Click Play below for the audio version of this article
Hi everybody and welcome to Just a fan’s view for this week …
Texas Motor Speedway is the home for Nascar this weekend and some are much happier than others to be there. Considering their performance at the two short tracks, the Fords have to be happy to be back on the 1 1/2 mile speedways. They just didn’t show much strength at Bristol and Martinsville. This weekend should prove whether or not the Fords have just fallen behind or if they just don’t do short tracks well.
A quick look at the qualifying yields some interesting results. The Fords have three in the top five and five total in the top fifteen. The Toyotas have one in the top five and four in the top fifteen while the Chevys also have one in the top five and four in the top fifteen. The Dodges have the fewest with none in the top five and two in the top fifteen.
That says a lot about qualifying but once again, doesn’t say much about how the race is going to go. After the first practice it was interesting to this fan where the Hendrick cars were in the speed charts. Although I don’t put much stock in the first practice, all four were in the top eight. If we only look at the first practice, it would seem they have a pretty good grip on the top ten but, there was plenty time remaining for the rest of the field to catch up in the other practices (and there was still plenty of time for the Hendrick cars to possibly mess things up). All of this would be interesting to consider if only there weren’t those other two practices to consider.
After the other two practice sessions for The Cup racers, things became a little more mixed than they were earlier. It seems that some of the ones that were running strong early on are now a bit further back in the pack. To Just A Fan’s View, that makes for interesting scenarios for tomorrows race.
It is my opinion it is going to be a typical race at the Texas Motor Speedway. High speeds and long green flag runs with track position made up in the pits with different pit strategies making the difference at the end of the day.
Once again, it is going to come down to the end of the race before the winner is really known. Jimmy Johnson and Kyle Bush look awfully tough for taking the checkered flag this weekend and I can’t discount the performance of Denny Hamlin. It looks to me as though the Gibbs teams could be a major factor at the end of he race.
I can’t rule out the Roush guys either. Once again, Jamie McMurray comes to mind along with Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards. They look to be strong as they always do at the 1 1/2 mile tracks and, in particular, at Texas. I also know that we can’t rule Greg Biffle out of the mix either, but it does appear he is struggling a bit so far. That doesn’t mean he won’t be there at the end, it just means during practice he wasn’t quite up to the speed of the other guys.
Well, I know I could probably mention every other driver in the lineup as well, but I really don’t want to go there. Several of the teams are on a mission this weekend and anything could happen. I just don’t think Jimmy Johnson and Kyle Bush are going to give the other guys much of a chance. Both looked very comfortable and very strong in the last practice sessions and, barring anything unforeseen, I expect them to be the ones battling it out at the end.
I have mixed emotions about the other ones that will be in the top five at the end of the race, but that won’t stop me from giving you my picks anyway. The top five, the way I see it, is going to be a race between the Fords, Toyotas and Chevys. I don’t see the Dodges being in the top five but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to run well. I mean, look at what Kurt Bush did in Atlanta.
Although David Reutimann has the pole and good practice times, I don’t see him being there in the top five at the end. I pick him to be more in the top ten. I do believe Jeff Gordon will finish in the top ten also, but he is the one that may surprise me at the end, (I just don’t know for sure).
So here it is, my picks for the top five. I think Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin are going to be following Jimmy Johnson and Kyle Bush across the finish line at the end of the race. It’s a hard one to call but I do think Jimmy Johnson is going to take home the trophy with Kyle Bush in close pursuit.
See ya next time…
©April 2009 – all rights reserved
Just A Fan’s View and Rusty Norman