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Nascar Racing

Some Need Good Things to Happen at Martinsville from Just a NASCAR Fan’s View

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Rusty Norman
NASCAR Sprint Cup teams are back to short trackin’ at Martinsville today and for some, it is time for something good to happen or they just might not be in the Chase this year. Sure, I know it is very early in the season and this is only the sixth race of the year but, that means there are only twenty weeks left after this one is over. To some, that sounds like a lot of time and maybe it is, but, points add up fast in both directions whether you’re leading or losing… and some just can’t afford to keep on going the way they are.

I’m sure some are glad there will be a week off to regroup after the Goody’s Fast Relief 500, if for no other reason, than they get a chance to breathe and think about the way the season is going this year. For others, they may not want to break their momentum and would prefer to just keep on going without a break. As for this fan, I think a week off will do some good for everyone.

Once again, Kasey Kahne has shown up with a fast race car and easily took the pole for today’s race. From my view, and judging from the way the truck race went for Kevin Harvick after starting from the pole, Kasey also has an excellent chance to get his first win as a Hendrick driver and it would be the 200th for Hendrick Motorsports. That is something all of the Hendrick teams have been trying to get for their owner since last season.

Of course, with the way Kasey’s luck has been running this year, sitting on the pole and having a fast car hasn’t meant a trip to Victory Lane this year. So far, he has shown up with fast cars every weekend and is sitting 28th in points (a great disappoint to him, his team and this fans.) He just hasn’t been able to finish anywhere near the front most weekends.

Another that is looking for something good to happen would also be a member of Hendrick Motorsports. I’m sure everyone knows that would be Jeff Gordon and he hasn’t had the kind of year anyone expected him to have. It’s not that he hasn’t had fast equipment and hasn’t been performing well, it’s just that he has had a problem with that beast called “racing luck” too.

One thing about Jeff Gordon though… he won’t throw in the towel until there is no hope left. Even then, he won’t go down without putting up a valiant fight. There is nothing that would be better for him and his team than to finish in the top five today or, better yet, get that 200th win for his boss Rick Hendrick. From my view, that would be a great way for the #24 team to go into the week off and possibly gain some momentum for Texas. No matter how you look at it, this is a week Jeff Gordon needs a good finish.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of good drivers and cars that intend to make it very difficult for either Kahne or Gordon to get that 200th win for Hendrick Motorsports. Just to mention a few of them would be names like Harvick, Hamlin, Bowyer, Newman, Vickers and Keselowski. All of them can win at Martinsville and none of them intend to pull over and let those other two just drive by them. If either Gordon or Kahne do end up in Victory Lane today, it won’t be because they didn’t work for it.

Another wrinkle for the #5 and #24 teams would be their teammates of Johnson and Earnhardt Jr. Both of them want to be the ones that deliver that 200th win to Mr Hendrick and I expect both of them to be right in there fighting for the win when it comes down to the final laps.

From this fan’s view, the most obvious thing I’ve noticed about the Cup teams is that most of them are fast this year and there is very little speed difference between them. That means this short track experience today could be very interesting. No one can afford to lose track position in the pits and I expect that could mean there might be a few short tempers displayed, especially near the end of the day. (You know I’m not just talking about tempers flaring between drivers, crews and crew chiefs, don’t you?)

However it goes, the emotions will be running high today and, without actually picking a winner, I do expect to see a Hendrick team in Victory Lane when the checkered flag falls after 500 laps. Of course, I could be surprised, but then, probably not…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© March 31, 2012 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman and Nascarfansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions

By Rusty Norman

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