Toyota Domination No Cause For Rule Change Now
If you’re a fan of anyone other than Kyle Busch or Martin Truex Jr., the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs have been a complete gut punch so far.
Collectively, the two have won the first two playoff races, captured all three poles contested and led a mind-boggling 81.4 percent of the laps run in those races.
Busch and Truex both drive Toyotas, the brand that’s won eight out of the last 11 races and has five of the six top qualifiers for Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway. Truex, the defending Dover winner, will start on the pole, flanked by Busch.
Toyota isn’t guaranteed to win on Sunday, but only a fool would bet against them at this point.
Bill France Jr. used to call this kind of domination “stinking up the show,” and in the old days, NASCAR would find ways to slow teams down, including tearing dominant cars to the ground after almost every race they won and instituting rule changes against the dominant manufacturer.
Right now, Toyotas are stinking up the show and it’s bad for business. That much is obvious.
It’s also true that the absolute worst thing NASCAR could do right now is institute any kind of policy to change the rules or slow the Toyotas down.
Without question, some drivers and fans will be screaming bloody murder begging for a change.
It shouldn’t happen, though.
Remember that Joe Gibbs Racing went winless the entire first half of the 2017 Cup season. In the first 18 races of the season, Fords won eight times, Chevrolets won seven and Toyota won three times, the latter all coming from Truex and his Furniture Row Racing team.
As ugly as these playoffs have been so far for Ford and Chevrolet fans, credibility dictates that there been no rules changes now, just as there were no rules changes early in the season when Ford and Chevy won everything in sight.
Busch and Truex could wind up winning most of the remaining races or, in theory, all of them. That would be a bitter pill for many fans to swallow, but the truth is, in any sport, you’re not going to have Game 7 moments every season. Sometimes one or two teams are just better than the competition.
Credibility and integrity are far more important in the long run than just trying to put a good show for the final weeks of the season.
Over the winter, however, I have one thing to say to those who will make the 2018 rules and keep the competition level: Boys, have at it.