Nascar Racing

NASCAR at Phoenix from a NASCAR Fan’s View


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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup teams take on the one mile track at Phoenix this Sunday afternoon and it seems like the biggest story for the weekend so far is what happened between Kyle Bush and Joey Logano last weekend. In typical fashion, the media folks just can’t seem to let it go and keep on asking the same old questions of whether or not the two have put it all behind them. From this fan’s view, I just think they should take a wait and see attitude and if something happens between them, well, then they will have their answers (and probably a whole lot more to talk about.)

From this fan’s view, Joey Logano certainly does seem to have a lot of “mixups” with the team members of Joe Gibbs Racing. In particular, he has had one or more on-track incidents with Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and now Kyle Bush. For some reason he seems to benefit from them more at the time than the ones he runs into (or puts out) and then wonders why they don’t understand it was just a hard racing incident. He uses the explanation of he was just racing hard and it got away from him. Although it is possible his statements are true, after so many run-ins with members of the same team, you would think he would at least come up with some other excuse. In my view, he has managed to tick off the whole JGR team and doesn’t understand why they get angry when he often pulls his stunts. (Do I need to remind you of how Matt Kenseth handled his last dust up with him? I think not…)

After their face-to-face meeting in the NASCAR trailer on Friday morning, they both answered questions. I listened to Logano’s statements and it really appeared to me he was still trying to convince everyone he did nothing wrong and it was just a last lap, going for the spot, hard racing mistake. From my view, it seemed he couldn’t see why Kyle couldn’t see that way. Also from my view, I could see why Kyle didn’t see it Joey’s way… and could it be Joey’s past history with others on track and especially with JGR drivers? I think Joey’s past speaks fairly loudly about the answer to that.

As a former racer and fan, I did like Kyle’s answer to all of the questions about whether or not it was all over between them and could they move on. He answered all of the questions with the same answer and from this fan’s view, “Everything’s great…” (If you believe that, you just might be interested in some waterfront property somewhere…) Ah… NASCAR… there’ just nothing like a rivalry along with a little drama and emotion; I think that’s why I like it so much. I also like the way NASCAR handled this one. They left the door open for the two to work it out and yet stand ready to intervene if necessary. (Honestly, I can’t wait to see how it goes as the season progresses…)

Okay, I think I’m done with that, at least for now…

It will definitely be interesting to see how the racing goes with the two 60 lap stages and the final 80 laps to the finish. There is a lot of speculation out there that the stages favor the younger drivers and that is why they are performing at a higher level so far this year. Of course, you know I don’t agree. I just think they’re performing at the level of their talent. Sure, their age may have something to do with it but the ones most talked about are Chase Elliot and Ryan Blaney and they are both in great equipment and have shown a lot of talent as drivers. Could it be because they both come from racing families or does it have to do with the equipment they are in? I think both explain it better than the stages argument but then that’s just this fan’s opinion.

I’m still waiting for the Chevys to show up with something for the rest of the field and especially the Hendrick Chevys. It does look like Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson have stronger cars this season than last and they are both showing up competitively each week. In fact, either one of them could have a chance at taking the win Sunday afternoon.

When it comes to the Hendrick Chevys, Chase Elliot, Dale Jr. and Jimmy Johnson looked to have the best chance this weekend but I’m not counting out Kasey Kahne either. In practice and qualifying, none of them looked too bad but it does remain to be seen how the race pans out for them.

As has been the usual case so far this season, the Ford’s do seem to have a slight advantage. Kevin Harvick is usually at the top of the list but so far, he just hasn’t had the finish. He has led a lot of laps and still not come home the winner yet. I do believe it will happen soon for him though and likely more than once.

Just so the Toyota fans won’t feel left out I have to say they could have a good race this weekend but I still think the JGR Toyotas still have a few things to work out with this new package just like the Hendrick Chevys.

Some say Joey Logano was making a statement about last weekend’s incident by winning the pole for Sunday’s race but this fan sees it just a little bit differently. You see, I kind of expected him to take the pole especially with how he ran at Phoenix last year. It really wasn’t much of a surprise to me and I do know he will probably be one of the ones to watch for taking the win on Sunday afternoon. If he does win, well… I think it’s safe to say it wasn’t because I was pulling for him…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© March 18, 2017 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

By Rusty Norman

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