NASCAR Fans and the Trouble with Democracy

Discussion in 'Sports' started by swaimj, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. swaimj

    swaimj
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nascar is running the results of a poll they did on NASCAR.com about a month ago. In the poll, fans could look at 50 races that were nominees for the greatest races in NASCAR history and fans could vote for their favorite. The one with the most votes wins and the rankings followed on down through 20-25 races.

    Now, here is the problem with pure democracy. I do not know which race is going to finish on top, but I know this much, the three races that qualify as great because of the drama of the finish and the pivotal effect they had have already been listed as less than one, two, or three. The problem is that any one and everyone could vote, and they could vote multiple times. So people are voting, not for the greatest race, but for their favorite driver.

    The poll shows what fans think, but it also shows that fans, at least in this format, do not know.

    BTW, the greatest three races are the '59, '76, and '79 Daytona 500s. None of these three made the top five as I recall. The winner of the poll has not yet been stated. I predict that the winner will be the '98 Daytona 500. It just simply isn't the greatest race in NASCAR history.

    OK, I'm through venting.
     
  2. ccrobinson

    ccrobinson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    4,459
    Likes Received:
    0
    This poll will be completely worthless if the '92 season finale doesn't wind up in the top 4. That race was terrific from start to finish.

    Also, I agree about the '98 Daytona 500.

    BTW, I have something that may only be interesting to me, but I'll try to remember to put it in my recap next Sunday.
     
    #2 ccrobinson, Feb 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2009
  3. swaimj

    swaimj
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, that race is one of the top races of all time. To be fair, great races have been picked, but, for Pete's sake, they have the '76 Daytona 500 at #10. If you asked drivers or writers who cover the sport to list the greatest races, that one would be #3 at the absolute worst.
     
  4. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with you 100%, for what that is worth. Most fans knowledge don't go back past 5 to 10 years so they don't know or care about anything before that. So many today if it wasn't the 3 car it wasn't.
     
  5. swaimj

    swaimj
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep. #1 race in the NASCAR poll? 1998 Daytona 500. That was a great victory by Earnhardt. In the top 5? I think it should be. Best ever? No way!

    Best finish ever is the 1976 Daytona 500. It was the culmination of a rivalry that had been brewing for years.

    However, the most consequential race in the history of NASCAR is the 1979 Daytona 500. That race, because of the TV coverage (first flag-to-flag coverage of the 500 on live TV) prompted ESPN to start televising races flag-to-flag on cable and NASCAR went national. And it was a GREAT finish!
     
  6. ccrobinson

    ccrobinson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    4,459
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree that the '98 Daytona 500 shouldn't be at the top of the list. Which one should? I took a long look at all the races in the list and some of them are clearly there just so Nascar can have 50 races to choose from. I mean, Kurt Busch wins at Bristol and does snow angels? What? How is that a great race?

    I was also annoying by what Nascar said was significant about the 8/26/1995 race at Bristol.

    "T. Labonte wins backwards after tap from Dale Earnhardt."

    Here's the clip showing the last 10 laps. Backwards? Hardly. It was exciting enough as it was. There's no need to just make stuff up.

    I agree with swaim that the 76 Daytona 500, while it should be in the list, shouldn't be relegated to #10. If significance is a criteria, then great drivers make for great finishes and great races. That's why wins by Harvick, Craven and Bodine don't make the Top 10 list, because none of them are/were great drivers, though Harvick still has a chance to be. But, the races in the list of 50 that they won were all very exciting. The closest that a driver who isn't great came to making my top 10 list was Junior winning at Daytona in 2001. The only problem is that Junior isn't a great driver today, though he still has a chance to be.

    I think the most important criteria about significance of a win is that it really has to be significant beyond just winning a race. Winning the Daytona 500, or winning a championship is significant. Winning at North Wilkesboro or Michigan is fine, but there's nothing terribly significant about winning there. This is the reason that 6 of my top 10 races are at Daytona.

    So, without further ado, here's my Top 10.

    10. 10/29/1994 - Rockingham
    Dale Earnhardt won his 7th championship. Great race with a good finish as Earnhardt beat Rick Mast to win #7.

