Nascar Racing

MENCS At The Dover Monster Mile from a NASCAR Fan’s View


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Go ahead… think of some of the words you think of when you think of the Monster mile at Dover. Do any of these come to mind? Fast; high banked; self-cleaning; demanding? My guess is probably all of them in one form or another crossed your mind just now, especially as a NASCAR fan when you think about the Monster Mile. The Monster Mile is a unique track and one that challenges the drivers in several ways.

One of the most important ways is consistent lap times when it comes to race day. It is one thing to have a fast lap or three but when it comes to running a full 400 miles, well, that becomes a whole different story. As fans, you and I already know that the main thing qualifying is good for is a better chance at getting a better pit stall. At Dover – and elsewhere for that matter – the right pit stall can make a big difference during the race. As they say in racing, “it’s easier to pass people in the pits than on the track.” As a fan and a former owner/driver, I know that is true. Believe me, there’s nothing like being able to pass people without having to actually work your way around them.

I’m sure you’ve already gathered from my past posts that I am a Chevy fan. As one of those, I have had very little to celebrate or be excited about so far this season. It just hasn’t been a Chevy year (which I am sure you’ve already noticed no matter what Make you might tend to favor, like or root for.) Well, it is true that Chevy fans have had little to shout about most of the season. Yeah, I know a Chevy won the Daytona 500 but other than that, there hasn’t been much to make us happy. Perhaps this is the weekend that might change that. Of course, I’m sure you’re wondering why I would say that.

Well, a quick look at the front row shows Kyle Larson, driving a Chevy, is sitting on the pole. And then there’s, Jimmie Johnson. He has a lot of wins at this track and that just adds more hope to Chevy fans that a Chevy might finally prove to outperform the Fords and Toyotas. It would be a pleasant change for Chevy fans. It has been a disappointing season for Chevy fans across the board but Chevy has had a good long time leading the others on a regular basis. It’s just that this year with the new Camaro body style, well, let’s just say it looks as though they’ve been struggling a bit. (Hey, don’t take my word for it. Just take a look at how they been running overall this season or ask a driver or a crew chief. That’s not to say they haven’t had some bright moments. They just haven’t had a year similar to past years.

Except for Austin Dillon winning the Daytona 500, the Chevy camp hasn’t shown that much. If it weren’t for the relative consistant performance of Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott for at least some of the season, well, Chevys just may not have been mentioned at all except for their lack of performance. If it sounds like I am complaining a bit, well, it could be that I am but, I also know that dominance by Makes can also be an up and down thing. All of the Makes struggle along the way and this just seems to be the Chevy year. Another thing that makes this obviously a Chevy down year is the relatively mediocre performance of the Hendrick Chevys overall. They are improving but still have a ways to go.

When it comes to performance this year, the Fords have definitely proven themselves a dominating force. In particular, the Stewart/Haas Fords have been a dominating force all season. It’s not that they have won so much but that they have shown speed and run up front a lot. I’m not overlooking the Penske Fords but the Stewart/Haas Fords have made a better showing throughout their four teams.

When it comes to the Toyotas, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Bush have been the standouts so far. I’m not saying there haven’t been others but both of them have wins and Kyle won three in a row before the Talladega wreck fest.

When it comes down to it, the thing that might put a damper on a possible Chevy victory on Sunday afternoon could be the person that starts on the outside of the front row, Kevin Harvick. He’s not the only one that could win in a Ford but with his past performance, well… it could just be his fourth win on the season…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 05, 2018 – 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.