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Will Jimmie Johnson’s big lead impact TV ratings of NASCAR season finale?

By admin | November 11, 2013

 Will fans tune away from NASCAR’s season finale to avoid watching this scene?

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?

Follow @RacingWithRich on Twitter.

Topics: Articles |

46 Responses to “Will Jimmie Johnson’s big lead impact TV ratings of NASCAR season finale?”

  1. Tony Geinzer Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I wonder, would changing the finale for ‘15 yank the melodrama and the fakeness out of the Cup?

  2. Offkilter Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I’ll watch. The big trophy is not back at the hms shop yet. Aside from all the 48 /20 hoopla is still one last chance at a 2013 win that could be a big deal for JR or some other winless teams. The 88 has found the 2/10s that has made them top 5 during the chase. Hopefully they find the other 1/10 this weekend!

  3. Stephen Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I’ll be watching it…but I quit NASCAR in 2008 when Jimmie Johnson started winning every year. I came back this year and the same damn thing happens. :P

  4. Curtis Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    What we are witnessing in modern NASCAR is nothing more than amazing. Jimmie Johnson is the Michael Jordan of NASCAR. I am a Tony Stewart fan at heart. But Jimmie and Chad are the best duo we will ever see in our lifetime.

  5. Jeff Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    People were tired of seeng Jordan and the Bulls win NBA titles until he was gone. Now many wish he was back. People don’t appreciates greatness until it’s gone.

  6. dmann Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    BORING! JJ…..blah blah blah

  7. Pat Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I believe if those who don’t like JJ, their driver was doing what he does they wouldn’t be complaining so much. JJ deserves everything he gets and should without a lot of complaining. We don’t complain in other sports when a star does good year after year so why in Nascar? This has been going on for years and shouldn’t be.

  8. Peepap20 Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I’ll be watching to see if Matt can at least win another race! I’m a kenseth fan but Johnson took it to all of nascar again. I don’t like him but I’ll give him credit for being that damn good if a driver. Good job Jimmie.

  9. Michael heavner Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I will not watch a driver thats been caught cheating that many times driving the best equipment and claims he will be the best ever if he wins 8 earnhardt died b4 he retired and drove sub par equip to 7 championships with different teams and crew chiefs! Let jj hit a real concrete wall a few times and take away his power steering,full face helmet,hans device,foam in the doors,comfy seats,ac, oh and put him in the 29 car with a different chief and see how many he wins he cant drive a 20th place car to a top 5 earnhardt could have won 20 championships with a team like the 48

  10. Sully Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Thank goodness there are still a few people in America who are not impressed with shiney objects and are not dazzled by smoke and mirrors. I can’t stand anything HMS, the stench of bull starts from its owner, and it trickles down from there. Integrity problem I say, makes nothing believable from that company. And BZF is just as guilty, imo.

  11. Shawn Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 6:09 am

    I haven’t watched since Tony got hurt. He’s the only one who’s personality excites me to watch. Hard to argue that JJ isn’t one of the best ever. For me, I only watch the exciting races. Texas, Kansas, Chicago, California, Vegas….these are boring races. 43 single file cars for 500 miles is mind numbing. I’ll never understand why Bristol is so popular, yet they continue building 1.5 mile d shaped ovals. The road courses are exciting as hell, the plate tracks, and of course the short tracks are all I watch anymore. I’d rather go watch my grass grow then watch a rave at Kansas!!!

  12. midasmicah Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 9:11 am

    nas$car=boring 1 1/2 mile tracks-boring millionaire drivers and a “playoff” that is pure manipulation (which is what the dorks from Daytona do best) This script has gotten old. The Hendricks cup championship lives on.

  13. debra Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 10:40 am

    NO I will not watch the race.I don’t like Johnson or his cheating crew chief, It’s like he does just good enough to make the Chase,
    once hes in he can’t be beat tell me something not up with that. I think the Chase needs to go and give everyone a chance not
    just s choices few. .

  14. RacingFan Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Way back when the plans were being drawn for new racetracks, there was good racing at 1.5 and 2 mile tracks. I watched many good races at Michigan, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Atlanta was probably Dale Earnhardt (SR)’s favorite track. Watching drivers wrestling a car through Atlanta’s long rough corners with the tires smoking while racing other cars was an interesting sight. Darlington was excellent at 1.3 miles.