    9. 8/31/1997 - Darlington
    In 1985, Bill Elliott won the first Winston Million. In 1997, Jeff Gordon won the last Winston Million by winning the Southern 500. Great race from start to finish, with a great finish.

    8. 7/4/1974 - Daytona
    Pearson snookered Petty to win this one. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it on Youtube. If somebody finds it, please post a link.

    7. 10/15/2000 - Talladega
    In Nascar's list, it says that Earnhardt went from 17th to 1st in 6 laps. Not true. It only took him 4. Watch it here. I thought and thought about this, about whether it even belongs here, and you can accuse me of "homerism" if you like, but I really think it belongs here, just not at #3.

    6. 2/14/1993 - Daytona
    "It's the Dale and Dale show." Although Earnhardt led over 100 laps, it was still a great race from start to finish and had one of the great calls in Nascar. I can't even imagine what it was like for Ned to call his son winning the Daytona 500.

    Here's the last 3 laps for you.

    5. 7/4/1984 - Daytona
    No championship was won. No Daytona 500 was won. It was only Richard Petty recording his 200th win.

    4. 11/15/1992 - Atlanta
    6 drivers went into this race with a mathematical chance of winning the championship, but only 3 had a realistic chance. This was also Richard Petty's final race and he truly went out in a blaze of glory. Well, maybe not glory, but it was a blaze. The sentimental favorite was Davey Allison, but he got into a wreck caused, ironically, when Ernie Irvan lost control coming off of Turn 4. One of the images I'll never forget is Liz Allison (Davey's wife) crying her heart out after Davey's wreck. It was the culmination of an incredible comeback by Alan Kulwicki and a monumental collapse by Bill Elliott and Davey Allison. I think I might recap this race sometime and, if I do, I'll tell why it was ironic that Ernie was the one who caused the wreck Allison was in.

    3. 2/15/1998 - Daytona
    This is where I think the '98 Daytona 500 belongs. It was a pretty good race and the finish was awesome, especially for this Earnhardt fan, but I just don't think it's the greatest race ever. Oh, and for the record, it was Earnhardt's 20th attempt, not 19th as stated in the Nascar list.

    2. 2/15/1976 - Daytona
    2 of the greatest drivers ever in a thrilling finish called by Keith Jackson and the great Jackie Stewart. I'll never understand how this race only made it to #10 on the other list. Watch it here and tell me how this one only lands at #10.

    1. 2/18/1979 - Daytona

    I agree with every word.

    And to prove how great it was, here's the last lap.
     
  7. Steven2006

    Steven2006
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,065
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why would you expect this to be different from any other fan poll?
     
  8. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    CCRob has a great list. I'd differ in a couple of spots.

    FTR, anyone who does not have the '79 Daytona 500 as the #1 should be drug tested. I believe this made the front page of the Sports section of the NY Times for the first time in history, and maybe even their front page in general (can't remember). Gave birth to NASCAR's modern popularity.

    I'd place 6 higher and 5 a tad lower., but only because of the TV value of it. TV increased this, and Ned's call is one of the most classic calls in all of sports. If anyone disagrees, you obviously have no children.

    Your #4 would be my #2 and if not for the influential nature of 79 Daytona, would be my #1. We'll never see this again. I know this new Chase could produce a similar type of race, but not with this kind of drama of a season truly culminating in one race. I'm almost ready to shame you for having Earnhardt's Daytona win above this one :)
     
  9. ccrobinson

    ccrobinson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    4,459
    Likes Received:
    0
    :laugh:

    I had the 92 race at #2 until I found the Youtube video of the 76 Daytona 500 finish and it was such a good finish that I moved it up. The other thing that bumped that race to #2 is who the drivers were, as there are no bigger names in the history of Nascar than Petty and Pearson. Putting the '98 Daytona 500 as high as I did is probably more about me being an Earnhardt fan than anything else.
     
  10. swaimj

    swaimj
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's a great list CC. A couple in there I had not thought of.
     
  11. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hence, my proposed shaming of you :laugh:
     
  12. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
     

Share This Page

Loading...