When his engine expired Friday night at Phoenix Raceway, William Bryon knew his shot for the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title expired as well. The winner of six races this season, a series-best, isnít one of the Championship 4 and thatís okay.
Over the last couple of days, I have seen and heard the complaints of fans. ďThe Chase isnít the answer!Ē ďWhy isnít the winner of most races able to win the championship?Ē ďNASCAR continues to screw things up for the fans.Ē
It has been a great season for the Kyle Busch Motorsports rookie. He has led 696 laps, a series-high, has posted 10 top-five and 15 top-ten finishes. His ability to wheel a truck caught the eye of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick. In 2017, Byron will be jumping up to the NASCAR XFINFITY Series racing out of the JR Motorsports stable. It is rumored that Byron could be in line to replace Kasey Kahne unless the No. 5 improves.
So why do I think itís okay that Byron isnít in the Championship 4? Because thatís sports!
When in the history of professional, or even amateur sports, has the team that did the best get a free pass to the championship? None.
It doesnít even happen in the sports top tier, the Sprint Cup Series.
The Championship race in NASCARís premier series is also this weekend, and three of the five drivers with the most wins this season, four, wonít be racing for the championship. Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Martin Truex Jr. all have four wins and are currently on the outside looking in.
Just because a driver has the most wins, does that mean they should race for a title? No.
The way that NASCARís playoff system, the Chase, is set to reward drivers that have been successful during the regular season and in the playoffs. This is seen in every sports from the National Football League to Major League Baseball. There has been plenty of times in sports that the best team doesnít make it to the finals or win the championship.
Do I feel bad for the young gun? Of course. Heís had a great season and the best heíll finish in the standings is fourth. However, just like every other driver in the series, they knew the rules coming in.
There is still one more chance for Byron to add to his series-best six wins and thatís what heís focused on. ďIím so invested in these guys [at KBM] right now and with this year,Ē Byron stated after Friday nights race. ďIt hurts because weíre fighting. We fought all night, and we fought all throughout the Chase to get the best points position, and it just didnít work out.Ē