HOMESTEAD, Fla – The question was asked during Thursday’s Championship Weekend Media Day in Miami Beach, should the way we look at greatness during this new era of NASCAR be different than the past.
See, we always looked at past NASCAR greats by how many wins or how many championships you scored? But, with a day and age where winning a title is so much harder, should we use a different measuring stick?
Take the last few years as a prime example, this weekend even. Matt Crafton won the Truck Series title despite not winning a single race in 2019. In fact, he hasn’t won a race since Eldora in 2017. He entered Homestead championship eligible still but not having scored a top five since the second weekend of June.
Still, he finished second in Homestead for his third career championship.
Kyle Busch on Sunday won the Cup Series title despite heading to the South Florida race track with no wins since June 2. In the end, he didn’t make any mistakes and won his first race in 21 races en route to his second career championship. It was similar to his 2015 title in that he went the final 15 races before Homestead without a win.
Joey Logano last year won the Cup title but had one win all regular season. He came into the playoffs with three top five finishes in his last 16 starts. But, in the playoffs, Logano rattled off six top fives and two wins.
Even Tyler Reddick’s NXS title in 2018 was like that. He had one win all season and that came in the season opener at that. Reddick, went to Homestead riding a 31 race winless drought. He’d win the season finale at take home the title. He literally had just four top five finishes all regular season.
Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
It just goes to show you, it’s not about going out and dominating the entire season anymore. The days of points racing are way behind us. This isn’t your dads or even your grandpa’s NASCAR anymore.
See, NASCAR wanted to make the sport like stick and ball sports where the champion doesn’t necessarily have to be the one with the most wins or the most success for the whole year. It’s going to go to the one that got it right all year and did enough to get to the postseason and did enough in the playoffs to get to the finals.
They got their wish and it’s working.