media were already crowning him the champion.
Then the final 15 laps played out, with Hamlin finishing 12th and Jimmie Johnson fifth. All of a sudden, Hamlin has a razor-thin 15-point advantage going into Homestead.
That’s not quite the picture that had been portrayed for the whole race. The "as they run now" approach is touted as a way of keeping fans “informed,” but all it really does is continue to mislead.
A championship bet?
I don’t know if I have ever witnessed a more gutsy and daring pit call than the one made by Chad Knaus on Sunday. It was also very clever.
Knaus waited until he was sure Hamlin and his team had decided they would have to pit for fuel. Then he immediately set about having his driver do exactly the opposite – stay on the track and slow down to save fuel.
It was a season-defining moment for the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team.
Consistency and chemistry
There he is again. Joey Logano, who had scored the fourth-most points during the Chase entering Sunday’s race, finished third. It was his fifth consecutive top-10 finish.
It is clear that Logano’s team is developing the consistency and chemistry needed to make the Chase in 2011.