Nascar Racing

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup At Las Vegas Motor Speedway Prerace – from a NASCAR Fan’s View


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Okay, I tried not to say much until after the races were run but I just can’t seem to not say something before they hit the track on the weekends so this will be the first update to my plans for this year. I hope you don’t mind – I know I don’t…

One thing is certain for the race this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Brad Keselowski will be trying to make it two in a row. Some will say, “Oh, you mean like Atlanta and Las Vegas?” Well… yes… I do mean that and it could also be his second win since last year at this track. I’m not one to rely on qualifying times to pick my winners as a general rule but I do have to admit he could do that this weekend. Mind you, I’m not saying he will and he isn’t my first choice but, I am saying he very well could.

So why would I say that the way I just did. Well, there is just no denying the Ford’s have looked plenty fast so far this season and this could be another Ford win. Even the second person I think has a shot at winning also drives a Ford. Yeah, you know I’m talking about Kevin Harvick, don’t you.

Well, after his dominating performance last weekend at Atlanta amounted to a no win situation when he was clocked speeding on pit road during his last stop with eleven laps to go; I do think he would like to rectify that with a win for his team’s outstanding performance last weekend while appeasing himself at LVMS for that speeding penalty at Atlanta. Don’t know that he will but he has had pretty dominating performances lately. In fact, for just changing from Chevy to Ford over the off season, I think the Stewart/Haas teams overall have shown surprising strength and speed so far. From this fan’s view, Kevin Harvick should have won last weekend and with Kurt Bush’s victory at the Daytona 500 and that would have made two in a row for SHR.

From what I have seen so far this season, the Fords look like they could have a stellar year if things continue as they have so far. It makes this fan wonder if it is going to be Fords every weekend or if one of the other manufacturers is going to step up to the plate.

Even with their strong performance last season, the Joe Gibbs Toyotas just haven’t seemed to carry that momentum into this season. That kind of surprises me but if my memory serves correctly, they didn’t start out last season all that strong either. I’m not picking on them but it does seem their start is a bit sluggish but does make me wonder what they’re working on for later in the season. Of course with the stages and the points changes for this season, they need to show more of something or find themselves out in the cold late in the season.

They same goes for the Chevys, especially the Hendrick Chevys. Jimmie Johnson hasn’t carried the momentum from his seventh Championship win last season into this year either. Even though it always seems to this fan the Championship winner starts out the year a little slow, I just don’t see the spark from the #48 team yet. It is a whole different story with Chase Elliott and the #24 team. He has looked very good but he just hasn’t been there when the checkered flag drops at the final lap.

Dale Jr. on the other hand has looked okay but hasn’t really shown much yet other than he is still hounded by bad racing luck. I do expect that could change over the next three races and I don’t rule out the possibility of him winning this weekend. He has had some very good finishes over the last several races at LVMS and this could be the time for his first win at the track in Cup.

One last thing about this weekend at Las Vegas; the teams are working extremely hard on not being caught speeding on pit road. There have been a lot of speeding penalties doled out so far this season and it has made an impact on many teams. Jimmie Johnson leads the series with the most speeding penalties and it really did cost him last weekend, whether or not he had a fast race car.

This Sunday afternoon I’m looking to see if someone driving something other than a Ford dominates or at least makes it look like a race between different manufacturers rather than just Fords…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© March 11, 2017 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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By Rusty Norman

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