I told you that that pass that Tony Stewart made on Jeff Burton (or Burton gave) would be the difference in the championship, although if that pass hadn't happened, then we'd be looking at a situation where Stewart lost the championship by one point despite winning five Chase races...not good either.
I know all kinds of people are tickled with this artificial form of determining a championship but I've been on the record since the Chase format came into being that I didn't like it; still don't like it. No championship ever in any sport should be decided on a tie breaker. That's what you get when you jerryrig a format. I submit that Nascar should have been prepared for this possibility and decided if it came to pass that there was a tie, that there would be dual champions. Think of the additional press that would garner, people arguing those merits and saying Tony was the more deserving, probably so. But having the most points at the end of the season should make you the champion. It shouldn't matter whether someone else has the same number of points as well.
Make no mistake, Tony went out and took it but he only had the chance because of a phony format. Previous year's Chase, Tony doesn't win it. Any season without the Chase, Tony doesn't win it. So I feel bad about a guy losing a championship because he was on the wrong side of the format. Carl Edwards had the highest average finish in Chase history. More importantly, he had the highest average finish in this Chase. And even though this is a number NASCAR doesn't publish on purpose, Edwards earned the most points this year. Wins is the best tie breaker if you're gonna have one but I'm vehemently against the idea. I don't care if you have to run another race. But who really would be complaining if they gave out two trophies last night?
And I've said similar things about the other sports where you let in too many teams into the playoffs and one team just squeaks in, gets hot and wins a championship, ala the Cardinals this year, the Packers last year, etc. Don't like it and never will. Let's use this extreme example to make the point that this new system vastly undervalues the regular season: One driver has a miraculous first 26 races to the season, say winning 10 races. Then let's say that that same driver wins 3 Chase races but is also wrecked out of 3 through no fault of his own and that another driver has a Chase like Edwards had this year, with a 4.5ish average finish and ends up with more points than the driver who won 13 races during the season.
So just because the guy who ended hot and with the most wins becomes champion isn't any more fair necessarily than a scenario where he doesn't. That's what you can get with a phony system.
But my biggest issue with this by far is the fact that it ended with a tie. If Tony had won by one point, I would feel Edwards kinda got screwed but the other guy earned more points than he did. That's not what happened here.
Also, Carl Edwards is a champion because of the classy way he handled all this. If he feels the way I do, he hasn't said it and I think that's the right thing to do as a driver.