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Nascar at Phoenix from Just A Fan’s View…

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Hey, everybody…This is Just A Fan’s View with our thoughts about Nascar at Phoenix for this week…

If we could actually tell anything about the race from the qualifying times they would be convincing evidence that Mark Martin has a great chance of winning tonight’s race in Phoenix. There are a lot of laps between starting on the pole and crossing the finish line ahead of all the rest at the end of the race and it remains to be seen whether he can put a hurtin’ on all the rest for the whole race.

I find it interesting that all of the Hendrick teams are starting in the top fifteen. With Mark Martin starting on the pole, Jeff Gordon starting third and Jimmy Johnson starting tenth, it looks as if the Hendrick teams showed up in full force ready to flex a little muscle this weekend. Dale Jr is starting fifteenth, but don’t let that cast a shadow on his possibilities for the weekend. He could definitely pull off the victory this weekend.

A quick check of the qualifying times shows the qualifiers are all very close, especially in the top twenty, with the top sixteen being separated by only .150 of a second. I don’t care how you look at it, that’s close qualifying times.

If we look just bit closer we see, once again, Tony Stewart nestled in the top ten at sixth place. Let’s not forget that he is running Hendrick equipment, too, as well as trying to take home his first victory of the year and as an owner and a driver. He looks to be tough in the race tonight as long as nothing unexpected happens, so, look for him to be near the front at the end.

There are four Toyota teams sitting in the top twelve and three of them are from different teams. Kyle Bush starts in second for Joe Gibbs Racing while Denny Hamlin starts back in twelfth, also for JGR. Brian Vickers showed some strength by qualifying in fifth spot for the race and David Reutimann of MWR starts in eighth.

Kurt Bush starts third for Roger Penske racing and could be trouble for the Hendrick teams taking another victory at the end of the race tonight, along with his brother Kyle.

This is another one of those weeks that I am having a hard time picking out just one person I think will win. I do think this is going to be a very competitive night of racing and pit stops are pretty much going to decide how things pan out on the track because track position is going to be very important once again.

It could absolutely be a night a real dark horse ends up with the victory at the end, but I just don’t know exactly who it might be. Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton or Matt Kenseth could simply surprise us all and just run away with it or someone like Juan Montoya or Marcos Ambrose could play it just right and steal the victory away from one of the others.

Phoenix is a flat, fast one mile track and anything can happen. With the times being so close, I do think it is going to be hard to pass but I know there are going to be some that will step out to sizable leads depending on how the pit stops go and how the tires hold up.

I took a good look at the camber in the right front tires and that concerns me a bit. I fear there could be some right front problems as the race progresses. It appears most of the faster cars are running the maximum allowed camber of eight degrees. As I think about this, it could be one of the unknowns for the race even though there has been no tire trouble reported that I know of in either series for the weekend.

Well, from my observation of the week, there wasn’t any controversy worthy of mention and the only thing that is being talked about is how some of the cars this year haven’t performed well enough to to continue without sponsorship so they are being sidelined, at least for now.

If I had to pick someone I would like to see win, it would have to be Mark Martin. He has shown a lot of strength so far this year and it would be great to see him finish out the weekend with a victory.

That being said, I’m going give my picks for the top five for the race tonight.

I am really torn between about five possible winners. All of them have been performing well and all of them qualified well. I’m convinced the victory is going be between about five people at the end of this race. Those five are Kurt Bush, Kyle Bush, Jimmy Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin. Any one of them could come away with the victory tonight and anyone of them could end up in the garage and upset everything.

Okay, rather than drag this out for another paragraph or two I’m just going to pick the one I think is going to win… and the winner is going to be… Jimmy Johnson, bringing home the victory for Hendrick Motorsports.

See ya next time…
Rusty

© April 2009 – all rights reserved

Just A Fan’s View and Rusty Norman

By Rusty Norman

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