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Nascar Racing

Texas Is Big For The Chasers

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Say what you will about the Chase so far but, Texas is big for the Chasers and will tell all of us whether it becomes a five man race or if it will be down to the top two. Sure, I know a lot can happen in the course of three races, but Texas will be the turning point for this fan and after this weekend, the end result will be much clearer.

With Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson basically in a dead heat and Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick separated by only one point, what happens this weekend could change the whole outlook of the top spots… or not.

From this fan’s view, it is not a given that one of the top five in points will win Sunday afternoon. In fact, just looking at the qualifying could mean a non-contender could win and it could be someone in a Ford. The Fords usually do run well at the Texas track and it may be no different this weekend. That’s not to say it is a given and I do expect the top Chasers to make a statement of their own but it does have to be considered.

All of the main Chase contenders were fast in practice and qualifying and it is a long race on a tough track made even tougher by the exit from turn four. If anything unexpected happens during the race, this fan expects it will happen in, or at least coming out of, turn four. It is just the way the transition is from the turn to the straight (well, that is if you want to call it a straight) and more than a few have struggled exiting the turn.

Of the top five in the Chase points, Kyle Bush is probably the biggest question mark. He is very much in the same position as Jeff Gordon was last week. It is my opinion, if he wants to be considered as a serious threat for the Championship, he needs a win this weekend. He just hasn’t had the best of luck in the Chase, which has been the norm for him every time he has been in it. Now that doesn’t mean he has absolutely no chance of winning but he does have a major challenge ahead of him. Yes, he is only 36 points behind the leaders but the way things have been going for all of the top five, he has a long way to go.

As I said earlier, Texas is a big race for all the Chasers and it could figure big when the Cup teams arrive in Homestead. That’s why this fan thinks it is so important what happens in the race this afternoon. I mean, let’s look at the possibilities. Jeff Gordon definitely needs to finish in the top five and Kevin Harvick needs to do the same. Kyle Bush on the other hand needs to win today and he still needs help from the others to make any real gains in points. Gordon and Harvick also need the same amount of help from the top two. Even if Bush, Gordon and Harvick finish 1-2-3 and Johnson and Kenseth finish right behind them, any points swing would basically be a wash and not much would change.

From this fan’s view, for anything major to take place in the points, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth both need to have really bad days and the others need to finish up front in one form or another. In a perfect world, that might be possible but in reality, I just don’t think it is going to happen. Would it be great for the Chase? You bet it would and it would really make the next three weekends very interesting but, once again, this fan just doesn’t believe it will happen.

As much as we as fans might like to see the above happen, none of us really expect it. In fact, I know I would be surprised if it did happen and the points battle really did tightened up.

All week long, we’ve heard all the talk and hype about the battle between Johnson and Kenseth and how Jeff Gordon has battled back into third position in the points and comes into Texas with momentum and what the Chase would be like if he wins at Texas.

As a fan, all of it sounds really interesting and exciting but it doesn’t take into account how it might be if someone other than the top five in points wins today. From where I sit, Brad Keselowski looks to have plenty of speed as well as starting outside on the front row. Carl Edwards won the pole and both of them looked very strong in the last practice session. It is possible either one of them could win this afternoon and, though it might not shake up the points that much, it will make things a little more interesting going forward.

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© November 3, 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.