Are the professional writers who cover NASCAR trying to create more hype and drama than is really there? You might think so if you look through the crop of articles and blogs that are out there this Monday morning.
In case you?ve just returned from a three month stay on the international space station or you?ve been too busy organizing your sock drawer to keep up on NASCAR, here are a few headlines from the coverage of yesterday?s Sprint Cup Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. (I?m going to omit the author?s names to save them from any further embarrassment.)
?Edwards wins while Hamlin?s big lead is wiped out.?
Hamlin?s ?big lead? going into Phoenix was a mere 33 points. This is the smallest lead at this point of the season since the beginning of the Chase format. As for it being ?wiped out?, it has only been reduced to 15 points. Now by my way of thinking that?s still a lead.
?Denny Hamlin dealt devastating setback at Phoenix.?
I wonder how many other teams in NASCAR would be happy to only drop 18 points in a single race. For Hamlin?s setback to be ?devastating? wouldn?t it require him to lose something more like 100 points and be knocked completely out of contention? As it is he still has the lead going into the last race and he still has a better than even chance of becoming the 2010 champion. It?s a setback for sure, but hardly devastating!
?. . . Denny Hamlin, the biggest loser.?
Once again class, he only lost 18 points. He still has the lead going into the final race of the season. He still has a better chance than 40 other teams to win the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship!
And finally, dear readers, this quote from one writer who was referring to Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus and their recent performance;
?This duo?s shocking rise from the dead was one of the most surprising developments all season.?
Huh? This duo has 6 wins on the season, 16 top fives, and 22 top tens. They have completed 96.6% of all the laps run and have a 12.5 finishing average. They took over the point lead once the Chase started, which is their normal M.O. and they only lost the that lead to Hamlin after the Texas race due to a couple of botched pit stops combined with a Hamlin win. And while it may be true that their performance in Phoenix may not have been what they hoped it would be, it could hardly be characterized as ?dead?.
Once again I am mystified by what passes for journalism these days by the folks who get to take up space in the media centers of race tracks across the country. I?m sure that every one of them has the following quote taped up on their lap top screen where they can see it all day long as they toil to craft their reports;
?Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.?
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