    These tracks have changed for the worse-repaving them to make them smooth has hurt the racing terribly. However, the most serious problem was the change to the cars and to the schedule (the Chase), which really killed the racing and the strategy (due to the Chase) at those tracks. Problems with passing (due to aero-push) were increasingly occurring even with the cars before the COT.

    California had an interesting race this spring. It was almost a shock. The track has gotten rough again. It was also in the early races for the Gen 6 cars - before the engineers had enough time to kill the ability to pass through aerodynamic massaging. I will be curious to see if they still put on a good race again next spring in California. If so, I might have some hope that as these tracks roughen up, the engineers might not be able to control racing like they can on a smooth track.

  15. The Joker Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I hope the LOWES money is makes up for the loss of income. Jimmy & Chad, the cheatin’est pair in the history of the sport wins a 6th championship! Yawn! Who cares?

    NASCAR…the WWF of Motor Sports!!!

  16. The Mad Man Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    The only way Johnson will lose will be from something found during tech inspection that docks him about 50 points.

  17. wardancer Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    All nascar fans will be watching. The wanna bees should be doing something else!!!!

  18. Jay Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Will not watch Sunday, and thinking of quitting NASCAR til Johnson retires. Greatness, whatever it is or you want to call, it’s boring. CSI is a great show, but I sure don’t want to watch the same season finale every year.

  19. Billy McNelis Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    A NASCAR fan is a NASCAR fan. I’ve seen champions come and go; the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. Don’t get caught up with hating; this sport is about racing!

  20. Marty C Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I won’t be watching, but not because of JJ, I won’t have access to ESPN. I would watch in the hopes of seeing a good race. The championship is a done deal though.

  21. jo-jr Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    will not be watching the race on Sunday!! same ole- same-ole! cannot stand J.J!, and C.K ! most of the race fans, know those championships, were not , what a true championships is suppose to be! nascar, is dead! who, in their right mind, would drive that far, spend all their hard-earned money, to already know who is going to win? started going to races, back in the 60;s, had season tickets to Bristol, and went to charlotte, Martinsville, and dega! stopped three years ago! so sad, to see a great sport ,die! when nascar, let an owner have more than one team, was the start of nascar, dying!

  22. Mike Hug Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    It is sad that Na$car has been reduced to only a “hero” worship. Yrs ago, we were there for the racing, the competition, not so much just the $$. Now nobody knows the #’s, just the “drivers” It used to be that you hear things like “the guy in the #12 car really has good control” or “the #7 car really looks good”. Today it’s a beauty contest, not racing. The disaster of the imitation ESPN [ex speed] has really slowed my watching time & I’m not paying any more extra for another “upgrade” to see their #2. They think it’s bad ratings now, what will they blame next year??

  23. tiredofthesame Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I will not watvh yhe last race this year. As an avid ran I am tired of the same out come. Would you watch any game over and over if the same thing happened? Nascar is moving backwards not forward.

  24. Bill B Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    First I’ll say I watch the races for the race and not the championship. With that said,,,, I am not happy that the 48 will win the big trophy again. Still, I can’t deny it’s quite an accomplishment. Even without the bogus chase this would be, at the least, his 4th legitimate championship. So, yeah, I will be watching. Maybe since JJ has it pretty well locked up we won’t get as much of a chase-centric broadcast. As long as JJ doesn’t have a problem early the “points as they run” BS will be kind of silly.

  25. Michael heavner Says:
    November 12th, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Bill b its not his fourth legit hes getting away with something every week no one is that much better

  26. Steve Says:
    November 13th, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    BillB, don’t fool yourself into thinking that the broadcast will steer away from the Chase just because JJ has it locked up. Trust me when I say this will be a 4 hour Jimmie Johnson love fest starting with the prerace show. It has been for most of 9 races so far so why should that change. Sure, they will try to keep everyone tuned in by saying Matt still has a shot, but to think they will change their focus to the race more is a pipe dream. We could only be so lucky.

    The only way Jimmie loses this championship is if something breaks. Not likely to happen. Will flip back and forth between football to see if anything jaw dropping happens, but I will not devote 4 hours to this.

