Nascar Racing

Reflections on Homestead and 2013 Season


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There’s not a whole lot left to say that hasn’t been said by every talking head and writer about the NASCAR 2013 Sprint Cup Season but this fan does want to reflect on this latest year in the NASCAR history books. Well, that is everything has been said up to Homestead.

I don’t intend to make this a long drawn out affair but, I do have a few things that need to be said. At the beginning of the year I was a little skeptical of the GEN 6 car and was outspoken about it in the racing as I saw it. To begin with, the racing was a little questionable and it seemed that possibly they were holding back a bit. In reality it turns out that they just weren’t familiar enough with how the GEN 6 was going to react and they didn’t push the envelope until later on in the season. (It was a definite, the more they learned about it, the faster all of them went.) As the year progressed the racing got better and, I didn’t check these facts but, I think that 19 track records were broken. That says a lot about the GEN 6 car and as a NASCAR fan I have to admit it is very competitive.

I still don’t like the fact that the GEN 6 car performs better out in the clean air and it does even one car back from the leader. It goes back to the old situation of aero tightness and unfortunately it yields an advantage to the person that gets out front. That along with the tires that Goodyear introduced this year did make for some interesting finishes. I don’t want to belabor the point but I do want to say that overall this fan was pleased with the performance of the GEN 6 car.

I guess I’m one of those fans that thinks NASCAR does a great job when it comes to how they manage their sport. Although I don’t agree with everything that happens in every call they make I do think they do a good job and have done a good job over the years. If we wanted to focus on the negative side I’m sure we could all find things that are wrong with NASCAR and the calls that the governing body makes on race day. When it comes right down to it though, they are relatively consistent and I do think the calls they make are to protect the sport more than anything else.

As a statement, that will probably draw some heat from avid NASCAR fans but I’m not very concerned about that in actuality. I am a NASCAR fan, I have my opinions and other NASCAR fans have their opinions and they are definitely entitled to them. Personally, I’m glad that NASCAR is as consistent as it is and I am glad they maintain things the way they do. Does that mean there isn’t room for change at times? Not at all… but it means that generally they don’t make knee-jerk decisions and when a change needs to be made or a mistake needs to be recognized there are more than willing to take the heat.

Several things will be changing in the coming year. Ken Schrader is retiring and where and what Jeff Burton, Bobby LaBonte and Mark Martin end up and will do remains to be seen. I know that Ken Schrader will continue on in racing but NASCAR will miss him.

As for Jeff Burton and Bobby LaBonte, I’m sure they will be around for a while longer in some form or other in NASCAR and we all know how many times Mark Martin has “mentioned” he was going to retire but didn’t.

I wouldn’t want to leave Juan Pablo Montoya out of the discussion because he is leaving NASCAR Sprint Cup. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of him even though we probably won’t hear too much more of him in NASCAR Sprint cup.

There are changes coming in the rules for 2014 and it will be interesting to see how those affect the competition. I’m not sure I understand all of them yet and I’m in no hurry to understand them either. Time will tell, as it always does, when it comes to NASCAR. Personally, I’m glad they’re willing to make changes that will, hopefully, make the racing better and just as competitive or even more so. In fact, that’s one thing that makes me look forward to the new season; change is usually a good thing and it makes things more interesting.

Now that the season is over and NASCAR heads to Vegas for a week of celebrating and crowning the champion and the awards banquet, everyone gets to take a little break, celebrate the Christmas holidays, catch their breath and then get right back to it in a couple of months. I know I intend to take a little break and you probably won’t hear from me again until February of 2014 unless some really interesting breaking news happens.

There are a lot of things to think about and there will be many changes in the coming year whether it be drivers changing teams, crew chiefs going elsewhere or them joining a new team. From this fan’s view 2014 could be one of the best years yet for NASCAR fans and NASCAR in general. I know I look forward to it but I am thankful for the break and intend to enjoy the holidays with my family much as I know many of you and many in NASCAR will also.

In closing, I want to offer my opinion of the final race at Homestead for the championship. When it comes to Homestead and the championship run of Jimmie Johnson, he did exactly what he needed to do to win his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. As many others have said in recent days, “it’s hard to argue with greatness…” I don’t think he’s finished winning championships and definitely not finished winning races. How many will he win? Well, that will be the question we will all ask ourselves after he wins number seven and then number eight and then… well you know…

See ya next year…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© November 24, 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.