Nascar in Charlotte … A Fan’s View of Who Could Win This Weekend, (For The Record)

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It is no surprise Nascar is in Charlotte, NC this weekend. They’re supposed to be. I just wanted to say a few things for the record. What this is about is my opinion of who is going to win the Sprint Cup race this weekend.

First of all, I have to admit there is one in particular that I would rather see win, but, I fear you might think I am biased if I told you, so I won’t. I would rather just express who I think will win and if it happens to be the person I would most like to see win, all the better. If not, then I chose the right one anyway, (especially if the person I pick wins.)

Okay, enough rambling. Let’s take a look at the stronger runners in Friday afternoon’s Happy Hour practice. I have to admit that Jimmy Johnson looks pretty strong and actually finished with the fastest lap times for the practice. Carl Edwards was a very close second and could prove to be the real competition for Jimmy. If you just look at the practice session times, it looks as though this one is going to be an endurance run for the two on the front row. I guess I can’t get away from the fact that Greg Biffle is starting inside on the second row. With the results of his testing it looks as though he will be tough also and I have to throw him into the possible mix.

I would say that most think Jimmy Johnson and Carl Edwards are the two front runners this weekend. Unfortunately, I don’t agree with the masses. I mention this because the same thing that happened at Talladega last week could very likely affect the outcome this week (although I don’t think Carl Edwards will be the “culprit”). Racing at Lowe’s Speedway offers the possibility for a “Big One” that can take out any of the top contenders at any time during the race. We’ve seen that carnage before especially on restarts later in the race. We’ve also seen the absolute unexpected happen very near the end of the race that radically changes the final result. In fact, that happened to Ryan Newman in the race at this time last year.

Tony Stewart was awfully strong on the long runs in practice Friday afternoon and that could cause a person to think he is a real contender for the checkered flag Saturday night. I think he has an excellent chance, but he isn’t the one I believe is going to win.

Kevin Harvick is due and so is Jeff Burton, but, they don’t top my list either although I do believe they will be contenders in the race.

Brian Vickers or Casey Kane would be my dark-horse candidates and could very possibly play into the mix at the end. I think it all depends on how the action in the pits and the strategy for tires and fuel plays out.

That brings us to a couple of drivers that are quite capable, although unlikely, to win. Jamie McMurray and Jeff Gordon, ( I can’t believe I am saying Jeff Gordon is unlikely to win). Personally, I think a lot of things need to go right for both of them for either one of them to end up in victory lane. If this were last year, I would have to give the edge to Jeff Gordon simply because of the way the breaks just seemed to go right for him most of the time last year. (That hasn’t been the case this year.) Jamie McMurray has been up and down all year, (I guess most every year he’s been in Cup so far, but he does have the capability to take it to victory lane). It is hard for me to choose him as the winner this weekend simply because of the inconsistency factor and some bad breaks.

With forty three great drivers in the field and all of them lined up according to points because of the rain-out of qualifying, who do I choose out of the forty-three starters?? It is a really hard decision, but, I choose Jeff Gordon. I think he is absolutely due for a good finish even though the odds are against him and I do believe he is going to get his first victory of the season this weekend.

Well … there it is. I know it’s a long shot, but, that’s the way I see it and I’m sticking with it … this week anyway. I think it goes without saying, next week could be a different story …

See ya next time …


By Rusty Norman

Amateur writer, NASCAR Fan, musician and former local Stock Car racer.