Now I realize we are only entering our sixth month of 2014, but it's always this point in the season when I get a little sad. Dover is the last race on the NASCAR on FOX broadcast schedule. I absolutely love what I do and never take it for granted that I am blessed to have a second career after being a crew chief for all those years.
I think to sum up what I've seen so far this year is that the 2014 NASCAR season has been a surprise and a pleasant one at that. I'm talking across the board, too. From NASCAR's new rules during the off-season, to Daytona in February when NASCAR's favorite son Dale Earnhardt Jr. won, and Kevin Harvick not only finding a new home but being darn successful right out of the box.
I love seeing the improvement we are seeing in Danica Patrick. I love the new knock-out qualifying procedure. I also especially love how the Chase format change has put the emphasis right where it always should have been and that's on winning. I have been impressed by our rookie class and how they have performed. That once again shows everyone the future of NASCAR is bright and strong.
The 2014 season to this point, at least to me, has been nothing short of wildly successful. Look at all the different winners we've had. Look at all the new track records that have been set. Look at the attention Kurt Busch has brought to our sport by running both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.
We've had everything a true race fan could ever want so far. We've had great competition. We've had fast, fast speeds. We've had controversies and even a punch or two thrown so far. We've had all this and we are only to the halfway point of the regular season.
As we turn off the lights Sunday evening of our last NASCAR on FOX broadcast of the 2014 season, here's my prediction you can take to the bank. Just wait until the checkered flag falls at Richmond in mid-September signaling the end of the regular season and the beginning of the Chase. Trust me, you are going to see some high-profile names on the outside looking in wondering what they could have done differently to make the Chase.