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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sign up for Fantasy Racing!

I found this article and couldn't resist commenting on it. Apparently all it takes for Jamie McMurray to improve in 2007 is a better mental approach. Forget fast cars, a good pit crew, skilled engineers or a smart crew chief, the biggest factor is how well McMurray's noodle handles the rigors of 36 races. Not only that, but
the writer Jeff Owens never specifies why McMurray is mentally stronger. Instead he says:

His greatest asset, though, may be a newfound mental toughness, one that requires him to focus on positive things instead of any shortcomings.

That could be the edge that pushes him over the top, allowing him to realize his potential and finally produce that much-anticipated breakout campaign.

Did he train under Pai Mei in the offseason, drink raw eggs every morning, or spend endless hours playing chess? No he just thought happy thoughts, which obviously worked for the fictitious Happy Gilmore.

It could be the thing that erases his frown and replaces it with a smile.
Young racers take heed!
Turn that frown upside down and you will win a NASCAR crown!

I don't completely discount mental toughness, it is definitely a factor in success. It has to be when you are strapped in a blazing hot car for 3+ hours while trying to push the envelope for what a stock car can do. Since very few sports writers have a degree in psychology, however, let's leave the mental intangibles angle out of it. Writers and broadcasters love talking about mental toughness, basketball IQ or momentum (
On a side note, I'd love to see Roger Ebert talk about George Clooney's mental toughness or Will Ferrell's movie IQ). The greatest factor for success in any sport is talent. Whether it is individual or a collective team, it is still talent that wins.

McMurray is certainly capable of making the Chase. He will make the Chase because of his driving talent combined with his team's talent. It also doesn't hurt having two additional spots in the Chase.

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