Sunday, August 14, 2011

Should NASCAR do away with rain-shortened wins?

Here's a question: do you feel just a little bit bad for singing-in-the-rain, crying-in-the-sun Joey Logano today?

Refresher: on Sunday afternoon, Logano was at the front of the field at Pocono when the heavens opened up and we had a full-on, roostertails-off-the-tires downpour, the kind we used to call a "frog-strangler" back home. It didn't look like we'd be racing again at Pocono until 2012, and Logano had the inside track on a shortcut win.

Logano has one career Cup victory, at Loudon in 2009, and it just so happens that win was�a rain-shortened one. But unlike that win, Logano was one of the dominant cars Sunday in the pre-rain segment of the race; he held the pole and fought his way back to the lead time after time.

Now, you can argue about certain elements of this rain delay, like for instance whether they'd have tried to restart it if certain drivers with an 8 on their car* were in the lead. But what's indisputable is that if they'd called the race, the entire Chase picture would look very different than it does today. For starters, Logano would be firmly in the hunt, while Brad Keselowski would be completely out of it.

So the question thus becomes, should NASCAR even think about calling races at all due to rain, now that wins are such a critical element of the Chase picture? Does NASCAR owe it to fans and competitors alike to try to run a full race, even if it pushes into Monday?

Clearly, Logano would have loved it if the race was over and done; he had tire problems and ended up falling all the way to 26th and, in all likelihood, out of the Chase picture. But it's not like Keselowski wasn't a deserving winner either; he battled all afternoon long and used canny pit strategy and all-out clean air driving to wrestle that win away from Kyle Busch and the rest of the field.

So we put the question to you: should rain-shortened races be a thing of the past? Since wins are at such a premium now, should NASCAR do everything in its power to run the race's full length? Have your say.

*-That's what you call a "Rorschach joke." Whether you thought I was referring to the 18, the 48 or the 88 depends on whom you believe the NASCAR conspiracies favor. (I can tell you I wasn't referring to Brian Vickers or Joe Nemecheck.)


Kick returner Kyle Williams Larry Fitzgerald London Fletcher

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