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Hi, everybody. My name is Russ and I’d like to welcome you to the Martinsville pre-race for this week … and this is “Just A Fan’s View”.
With all of the rain problems this weekend it could either make for one of the most interesting, or dull, spring races at Martinsville. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this one is really hard to determine just how it is going to turn out. It would be nice to have been able to have qualifying and the final practice, but, it wasn’t meant to be.
As everyone already knows, that means the field lines up according to owner points and that doesn’t tell much about how the racing will actually go.
One thing I can say is it sure looks as though the lineup will offer some advantage to those up front even though they may not be prepared to run up there at all. In looking at the lineup though, all of the ones in the top ten know how to get around the Martinsville track and any one of the could win in the end. In fact, if you look at the top twenty, you find most of them could pull off the victory themselves.
It’s weekends like this that makes trying to decide who will win kinda like a driver who’s car just isn’t quite where he wants it to be. He’d like to have about twenty or thirty more laps to try something different. That’s the way it is for me, too. I would like a little more info from the last practice (that they didn’t get to have) so I could better judge who got a better grip on the track. Well, it just ain’t gonna happen this week so I’ll just have to make the best of it…
There are a few things to consider before making a choice for the winner of the race this weekend. One of the most important things is that the track is going to be completely green. If there was any rubber on it, it’s completely gone by the time of this writing. One of the good things is that the sun is going to shine on Sunday and the temp will be in the comfortable upper 60’s. That should make it interesting, especially when they hit the first turn after the green flag drops. I’ll be looking to see how certain drivers do after about twenty or so green flag laps. I do think we will find who has a pretty good setup after the first 30 -40 laps of green.
With Jeff Gordon starting on the pole and having the number one pit stall, I’d say he is starting right where he would have wanted to even if they would have had qualifying. What will make the whole thing interesting is that Kurt Bush is starting outside pole and Kyle Bush is starting outside second row. As strong as the Bush brothers have been in recent weeks, it makes a whole lot of difference for them being able to start up front and have better pit stalls, too, even though Kyle says Martinsville isn’t one of his better tracks. Who knows, starting up front may just be what he needs to turn his luck around at the track.
Oh well, enough beating around the “Bush-es” … it’s time to make the choices for this weekend.
As I look over the top 20 starters, I see a number that could end up in victory lane, (that’s what makes this race a hard one to pick the winner in.) I see names like Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Brian Vickers to name a few and any one of them could win.
Closer to the front, we see drivers like Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Bush, Kurt Bush and Jeff Gordon. The problem I have is not enough data to make a good pick so, I guess I’ll just have to fly by the seat of pants.
Going on past performances at this track I just about have to choose one of the Hendrick teams. Even though there are others I think could show up and take the checkered flag at the end I still think it’s going to be a race between Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon.
So which one do I pick… hmmm … it’s a tough one …
Well, I pick Jeff Gordon, mostly because he is leading in the points and because I think he is definitely going to break his losing streak and because I really think the team is due. Even after making my choice, I still think it is going to be an interesting race, right down to the end and because of the lack of time on the track, there could be some big surprises in store at the end… who knows for sure, it could be Mark Martin or Marcos Ambrose sitting in victory circle when all it is said and done…
See ya next time…
© March 2009 – all rights reserved
Just A Fan’s View and Rusty Norman