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Jeff Gordon Fan
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25,901 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Turn 4: If the Chase started today, Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon would be the last two drivers in the field. Which rookie has a better shot of making the Chase?
Hinton: Larson, but in a way it's a tossup. Larson is the better driver but Dillon has the better equipment and support. I've just got to go with Larson, though, because he's more capable of winning a race in the regular season -- and indeed, during the Chase itself. Want my Homestead dark horse already? He's it, although he probably won't arrive there in the Final Four. Ever since Chip Ganassi said he always seems to show up at the end of a race, I've paid attention -- and that's largely true.

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James: Dillon has proved himself a productive points-racer, winning the 2011 truck series title with two victories and the Nationwide crown last season with none. Though it is increasingly likely multiple drivers will advance to the Chase by virtue of points standings, the new emphasis on winning seems to play against his strength. Granted, Dillon has seven victories in NASCAR's top three series and Larson has just one, in the Nationwide series this year, but Larson feels more likely to break through in Cup this season after finishing second at Fontana and fifth at Texas.
McGee: If you'd asked the question last year I would've said Dillon. He established consistency early. But it isn't last year, it's 2014 and this is win-and-you're-in the Chase, so I'll say Larson. I think both drivers have a chance to win a race before the season ends, but Larson is taking the Kasey Kahne go-or-blow route while Dillon is taking the more traditional see-you-in-the-second-half approach.
Oreovicz: I'll take Larson using the same logic I used to answer the Johnson vs. Kenseth question in Turn 2. Larson has just looked more likely to win a race this year, and that's even more impressive when you consider that he has much less NASCAR race experience than Dillon. Whereas Dillon had the benefit of multiple full, championship-level seasons in Trucks and Nationwide, Larson had fewer than 40 stock car starts under his belt before he was elevated into a Cup seat. The great news for NASCAR is that they both should have long careers in front of them, but already have the talent to win races as rookies.
Smith: Larson. Granted, Dillon has the horse to win Daytona in July so he's a player, too. I believe Larson will win a Cup race this year. He has one of the fastest cars every weekend, and he's among the top 5 more often than not. He's run 11 races. It looks like 11 years. I knew he was good. Anybody who listened to Gordon and Stewart gush over him the past couple of years knew. But I didn't know he'd be this good immediately. The transition to Cup was like LeBron's to the NBA. When you have superior God-given ability, and couple that with the desire to learn and continue to improve, it's special.
 

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Baltimore Orioles CraZy
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5,304 Posts
Well, considering somewhere close to half of all full time drivers are going to make the Chase this doesn't surprise me.


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Formerly mwr1556
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11,241 Posts
Agreed, it used to be a good way to gauge if you're team was strong. Now it's embarrassing if you miss the Chase. But this format is a joke anyway, Kurt Busch is lower in points than Danica and yet because of his one win in M'ville, he's all but guaranteed a spot in the Chase.

But to the original point: Yes, these two rookies are doing better than any other rookies have done in the last 6 or 7 years, but the rookie field has been pretty weak since 2007.
 

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Legendary Member
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25,287 Posts
With 16 drivers making this farce of a Chase, I would be surprised if either one missed it.
 

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2020 Pick One Champion
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12,018 Posts
But to the original point: Yes, these two rookies are doing better than any other rookies have done in the last 6 or 7 years, but the rookie field has been pretty weak since 2007.
I do like this year's rookie class alot. Kyle Larson has 5 top 10s so far this year. That may not seem spectacular but the '07 ROTY J.P. Montoya had 6 top 10 finishes in his entire rookie season. The '08 ROTY winner Regan Smith had no top 10s while driving at DEI and the '09 winner Joey Logano had 7 top 10s with JGR. 2010, 2011 and 2012 ROTY winners Kevin Conway, Andy Lally and Stephen Leicht had no top 10s between them and last year's winner Ricky Stenhouse had 3 top 10s. With 5 top 10s in 11 races, Larson has a chance to be the best rookie since Denny Hamlin in 2006. Its hard to believe its been that long since a rookie driver was this good.
 

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Premium Member
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4,594 Posts
Its so stupid that at this point in the season we have what 9 drivers locked into the playoffs that are still 4 months away that and the whole final race winner take all is what pisses me off about this new system
 

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Eagles! Beer! BACON! MERICA!
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1,751 Posts
I get so aggravated when I think about the new Chase format.....I mean a guy dominants all Chase long, and blows a tire 50 laps into Homestead and he is done.....I mean I cant wrap my head around that idea and why the people running this multimillion dollar organization thought it was a good idea.....


Lasron to answer your question though...other than the brainfart he had at the 2013 UNOH race at Daytona I like the kid
 
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Premium Member
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14,620 Posts
People are never going to be happy! I bet if underdog won a race then they would be crying about it too.

I'm more excited we have 9 winners, and more to come in the next stretch. The cream will always rise to the top.

You can make the Chase with a win but doesn't mean it will do you any good in terms of winning.
 

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Jeff Gordon Fan
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What I am happy about the most is the dominant teams of the past couple years havent been able to hit there stride.Maybe with any luck they will suffer a mediocre year like all teams do.
 

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Eagles! Beer! BACON! MERICA!
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1,751 Posts
People are never going to be happy! I bet if underdog won a race then they would be crying about it too.

I'm more excited we have 9 winners, and more to come in the next stretch. The cream will always rise to the top.

You can make the Chase with a win but doesn't mean it will do you any good in terms of winning.
Oh I'm happy, the racing this year has been great, and I love it, I just wish they woulda put a little more thought into putting a whole Championship on one race where there so many factors. Theoretically (and I know this will never happen), but a guy could win all nine races leading up to the final race, blow a tire, get in someone's oil, blow a motor, or anything in the final race, and he is done. But I mean a guy could go on a tear, win 3 or 4 races in the Chase, run top 5-10 every week, and he would be done for if something happens in the final race.
 

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58 wins, 4x champ in ARS
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9,162 Posts
The chase is massively irrelevant this year. Heck, the NCAA BCS system, a complete joke, was more organized than this.
 
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Impartially partial
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9,047 Posts
It's not really an accomplishment to make the Chase anymore. NASCAR, in my opinion, isn't really 43 drivers racing for the win, it's more like 15 or 20 driver racing for the win. NASCAR is basically allowing each competitive team a spot in the Chase. There's really no reason for Larson or Dillon to miss the Chase.
 

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Big Austin Dillon fan here, but Larson is the hot shoe this year for sure at this point. I would disagree with Austin having the better equipment though, both Larson and McMurray have been fast at nearly every track this year when they roll off the truck or at least by final practice. The RCR cars have struggled for speed except for a few tracks, mostly super speedways.
 
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