So often NASCAR fans are frustrated when Jimmie Johnson wins every other week or when Kyle Busch goes on a tear in the NASCAR Nationwide series.
Fans want to see other drivers in victory circle. They want to celebrate a new driver taking the checkered flag.
This season while Johnson, Hamlin and Busch have won 12 races combined fans are getting what they want; a fresh face in victory lane.
The resurgent Jamie McMurray has now visited victory lane twice this season. Both races were what we call the money races, the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 400.
Ryan Newman won at Phoenix when Jeff Gordon spun his tires on a late restart. Kevin Harvick broke his winless streak at Talladega. His streak dated back to his win at the Daytona 500 in 2007.
Kurt Busch has won twice this year and has carried the Dodge banner in 2010 at Atlanta and Charlotte.
Finally, at Chicagoland Speedway, David Reutimann pulled an upset of his own and won.
There is a phrase, “nice guys finish last”, in NASCAR this season that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The fact that we are not seeing one driver dominate the entire season has been a good thing for NASCAR.
It gives this sport and these races some unpredictability and race fans might tune in just to see if a guy like Reutimann can beat the powerhouse organizations like Hendrick Motorsports.
NASCAR needed a season like this with different winners and fresh faces. After the last couple years of Johnson dominating not only the regular season but also the Chase, fans and teams alike feel like this season could be different.
There is no true favorite to win the Chase this season. Yes, Johnson is the defending champion but he hasn’t shown the dominance we have seen in years past. While Harvick and Gordon have been the most consistent this season, no driver has run away from the rest of the field.
This is the first time in four years where really this title is not decided prior to the Chase. NASCAR is looking at changes in the Chase, to drum up excitement.
NASCAR can’t control how many times Johnson wins in a season or if he wins the title for the fifth time.
All NASCAR needs is a few more races like the last two weeks where a good guy finishes first.
Where the driver in victory circle don’t have that look of “been there done that”. Where watching victory lane on TV is like watching a driver win their first race.
Where emotions range from joy to tears to relief. When NASCAR vowed to get back to its roots this is part of it.
Remember watching Gordon win his first race or Richard Petty? How about Matt Kenseth or when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won his first race?
You might not rooted for them but you were excite and you rooted them across the finish line.
The last two weeks I got a reminder of why I love NASCAR in the first place, because wins should feel like you won the lottery, for the drivers and the fans.
It is days like yesterday when a guy from Missouri wins in motorsports most hallowed ground and you feel like you won too.