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« NASCAR takes a backseat on television during second Chase weekend | Main | Even “phantom” debris caution couldn’t save New Hampshire race »

Busch and Logano should expect to be ignored for rest of the season

By admin | September 23, 2012

By Richard Allen

When the Chase for the Championship first began in 2004, one of the concerns some people had was that the drivers who did not make the playoff would disappear into obscurity over the course of the final ten races. I was foolish enough back then to believe that individual races still mattered and as long as those not in contention for the title ran up front during each race they would still get noticed.

Boy was I ever naive back then.

This past weekend offered an illustration of where NASCAR racing is now in terms of the attention focused on its drivers and teams. Clearly, a racer is either a Chaser or he is forgotten. Two particular drivers were recently given a lesson in the pecking order.

Joey Logano, who under non-Chase circumstances would probably be considered quite newsworthy due to the fact that it was just announced he will be leaving Joe Gibbs Racing for Penske Racing at season’s end, came to a stark realization on Friday night in New Hampshire.

Due to the Speed TV coverage of the Barrett-Jackson Auction on Friday afternoon, Sprint Cup qualifying was aired by that network on a tape delayed basis in the late evening hours. Like many drivers, Logano wanted to watch his qualifying effort. However, he was disappointed to discover that he was no longer consider worthy of broadcast by the network.

“So I waited up till 11 o’clock last night to watch my qualifying lap on Speed and they didn’t even show it,” Logano posted to Twitter on Saturday morning.

Welcome to the modern era of ‘the Chase is all that matters’, Mr. Logano.

Logano’s JGR teammate, Kyle Busch, had learned the same lesson earlier in the week. The frequent Chase contender just missed making the twelve man playoff in 2012 and quickly came to realize after the last event in Chicago that he is suddenly less relevant than he was just days before.

“Since TV didn’t interview me I’ll come on here to say thx to my sponsors n my team for an awesome car n solid stops all day!” Busch tweeted after the Chicago race.

In a story posted by Bob Pockrass of The Sporting News, Busch further went on to explain the difficulties of missing the playoff. “Certainly throughout the event, it’s a little bit more challenging getting some TV time, but that’s a product of missing the Chase,” he said. “That’s kind of what you get. It’s our own fault. Those three points (we missed the Chase by) that could have meant an awful lot throughout the season to get us into the top-12.”

This is the NASCAR of today. The drivers who make the Chase for the Championship will get the lion’s share of the attention and those who miss it will get the scraps. Under the old system, if a driver went into the final few races with a commanding lead, the focus was on the individual races. That meant all 43 drivers were on equal footing in terms of media attention.

Now, drivers such as Kyle Busch and Joey Logano should not expect to get very much ‘face time’. And don’t think sponsors aren’t taking notice. Expect deals to be announced in the near future that will allow a financial backer to escape further obligations if their car isn’t part of the Chase.

In other words, the few rich will get richer while the many poor will get poorer.

Topics: Articles |

5 Responses to “Busch and Logano should expect to be ignored for rest of the season”

  1. Tony Geinzer Says:
    September 23rd, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I think the Chase is a byproduct of Sprint, and I feel obvious that the Rumor Mill will get crankier with Rookies and it is not helping SPEED’s Cause their Barrett Jackson Committment is trumping their Actual Racing Efforts.

  2. Joe Says:
    September 24th, 2012 at 2:22 am

    While the article is technically true, this has been the case for far longer than the existence of the Chase. You’d hardly know that 43 cars were in the race without the ticker. Juan Montoya has to blow up a jet dryer to get tv time. When was the last time Regan Smith was interviewed, or this week’s driver of the 32 car? The bottom half or more always get short shrift as the season winds down. As Kyle himself said, three points would have made all the difference.

  3. Sue Rarick Says:
    September 24th, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I do think it’s kind of funny that after a year of micro managing Kyle, M&M’s will get hardly any mention for all the money they’ve spent (sukz to be M&M’s).

    Earlier this year I happened to catch the Indy car race at Barber racetrack and it was so refreshing to watch that race and a bunch of racers that were interested in winning a race and not seeing how good a points day they were having. Next year we will be at that race.

    Sadly this year I watched a few Indy car races and no Nascar races. This is the Nascar era of PR above racing. Racing is just a product to Nascar. They see it as a product no different than dishwashing soap, and I don’t think I ever talked about dishwashing soap around the office water cooler on Monday’s.

  4. offkilter Says:
    September 24th, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Good article, but i doubt there are but a few shedding tears along with kyle. Maybe the advertising dept over at mars candy. I won’t pretend to know, but maybe some of his condescending interviews or total refusal after a bad run leading up to the chase didn’t help his cause. I will say that he is an equal opportunity a-hole as he proved it with his caustic disrespect of his team OWNER after the richmond race.

  5. k Says:
    September 24th, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I have been saying this for years, The Horrible Chase has a negative impact on the sport. It make sense that teams are scrambling for $$$ and are not getting them because if you don’t make The Chase talented drivers are considered poor racers (in the marketing minds)and therefore not worthy of sponsership crumbs. Fans get tired of hearing over and over “The Chase”, same garbage all the time. No other sport do non playoff teams get to participate in the playoffs, they are in essence just driving around. Top 5 and 10 finishes by non Chase folk get ignored..oh I could go on. Get rid of it and let them race till Homestead. This gimmick is not needed and actually is hurting the sport on many fronts.

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