Nascar Racing

Sprint Cup Teams Take On Michigan


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If there is place where the Ford teams might be able to start the turn around on their 2013 season, it could be at the Michigan International Speedway. That may be true but it is definite, the Chevys will definitely have something to say about that and the Fords will probably have to fight one or more of them off to take the win and or even finish in the top five.

One thing this fan has noticed over time is that the Fords usually perform well at MIS but they don’t always finish up front. I’m not even so sure that Carl Edwards winning the pole says anything positive about how the race will go for the Fords. I do think Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards both have a little momentum for possibly finishing at or near the front but, only time will tell on that for sure.

Kurt Bush continues to impress with where he has qualified recently and also with the speed he has shown up with almost every week lately. His team has given him very good cars to work with but they have fallen just a bit shy of the mark in keeping up with their adjustments near the end of the races. He is one in particular this fan will be watching to possibly take it all the way to the finish Sunday afternoon. From this fan’s view, a team just can’t keep showing themselves strong week in and week out and not have something good happen for them. I do expect something good to happen for them soon and it could be this weekend.

I don’t know how the Toyotas will do this weekend but I can almost guarantee they will have a bit more horse power than they did last weekend. With the engine problems they have been enduring, it is obvious something had to be done and even though they are down a little at the moment, the long view is they hope to have engines that will last when it comes down to the Chase. I’m sure we will hear complaints from several of the Toyota drivers until they get those horses back but, I am sure they will appreciate the reliability they will have later in the season… well… that is IF they gain reliability from this process by TRD.)

From my view, the Hendrick teams are a little hard for me to figure out. It does seem that the #48 and #5 teams show up every week a bit more competitive than the #88 and #24 teams. It seems to me the #24 and #88 have been showing up more like the Stewart/Haas teams when it comes to performance. I am sure they all have their own agendas but for some reason it appears all but the #48 team of Jimmie Johnson are having a bit more trouble getting a hold of the Gen 6 car.

Kasey Kahne has had reliability issues in more than one area and so has Dale Jr. It could be coincidence or it could be just the way the drivers are adapting to the new car and the way it drives. It could also be that all of them are not working on the same setups. When it comes down to it on race day though, all four of them usually perform well unless they have a major equipment failure

When it comes down to the Stewart/Haas teams, they have struggled even though they are running Hendrick horsepower and equipment. Lately, they have been making a better showing but for the first part of the year, it was a completely different story. Both Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman just didn’t seem to have the horsepower or the handling to begin the season but lately both have shown it’s there, they just have to be able to use it. As for Danica, well, she’s improving too.

When it comes to the race at MIS, it seems to always turn into a fuel mileage race but then don’t they all these days. From this fan’s view, it just depends on when and where the cautions fall just how exciting of a finish it will be at most any track the Cup teams race at. Since there is so much racing room at MIS and more than one good racing groove, it could very well be this becomes a bit more of a follow the leader and hope you can catch up to him race.

To me, that could mean there might not be as much drama as there generally is and I don’t say that as a criticism. Michigan has always been a fast track and horsepower, handling and track position are the prime ingredients. From my view, I think this one will be a fuel mileage race and it is going to depend on how the opportunities present themselves to the different teams near the end of the race.

It is just my opinion, but, the best thing that could happen to add real drama to the end of this one would be a caution come out near the end and they restart with about four or five to go. If they’re lined up the way I think they will be if it happens that way, it will be one whale of a finish…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 15, 2013 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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By Rusty Norman

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