Thursday, August 13, 2009

Which Champion Is Better. . . ????

I know, I know. It's an apples and oranges type question, but that's not where I'm going

As the cutoff for the Chase grows nearer and nearer, the NASCAR pundits are starting to weigh in with their opinions on who will win the Sprint Cup Championship. Most seem to agree that it's a two man race between Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson, and hence the title question- sort of. Which champion is better for NASCAR and the state of the sport?

Jimmie Johnson has won a history tying three straight championships and is gunning for a fourth. There is no doubt that he and Chad Knaus save their best stuff for the Chase (well, except for Homestead in 2005 when Chad wouldn't listen to Jimmie; otherwise, Jimmie would be going for five straight this year). A fourth straight championship would almost certainly guarantee Jimmie and Chad entry into the Hall of Fame when the time comes, but do the fans really want to see the #48 team on the championship stage yet again?

Tony Stewart has made the owner/driver combo look like child's play this year. Tony came out of the gates at Daytona in February ready to run. In a season where most pundits predicted that he would struggle to even win a race, let alone contend for the Chase, Tony has won three points races plus the All-Star race and currently sits atop the points chart. Simply starting the Michigan race on Sunday guarantees his berth in the Chase. Should Tony win the Championship come November, he would be the first owner/driver to do so since Alan Kulwicki. Yes, there are a myriad of differences between what Tony has accomplished this year and what Kulwicki accomplished, and Tony will be the first to point that out. However, you can bet that you will not hear mention of that from the sportswriters come November if Tony wins. The headlines will simply read "Stewart Becomes First Owner/Driver To Win Championship Since Kulwicki."

So which champion would be better for the sport of NASCAR, Jimmie or Tony? One thing is for certain. It looks like we might finally get the exciting Chase that was promised when the 10 race playoff was put into place in 2004.


  1. to be honest, I'd have to say neither. I reckon that, in this economic climate, you want a feel-good, Cinderella story, and the only guy who fits the bill that is in contention would be Mark Martin....just my thoughts so flame away at me, lol

  2. tez-

    it's an honest opinion, and another option that I hadn't thought about. Personally, if Tony doesn't win the championship, I hope that Mark does. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. It is a done deal. The driver that racks up the points in the chase will be the Champion. Any thing before that is speculation. I do hope it is at least a three way battle till the checkerd flag at Homestead

  4. Pretty sure that if JJ retired tomorrow, he and Chad would go into the HOF as soon as they were 4th title needed.

    I'd rather see Tony than JJ or Martin.

    Would really rather see a first time don't know.... maybe...Kyle Busch.

  5. Well we all know who YOU think should be the champ! LOL

    Given the two you present me I am forced to go with JJ and Chad for an unprecedented 4th champ. Not popular with fans but should be if you can dominate in such a fashion.

    Given any option, I think my choice would be obvious --- there is only one of "my drivers" eligible! LOL

    Guess we will have to see who I gave the Lug to!

  6. People, people, people- I think you're misreading the question. No doubt we all have our favorite that we'd like to see hoisting the Cup at Homestead.

    Let me rephrase the question. Would NASCAR be better served by Jimmie winning a 4th straight championship or would it be better for the sport if owner/driver Tony Stewart captured the Cup.

  7. Neither SB b/c in reality they are both just Hendrick teams...Mark Martin might be a good sentimental choice but again still HMS. So no matter what we are still pretty much stuck with the super team winning everything.

    Edwards making a comeback in the Chase would be good copy as would Kyle.

  8. NASCAR is better served if Hendrick's or Roush's or Gibb's organizations DON'T win the championship right now. Think a Red Bull championship would be better for the sport but not die-hard NASCAR fans.

    Between these two? Stewart for sure. I'm sorry, but I dislike JJ much more than I ever disliked Jeff Gordon in the 1994-2001 timeframe. Stewart is a much more accomplished "racer" and think that is, once again, better for the sport, not necessarily NASCAR fans.

  9. to answer your question SB. IMO a Smoke win of those 2 would be most beneficial to Nascar in general.

    Now, I have to agree with almost everyone else that I personally would rather neither of them win. I, like Gene, would love to see Kyle comback and win. A MM win would be OK with me, although I have never been a fan.

    I think in overall terms of benefit, a Toyota team winning would stir up the pot, and maybe get the BIG 3 to open the pockets again, and that would benefit NASCAR also.

  10. SB; alrighty, NASCAR would be better served if Tony won since if Jimmie does, all we're going to hear for the rest of our lives is how his 4-in-a-row shouldn't count since it's not a 'proper points format'.

    Frankly I think dominance in any sport shoud be applauded as it makes the rest try harder so I personally think Jimmie, does that make any sense?

  11. sorry, let me clarify; if Jimmie is the better driver during the Chase...if he isn't, then Tony can break that dominance all he wants, lol

  12. (( Most seem to agree that it's a two man race between Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson. )) who are the most? lol

    Tony to break up the Jimmie and Chad show, Now that Lowes pull out of sponsoring the track would be funny to me.

    The underdog Mark Martin should be in the talks with Tony more then Jimmie. Any one then seeing Lowes sponsors would be great for all teams in NASCAR looking to grab sponsorship by saying they can win it, if you know what I mean.

    Heck I all ways wanted this Tony and Jimmie to come down to the last race but thats when Tony was with Home Depot. lol


  13. I would have to say Tony winning the championship would benefit NASCAR the most. And here is the reason why: Even though Stewart is associated with Hendrick through buying his chassis and engines from them. It is the Stewart-Haas organization that has to take those parts and make them work for them. Just as Haas CNC and other organizations have done in the past.

    By Stewart winning it will show that a owner/driver with the right people in place can still come into the sport and win races and contend for championships and win championships.

    If Johnson wins, it is just another notch in the belt for the top teams of Hendrick, Roush, Childress and Gibbs.