  27. jim Says:
    November 13th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Jimmy Johnson???? Who is he without his team???? I for one am sick and tired of the media saying, “Jimmy this and Jimmy that”. He is nothing that any of the other drivers are in the series. They are all good drivers. If they were not they would not be there. Jimmy is backed by the best equipment and team that money can buy. Without either of them he is nothing. Yes I will give him credit for being a good driver but think that both he and Chad need to give the credit to the two things that makes their team great…… MONEY and the MEDIA.

  28. Matt Says:
    November 13th, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Jimmie Johnson is killing NASCAR. I’ve been saying this for 5 years. Anytime in the past when there has been dominance since the modern era in 1972 (Petty, Earnhardt, Gordon), the sport grew. Since Jimmie started dominating, ratings are down, attendance is down. He is not a polarizing figure, so it’s hard not to hate him, but hard to root for - it’s more of a I don’t care attitude.

    You can’t take the titles away, but at the end of the day he is at best the fifth best of all time. He loses points for having the same crew chief for his career (ala Petty), having the same team all his career (ala Gordon and Petty).

    If Jimmie didn’t have Chad Knaus, he wouldn’t win no more than 4 races. If he drove for lets say RCR or Roush, he would be lucky to win 4 races over a span of 2 years. Chad and Hendrick Motorsports are the brains behind his success, and Jimmie is the lucky driver.

    Sunday will be a slurp fest - plain and simple.

  29. Sue Rarick Says:
    November 13th, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    The same people whining about JJ would be whining about Petty/Gordon/Eanhardt/Vettle/Senna/and any driver who has dominated his era.

    No matter what anyone says will ever change the opinion of the professional whiners. Enjoy and look foolish.

  30. Micky Tallent Says:
    November 13th, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    What happens to the 100 perfect rule a teammate slowed to let where is my daddy jr he left me twice Earnhardt and his girlfriend jimmy Johnson

  31. Micky Tallent Says:
    November 13th, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Matt is the last real champ

  32. Sandi Mabry Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 12:03 am


  33. Joshua Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 12:13 am

    u r all a bunch of sickos go stick ur head in the toilet

  34. Christine Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 12:48 am

    People just hate him because they are mad that Team 48, Chad and Jimmie have their act together. They are the best at what they do and not to mention Jimmie is a very talented driver. They don’t want to watch him win, well too bad. You want to watch something that is fixed, then go watch WWE Wrestling. They are not going to fix the race just so you will watch. Go pout on another channel and watch some stupid football game. Stupid cry babies…greow up already.

  35. Pamela Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 5:18 am

    Jimmie is NOT a Lucky driver… HE IS THE DRIVER & ELITE BEST AT THAT *48 Style* & Proud to be His Fan Always!

  36. brenda graver Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 9:40 am

    wow talk about whiny crybabies ….oh wait y’all must be Brad K fans …..amazing he won because Jimmie had a few issues and what does he do gets drunk on national television …………what a champ……..Ill take vanilla anyday …….THAT IS THE REAL CHAMPION………and I seriously believe if Sr was alive he would be racing him and letting everyone know he is real champ ..I AM PROUD OF TEAM 48 ………..MET THE MAN HE IS A TRUE CHAMPION WHO DOES ALOT FOR THE SPORT AND HIS CHARITIES …………GO TEAM 48

  37. Elaine Smith Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I think what you all are posting is rediculous. Did you hear hear what Carl Edwards said the last race? He said anyone who thinks Jimmie isn’t driving that car is so wrong. It is just like the Yankees. Everyone started hating him when they won so much. I have always said that if your driver or your team of any sports was winning so much you would not be talking like this. History is being made in Nascar World and eventually it will be made again by another driver. Our heros come and go so lets enjoy it while it is happening. There is enough hatred in this world and if Nascar falls behind because of History being made then shame on the fans. They aren’t true fans. I will be watching for sure.

