By David Fallavollita, NASCAR Blogger for 105.3 The Fan | CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – I’m just going to be honest; 90% of the time it’s hard to concentrate on the NASCAR playoffs when the NFL season is underway.  Ok there it is. I said it.

This year, however, is going to be different. Many have called me crazy before, so you can once again in this case, but I think we are in store for a legendary fight for the Cup.

It took a little arm-twisting from the men in suits, but we arguably have the deepest and most talented group of playoff drivers in the history of NASCAR’s Chase format. This field of 13 drivers includes 11 championships, 4 different title winners, 23 race wins on the 2013 schedule, and plenty of driver rivalries.

This past Sunday at Chicago, 10 of the top 12 drivers in the finishing order also make up the Sprint Cup field. Folks those are 2004 Chase numbers, which in my opinion was the greatest year of this format.  I really do think we are heading in that direction once again. The field is too stacked for this not to happen. When the field rumbles to the green flag in November at TMS, I expect a host of drivers in contention for the title.

To quote Samuel L. Jackson in the film Jurassic Park, “hold on to your butts.”  This is going to be exciting!


  • NASCAR’s decision to restart Sunday’s chase opening race at Chicago late Sunday night was the right move. It’s easy to second guess NASCAR’s thought process at times, but just think about why they had to get this race in. Do you want your big “playoff” opener running on a Monday afternoon? Come on. No publicity and nobody watching would have equaled a dismal start for NASCAR.
  • I’m sorry but the noses of these Sprint Cup Series cars really need some beefing up. Week in and week out, it seems some relatively minor contact is destroying radiators and causing major motor problems. I’m hoping by next season the NASCAR tech gurus will have a solution to this issue. Flatter noses shouldn’t equal softer noses.
  • NAPA Auto Parts is leaving Michael Waltrip Racing due to the team’s role in “spin gate” at Richmond. What a turn of events for this team. This move is just weird to me. I know MWR did wrong by “altering” the chase, but for a company to just trash their contract because of it, doesn’t make full sense to me. Something must have been brewing behind the scenes, as in this sponsor was looking for a way out. Yes NAPA released a statement saying otherwise, but hey A-Rod once said he never used steroids.
  • I don’t care what people think about NASCAR’s “legitimacy” in regards to the addition of a 13th chase driver. In my opinion, they made a decision that in their eyes was justified. If it was something random like Jeff Gordon being wrecked in Richmond while sitting way outside the chase cut line, then I would understand. MWR did wrong, Jeff Gordon got the shaft for it, and so NASCAR fixed it. Hopefully these teams have learned and it doesn’t happen again. I’m sure Brian France gave these teams and drivers a tongue lashing against even thinking of it in the future.
  • Juan Pablo Montoya is leaving the world of NASCAR after this season and heading to the IRL for a ride with Penske Racing. While many fans and car owners might be happy (thanks to a barrage of incidents with other drivers), NASCAR I’m thinking is not happy. This sport is trying to market itself to the world and various cultures, and now they’re about to lose their one Hispanic driver.  I don’t know if NASCAR would ever admit this, but they need JPM.

Up Next: Chase Race 2 of 10

Next Track: Loudon New Hampshire. 1 mile oval flat track. 300 laps.

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