By admin | November 11, 2013
By Richard Allen
Jimmie Johnson came out of Sunday’s NASCAR race in Phoenix with a big lead in the championship standings and is now the clear favorite to win the 2013 Sprint Cup title. With a 28 point advantage over Matt Kenseth and 34 points on Kevin Harvick, all the driver of car #48 has to do in the season finale at the Homestead- Miami Speedway is finish 23rd or better to lock up the 6th championship of his career.
While Johnson has a significant number of supporters, there is another significant element within the NASCAR fan base who do not like the so-called “vanilla” driver and his Hendrick Motorsports team. That anti-Johnson sentiment has become especially evident as he has added more and more championship trophies to his collection.
With so much of the television coverage of modern day NASCAR centered around the Sprint Cup championship and with some fans not interested in watching another Johnson coronation, one has to wonder just how much the television ratings for the final event of 2013 will be impacted this coming Sunday.
Cast your vote in the poll question regarding whether or not you will watch on Sunday——————————————>
After the Phoenix race, I posed the question of who would not be watching the Homestead race because of Johnson’s lead. The results were mixed as a number of his fans tweeted support for their favorite while there were those who answered in the negative to the question.
“I’m not watching… Seems like a foregone conclusion” responded @EngineerNorris.
“I’ll probably follow on raceview, all coverage will be about the 48 & I’m not interested in that” declared @GinaV24.
“I definitely will not be watching, the Chase just ruins it” said @jasonmilford.
“I’ll def watch more football, but I’ll flip back and forth” was the response from @jackrlewis.
Again, these are only a few of the responses and there were a number of those who said that they would be watching in hopes of seeing Johnson crowned another time. But nonetheless, when the sport and its TV partners place so much emphasis on the Chase for the Sprint Cup, they open the door for the possibility of having such reactions when the championship appears to be foregone conclusion or when an unpopular driver is the leader.
Ratings for this year’s Chase races have been slightly better than those of last year, although well down from the numbers scored at the high point of about eight years ago.
A former principal at the school where I teach used to remind us every year as summer vacation approached that “You’ll get the same behavior at the start of the next school year that you allow at the end of this school year” as a warning to maintain control all the way to the end of the final semester. NASCAR might do well to apply that same warning to the end of its season. If they lose fans at the end of an outgoing season because of their emphasis on the Chase, they may not get them back at the beginning of the next.
Will you be watching Sunday’s NASCAR season finale from Miami?
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