If you're one of those folks that look at life with the glass half full, you could say that ultimately the finish of the 15-running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in Indianapolis was respectable and legitmate.
After all, Jimmie Johnson scored his second victory at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway after flat dominating the entire week in Indy and the race didn't end under caution. And fortunately, nobody got hurt.
Unfortunately for the race fans who tuned in for NASCAR's second-biggest event and the 200,000+ on hand were treated to a race that was ultimately the greatest heat race ever run at IMS.
The tire issues that had reared their ugly heads during the practice sessions on Saturday afternoon didn't fix themselves, though NASCAR and Goodyear handled the situation much more professionally than the Formula One debacle a few years ago at the same track that saw just six drivers compete in the event thanks to tire problems.
Both the sanctioning body and the tire supplier knew that there was a high potential for problems early Sunday morning as they informed the teams that extra tires had been brought in and that NASCAR was prepared to throw caution flags in the interest of safety as long as was necessary to make sure teams were able to keep from blowing tires.
And, boy, were those competition cautions ever needed. Early in the race after around eight laps, the tires started going flat like I had never seen before with cars falling off the pace, nearly getting run over, and sliding on to pit road one after another with a right-rear riding too close to the ground.
NASCAR eventually got the timing down and opted to call a caution about ever 11 laps for the whole race, as by then every car in the field had wore their rubber down to the cords, on the verge of putting a hole in the tire.
This method continued until the last run to the checkers, when they gave drivers seven laps to hang it all on the line -- just the right amount of time before the wear on the tires would put the drivers in peril. Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson certainly made the best of it, with a close duel toward the end with Johnson eventually sealing the deal.
Without a doubt, it made the Brickyard into a race that required a strategy that many drivers haven't grown accustomed to in that in order to preserve your race car, you had to pace yourself and not use the tires -- which is likely part of the reason why Kyle Busch wound up 15th. Jimmie Johnson was a tremendous example of that in lap times alone as the driver was running 54-second laps during the start of the race and at the end, finished laps in the 51-second bracket.
The race, with its tire problems, truly was a "first ever" type of event for NASCAR at a place known for making legendary stories, unfortunately, this one won't likely be remembered as the race that Jimmie Johnson one.