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Nascar Racing

Cup Teams Taking On Kentucky Under the Lights

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There’s really nothing like Saturday night Stock Car racing under the lights. I don’t know if it is just my imagination or what, but it does seem as though there have been more Saturday night races this year than in the past. I don’t know what you think of that but for me, I like it.

The Gen 6 cars on the Kentucky Speedway have shown a lot of speed and, even though Dale Jr. set a new track record to take the pole for tonight’s race, there were several others that did the same. One thing this fan sees as a certainty for tonight’s race is the speeds will be fast. That means many will be on the edge and it could spell trouble for more than a few.

Now, this may be just this fan’s opinion but, the Gen 6 car has shown itself to be very fast but I haven’t really seen the dramatic racing I had hoped there would be, especially on the 1 ½ mile tracks. I’m not trying to be critical of the car, but I do have to point out the facts as I see them. A lot still depends on track position (which is normal) but if someone gets out front, they are hard to catch and even harder to pass. Kentucky Speedway is a hard track to pass on anyway so track position becomes even more important in tonight’s race.

There is probably nothing better for Dale Jr. than starting on the pole for tonight’s race and, if they keep up with the changing track conditions, there is a very good chance he could take his pole position start all the way to Victory Lane. If nothing else, he and his team could use a win to go along with the way they have been running this season. Yeah, I know they’ve had their problems, but they have generally been running good this season. When it comes down to it, they have as good a chance as ever to win tonight (which would make them and a lot of others happy.)

If the qualifying says anything about tonight’s race, it tells us that there are more than a few struggling with handling on the aging track surface. Sure, there are many recognizable names at the top of the lineup but there are also a number of well-knowns that are further back in the field and struggled both in practice and during qualifying. Some of those would be Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Bush and Tony Stewart.

This fan expects to see Biffle and Harvick move forward as the night progresses but I’m not so sure about Kahne and Stewart. It does appear the Kentucky Speedway has thrown them a few curve balls this time and it just remains to be seen whether or not their crew chiefs and engineers can come up with something that works better for them tonight than in yesterday’s sessions.

Kurt Bush, on the other hand, broke loose in his qualifying laps but had a fast car in the practice sessions. He and Jeff Gordon both were on a very good qualifying run and got a little squirrely and really hurt their qualifying time. I expect both of them to make a run for the front as the night progresses, but they both have a challenge ahead of them, Kurt in particular. Jeff is starting twelfth, Kurt twenty seventh.
The top ten starting lineup is full of strong teams and any one of them could take the win tonight. Carl Edwards is starting second and has been showing some consistency lately. Of course, that’s not to mention he is second in points as well only twenty five points behind Jimmie Johnson. I guess you could say he has been running fairly consistently a lot this season.

Speaking of Jimmie Johnson, this fan does expect to see him running at or near the front much of tonight. He did have good speed in both the practice and qualifying sessions so it is a pretty good bet he will do the same in the race (that is if they don’t have unexpected mechanical failures or driver or crew errors on pit road.)

From this fan’s view, whoever wins tonight is going to have to maintain track position even during pit stops. It is possible someone unexpected could pull off the win tonight and considering how bumpy the Kentucky Speedway is, especially turn three, it is more than possible. This is one track and race that could go one of two ways in particular. Someone could just run away with it and have the field completely covered or it could turn out to be a fuel mileage race and that would depend on how the cautions fall. Either way, it should be a good one… at least that’s what I’m hoping for…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 28, 2013 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.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.