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Say what you will, but even though Carl Edwards didn’t win all the segments Saturday night, he did dominate the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In fact, from this fan’s view, after the first segment, there was little doubt in my mind he was going to win his first million dollar race. Oh I know it’s easy for me to say now, but in all honesty, even though Greg Biffle looked strong in the first part, there was hardly any doubt in my mind the race was going to be between Kyle Bush and Carl Edwards.
At the risk of sounding like a disgruntled fan, (which I’m not), even though there was a lot of hype leading up to the Saturday night, almost no holds barred event, I felt this was one of the more dull All-Star races, at least in my recent memory. Now, I’m not saying it wasn’t a good race; I’m just saying it was kinda uneventful. Though there was always the hope something might happen, it seemed to me, there were faster cars and slower ones and once they got sorted out, they mostly played follow the leader.
From my view, the only times the race was really exciting was during the double file restarts and once again, after they got sorted out, (which didn’t take long), it was mostly follow the leader and a lot of single file laps. Oh, I know it sounds like I’m complaining, but really… I’m not.
I found it interesting, as did others, that the Hendrick and Richard Childress teams performed so poorly. The Childress teams were basically a non-issue for the whole night even though Clint Bowyer started up front. He quickly dropped to the back to hardly be heard from again.
As for the Hendrick teams, well… it is just my opinion, but to me it seems they have been hurting for a thing called “speed” since late in the season last year. At no time recently have they been the dominating factor the were in the past. Yes, I know they’re all running okay, but they just don’t seem to have the horsepower or the handling to run with the Fords and Toyotas.
Speaking of the Fords, the Roush Fords are looking pretty tough. They have certainly gotten their mile and a half track program down and it looks like they are still wanting to make a statement with their FR-9 engines. Since they (and all of the Fords) have switched over to that engine, they have been showing some muscle and Carl Edwards, in particular, has made it known by his performance he is ready to challenge Jimmie Johnson for the Championship this year.
Matt Kenseth has also been quietly making a statement of his own and one has to wonder if he isn’t going to be challenging Johnson and Edwards during the Chase also. From this fans view, he has always been one to quietly move toward the front by the end of a race, (especially recently), and I think it has a lot to do with the FR-9 engine, too. Yeah, I know he has also struggled a bit, but I do think he is back to that quiet confidence that says, “Hey, you can ignore me for a while, but just wait… you’re gonna be staring at my bumper, a lot and soon.”
Unfortunately, Greg Biffle has had some fast cars, but just hasn’t been able to put a whole race together yet. This fan thinks the time for him to win is coming soon and it may not be just one and done. He may end up with two or three victories on the season and I am sure he is ready for it to start anytime now.
David Ragan has also had fast cars but hasn’t been able to put together his end game. I’m not saying he won’t, and he has been qualifying and running consistently good, but they just haven’t shown that end of the race strength yet.
There are those of the opinion the Childress and Hendrick teams were using this last weekend as a test session for this coming weekend. I believe that is a possibility, but not too likely. When they saw how outclassed they were by the Roush Fords it may have turned into a test session, but I don’t see any of them turning down the chance to take home a million dollars just so they can possibly run better in the longest race of the year.
With the 600 coming this weekend, if the other teams don’t show up with something better than they did for the All Star race, it could be another dominating Roush Ford night this coming weekend and a very long 600 miles for everyone else…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 24, 2011 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman and Nascarfansview.com
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