Too often, the Chase arrives at Homestead as The Fait Accompli. The Chase leader often needs only to avoid the combination catastrophe of an early DNF while one of his distant rivals pulls off the most dominating performance since A.J. Foyt’s 1972 Daytona 500 win.
It’s akin to watching the last three rounds of a fight in which a great defensive boxer knows he’s so far ahead, he can’t lose by decision. Except those three rounds take three hours. I have loved racing my whole life. I have liked NASCAR since Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Allison were going door handle-to-door handle in unapologetically massive gas guzzlers. And I would not have paid to watch most of those season finales at Homestead. There’s more drama in whether they will get my order right at Burger King.