NASCAR: Reddit users provide snapshot of fan reaction to this year’s Chase

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It’s always interesting to gauge fan reaction, and while one Reddit survey won’t tell the whole story on how fans liked or disliked this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, it makes for a nice snapshot.

Earlier today, NASCAR Illustrated writer/editor Kris Johnson tweeted a link to such a post-season exit survey that drew more than 400 responses. The full data can be found here.

Among the highlights…

  • From my perspective, I can’t argue with either one of these. The surveyed fans found that the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway – which included the final battle for this year’s Sprint Cup title between Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, and Joey Logano – was the most exciting race of the Chase. On the other end of the spectrum, the Challenger Round event/demolition derby at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was dubbed the least exciting.
  • Kevin Harvick, who won three times in the Chase and finished off a run to his first Cup title with back-to-back wins at Phoenix and Homestead, was considered the most impressive Chaser with 33 percent of the votes.
  • As for which Chaser benefited the most from the new format, winless Ryan Newman took that distinction in a runaway with a total of 53 percent of the votes. Jeff Gordon, who was eliminated with one race to go by a single point, was considered the Chaser that benefited the least with an even bigger total: 66 percent.
  • And here’s the two bits that jumped out to this writer. At the beginning of the year, the opinions of those surveyed on the new Chase format ran relatively neutral to negative – 27 percent neutral, 22 percent less than favorable, 27 percent not favorable at all. Favorable (10 percent) and somewhat favorable (14 percent) opinions were not in plentiful supply. But now that the season’s over, the favorable (20 percent) and somewhat favorable (28 percent) opinions on the new Chase have jumped noticeably while the neutral to negative ones have all fallen: 13 percent neutral, 18 percent less than favorable, and 20 percent not favorable at all.

There are plenty of other categories that the surveyed covered, including some non-Chase ones like trust in the NASCAR higher-ups and race officials, and the prospect of weeknight races. The data’s quite intriguing, so check out the link above and draw your own conclusions – and maybe post them in the comments section below (keep it clean, of course).