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    Written by Stephen ConleySeptember 9th, 2014 Some of NASCAR’s best broadcasters in both radio and TV have hailed from New England, but for one growing up in the Boston area and dreaming of career as the beat writer for the Boston Globe covering the Boston Red Sox, PRN and ESPN reporter Jim…

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MRD Battle Round: Penalty Issues, Talladega Heartbreak, Chase’s To Lose, Ratings Without Junior

Written by Stephen on . Posted in Featured

 

2014, John Harrelson / NKP

Photo Credit: John Harrelson/ NKP

 

October 22nd, 2014

This week Brandon, David and I took on four hot button topics that have the fans talking following Talladega. Here is what we had to say, what say you NASCAR Nation?

DING DING!!!

QUESTION 1:  This weekend two team’s had issues. Nemechek getting DQ’D following qualifying and the No. 31′s height issue (no penalty following R&D center), was NASCAR fair and consistent in your mind on both accounts?

Brandon Whitton: It seems like it based on their past rulings.

David Morgan: I think so. Nemechek likely would have started and parked anyway, so the oil tank encasement issue found post-qualifying that lead to his disqualification was likely warranted in that situation. The DQ allowed another full-time team into the field, which provided a top-10 finish for Sorenson. As far as Newman, we all know that damage during the race can cause the rear of the car to settle low, especially with the bump draft at Talladega. So I think NASCAR made the right call in that case too.

Stephen Conley: Going strictly by the rule book, no question it was done right. Going by the jury of fans, it’s unfair and should be penalized by firing squad. This is why the NASCAR rule book or a genarlized portion of it should be published on line, so the fan base that questions these decisions can see it in black and white.

 

2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Talladega

Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade/NKP

BW: Nope. Catering the schedule for Chase rounds would be a joke, just like the Chase itself. Keep it where it is and let the mayhem ensue.

DM:  While electricity was in the air at the track on Sunday and the race was one of the wildest seen in recent memory, the unpredictability of restrictor plate racing makes the case that Talladega should be moved to the start of a round instead of the end to give teams a chance to rebound from being swept up in someone else’s mess.

SC: At first I said yes, it needs moved to the first race in its segment, but after thinking about how much it means to win at Kansas or Charlotte so you are not at risk, it adds excitement to those two races. So Talladega as an elimination race certainly brings a lot to the table. Leave it for the time being and see how it plays out in multiple years.

 

QUESTION 3:  With a 42 point lead over Regan Smith, does Chase Elliott have the Nationwide Series Championship locked up, and if so, with 22 points separating 2nd and 5th, who has the best shot of grabbing that runner up spot

Photo Credit: Gregg Ellman/HHP

Photo Credit: Gregg Ellman/HHP

BW: I wouldn’t say a 42 point lead with 3 races left is a lock. He certainly controls his own destiny. I keep waiting for Chase to encounter some bad luck but he has been very, very impressive in his rookie campaign. I think his JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith has the best chance to finish 2nd.

DM: It’s not completely locked up, but it is close. Barring any major issues for Elliott, Regan Smith will have a tough time catching the rookie with the performance of the No. 9 team week in and week out. They seem to be just too strong at this point. I still think JR Motorsports finishes 1-2 in points at the end of the season though. Don’t see any other teams making a big push to overtake either car.

SC: Hand Elliott the trophy, it’s over. A 42 point lead is one of the biggest leads anyone has had all season. Chase just gets better and better each week and Regan has had a run of consistency issues, that being said, the battle for second will be fun to watch between Smith and Sadler mainly.

 

19 October 2014--Dale Earnhardt Jr. during the GEICO 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, AL..(HHP photo/Alan Marler)

Photo Credit: Alan Marler/HHP

BW: It’s not ideal, but it’s part of the sport. TV rating have taken a beating this year even with decent racing, so this will not help the casual fan interest.

DM: While it is a surprise to have both Johnson and Earnhardt out of the championship hunt over the final four races, I wouldn’t think that the viewership would be affected too much. There are still four race wins to capture and fans of both drivers will still tune in to see if their driver can win over this last month of the season. The new Chase format seems to have brought more viewers to the sport and I wouldn’t expect that to change with Johnson and Earnhardt out of it.

SC: The ratings have been down all season, this certainly won’t help, but having heard from a lot of Johnson fans, they want to see him play the big spoiler in this thing by winning a few if not all of the final four. There are four drivers that could easily steal wins that have been eliminated and wouldn’t that make for a huge deal come Homestead?