  38. carolyn bridges Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 10:19 am

    people were tired of Dale Sr. winning all the time too. now they are like there is no one like him. people just don’t like to see someone who is so good and they try everything they can, even if it is nothing but running off at the mouth, to do what they can to bring the winner down. people just might as well face it, Jimmie Johnson and Chad are the best in Nascar. they need to shut up and enjoy watching greatness in action. I hope Jimmie wins every championship possible and i’ll be cheering him on all the way. Go Jimmie and Chad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. angela Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 10:51 am

    As I see it, it’s the ignorant fans with no real knowledge of the sport and their need to educate themselves that are ruining this sport.. foul mouth punks that are wishing a driver harm is a pathetic.. and as for the same boring line that u so called fans can come up with, it’s funny how u hypocritical fans forget that gibbs, mwr, and penske has been caught cheating this year.. huh… didn’t hear this much bitching and moaning when your driver was winning races.. and really come the hell on how many times do we real fans have to hear if jimmie wins the championship Il stop watching nascar, cause I find it halarious it’s the same fans who say that, then are back watching the Daytona race in Feb every year.. either shut up with the whining or get another sport to watch. Cause we all know half u idiots are going NO WHERE. .. misery loves company.. and by the way u haters really need to do your research before popping off your mouths about sum thin u have no clue about.. do us all a favor and just leave already cause u will not be missed.. it’s pretty sad that greatness comes with so much ugly a$$ jealousy. Jimmie will make MORE history, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.. so get use to it u whinny Lil babies..

  40. Spotlite Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Absolutely.. I am done of the year… He is boring and so is NASCAR as long as they play favorites.

  41. Michael heavner Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    The team is great not the driver i like how the hms cars all “share” information yet jjs car is the only one that cant pass inspection or has a tire rub or whos q time gets disallowed of course jj fans are just bandwagon fans so theydont know the history of hms and how many times jjs team has been fined or how chad told him to wreck the car if he wins like som1 else said jimmie is just the guy behind the wheel of the best and most cheated up car

  42. Ken Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    My, my! Aren’t Jimmie’s fans testy! I will remember a lot of the comments from this article, and remind these people of them and how upset they got when Jimmie isn’t being bowed to and worshipped by someone when these same people come onto this, or any, comment board and call Carl Edwards “Eddie Haskle”. That is just as insulting to a Carl Edwards fan as not bowing and worshipping Jimmie is to his fans.

  43. Matt Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    If we are suppose to “shut up and witness history”, why is Sunday’s race not sold out? The fans have spoken. Ratings are down again.

    For the arguement that people were sick of seeing Earnhardt or Gordon win all the time….. guess what? Races still sold out, even when in years they won a title going away.

    And for those who are telling people to go find another sport to watch, they are. NFL ratings at a record high. NBA ratings are way up. NHL ratings are up.

    Facts are facts. The truth might be hard to handle. Jimmie Johnson is killing NASCAR. Its ok if you’re a 48 fan and you’re upset about so called whiners. If Jimmie is so good why did Lowes only sign a 2 year extension? If he’s the GOAT, why is he fourth in merchandise sales?

    Jimmie would kill to get a crowd reaction like Gordon got when he won Martinsville.

  44. Micky Tallent Says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    The only race drivers left are all non Homo motor sports what a” joke nascar or Hendrix has made it I haven’t seen a Race in a while as long as jimmy an jr hold hands in front of camera all is well I didn’t like brad but a least he.was- arace car racer not a puppet

  45. anne Says:
    November 15th, 2013 at 2:21 am

    The people who are screaming about the “haters” of Jimmie, must be newbies to the sport, or worst bandwagon your homework..corporations run it now and HMS is the King running the show. If the series is on parity as to what NASCAR claims, the phony rule of limited ownership would be really enforced. No wife, no Jeff Gordon owning etc. Too much money and cars in one stable..including SHR and other “satellite” cars. etc…they all are inter-mingled. If you people complain about the MWR overt screwup, then you should be really pissed off about what you don’t see. Millions of million of dollars people, and they don’t give a rat’s ass about what we think, so get off your high horses. I don’t think Rick H. is one of those “good guys”. It is scripted people, how could it not be????? And no Jimmie isn’t one of the greats, but he is a great corporate robot.

  46. Michael heavner Says:
    November 15th, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Richard petty just said that without the equipment jj is just another driver so there you go the king has spoken