In 2008 there were 12 different winners for the 36 races held. But of those 12 different drivers, Carl Edwards won nine races, Kyle Busch scored eight victories, Jimmie Johnson won 7 races, for a total of 24 of the 36 races during the season. Three drivers winning two-thirds of the sanctioned races! That would be domination, not parity!
Meanwhile, in 2009 there have been 11 different drivers to score victories in the first 17 races! That would indicate to the average person that parity has arrived at NASCAR, right? That would depend on how you define parity? Is your definition of parity, parity of drivers? Is your definition of parity, parity of race teams?
In 2008, as was illustrated above, three drivers won two-thirds of all the races. That would indicate that there was not parity among drivers at all! If your definition of parity is among race teams, that existed only among three of the four “super teams”. Hendrick Motorsports tallied 8 victories, Joe Gibbs Racing won 10 races, Roush-Fenway won 11 times, and Richard Childress Racing only went to victory lane 3 times.
Now let’s look at the first half of the 2009 season. Again there have been 11 winners in the first 17 races. Kyle Busch and Mark Martin each have 3 victories, while Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson have won twice. Four drivers have won 10 out of 17 races, unlike the domination that occurred in2008. From the driver standpoint, the wins appear to be spread out amongst more drivers in 2009.
When talking about parity among race teams, that more than likely will never exist! Currently there are the “Big Four” when talking about race teams, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush-Fenway Racing, and Richard Childress Racing. This year, Hendrick Motorsports has won six races, Joe Gibbs Racing has won four times, and Roush-Fenway Racing has two victories, and Richard Childress Racing has a big fat goose egg! Three of “The Big Four” are responsible for 12 of the 17 victories this season. So as far as team parity, it still is far from ever happening!
One note to the new race fan, there is one team to keep an eye on. It is the newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing, controlled by Tony Stewart! This team has emerged from the “also rans’ to be a championship contender. The rumor mill is churning about all the potential possibilities with this team and its Hendrick affiliation. This off season promises to strengthen their position as an up-and-coming new powerhouse!
What is your take on parity? Should NASCAR strive to achieve it?
UNTIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!