Nascar Racing

A Look Ahead to NASCAR Cup 2012 from a NASCAR Fan’s View

Rusty NormanI don’t know how you feel about it, but from this fan’s view, the more things change, the more they stay the same when it comes to NASCAR. This fan thinks that NASCAR 2012 is gonna be a lot like last year even though there will be some very big differences. What with the driver changes, the loss of some sponsorship dollars and some drivers and teams determined more than ever to win their first or another Cup Championship, I don’t see how there could not be change. But even though there will be a lot of differences in the coming year, I think a lot of things are going to stay the same. I believe the drivers and the teams are likely to be just as competitive, if not more so than last year, and I expect to see some real excitement all throughout the first 26 races and the last 10 races when we get to the Chase.

But wait a minute… I may be getting way ahead of myself.

It may sound strange to make this statement at this time, but even though there has been a major change to the power plants under the hoods of the cars, I still expect the competition to be as close, or even closer than it was last year. Of course, everyone knows the major change in the power plant is fuel injection and it still remains to be seen how it will affect the individual Cup teams over the long haul. I expect there will be some challenges along the way, but I also think the engine builders and engineers will have it all figured out in very short order (if they haven’t already done that.)

Personally, I am glad they had the testing sessions in January at Daytona and can’t wait to see how the teams and NASCAR put it all together for speed weeks at Daytona this February. (In reality, I don’t expect there to be much of a change in performance (which was pretty much proved out at the test sessions), but with some of the changes NASCAR is making to try and break up the now expected and continuous two-car-drafting at the Super Speedways, it could prove to be a very interesting Daytona 500. What effect that may have on the other tracks will remain to be seen, but at Daytona and Talladega, fans could see at least a partial return to pack racing and less tandem drafting.

I really don’t think we as fans will know until they get down to the actual racing and, if I know anything about the Cup teams, they will find the fastest way around the Super Speedways, even with any changes NASCAR may make to the rules. Believe me when I tell you, that is NOT a statement against NASCAR. Over the years, they have proven they want what is best for the fans, the teams and the competition amongst those teams. (And just as a side note, they do seem to learn from and correct their mistakes, but maybe not as fast as some fans think they should…)

Yes, it’s true, 2012 could prove to be a very, very different year even while the level of competition remains quite the same. All of us are going to have to learn to associate different driver names with different car numbers and team owners (and let’s not forget, Danica Patrick is going to be full time in NASCAR, too.) Even though she was involved part time in the Nationwide series last year, this year will see her focusing on the NASCAR Nationwide and Cup series instead of the Indy cars and all of us expect a lot of attention to be focused on her, at least early in the season.

I’ve been listening to all the speculation from many sources about the 2012 season over the last month and a half or two and I agree with some and disagree with others, but overall, I’m ready for the season to begin and can’t wait to see how things pan out… How about you??

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© January 30, 2012 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Just A Fan’s View and
All audio productions by and PodCastNorm Productions

By Rusty Norman

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