Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Postmortem For The 2010 Season

Hello there.

Your blogger took the season off as the real world came calling. I spent the year working on the Congressional campaign of Harold Johnson here in North Carolina. Call it a sabbatical from the blogosphere. I was still able to watch most of the races, just didn't really have the time, effort, or desire to look at a computer more than was necessary from the day job (being on a computer more than 12 hours a day has its downsides).

I'll remember this season as the emergence of Denny Hamlin as a superstar. He won 8 races, talked a lot of trash, came back from ACL surgery, partied in my city, and has become a driver that I root for. There are only a couple true superstars in this sport. Hamlin added his name to the list along with Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, and maybe 1 or 2 more drivers.

Jamie McMurray had a great season this year too. Winning the Daytona 500 is something you can always hang your hat on, just look at how Derrike Cope continues to pop up every now and then. To back that up and win the Brickyard and a Chase race would make anyone's season - championship hunting or not. He should be in that hunt next year if he can find that consistency week to week. Props as well to the seeming return of Roush to the elite ranks as Edwards wins the last 2 races and finishes 4th in points, Greg Biffle wins a couple races, and Matt Kenseth (yes he's still in the sport) finishes a quiet 5th in points with 3 different crew chiefs and probably sees the return of Robbie Reiser to his pitbox for 2011. RCR also placed 3 cars in the Chase with regular season leader Kevin Harvick, scrappy to the end, and Clint Bowyer, who can win races and contend but just doesn't scream "championship contender" to me.

Disappointments this year? I have several. First on my list is Juan Pablo Montoya. Just couldn't seem to get started this year and managed just a 17th place points finish. For someone that had clear (and reasonable) expectations of contending for the title, he seemed to regress a bit from the 2009 season and still has the no-oval win monkey on his back. I hope 2011 goes better for him. The sport needs him to contend. I'll have to call Tony Stewart's season a disappointment as well. He never showed up in 2009 form and was never a threat to finish in the top 5, much less win a 3rd title.

That's the highlights for now. I know what you're asking yourself... what are you doing now, Matt? Well, I don't know, to be honest. I am currently seeking employment. I don't even know if I'll blog again. The Chase was good, but we're still seeing a loss in fans and interest. I'd like to say I know what's wrong but the racing wasn't terrible. For the first time, I really am worried about the future of NASCAR.