Nascar Racing

Cup Teams Take It To Texas from a NASCAR Fan’s View


I’m sure you’ve heard the old quote, “the more things change the more they stay the same” but, things will be different as the Cup Teams take it to the Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Well, at least for the Cup teams it will be different than it might have been. There WILL be fans in the stands.

Even with all that’s going on, they do expect to have fans in the stands but they do expect the number of fans to be smaller than normal and even fewer than they could have according to the state and health official guidelines. The reasons offered for the number of fans possibly being smaller than the number allowed is, because of the recent surge in Texas of the Corona virus and the heat that’s taken over that part of the country at this time. To offer just a slight clarification from this fans view, there won’t be fans in the stands for the Xfinity or Truck Series on Saturday; just the Cup teams on Sunday. (Well, at least that’s the way I understand it so far.)

Since this has been a year of change and challenge for NASCAR, in particular because of the virus pandemic, one can’t help but speculate and wonder that next year might be a different year of change also. Since they have been doing more racing in a shorter period of time, this fan wonders if they might possibly shorten the season in the future. By putting the races closer together they could cut the season by one third to one half in my opinion. If they continue to eliminate practice and qualifying all together, which would be a continuation of what they’re doing right now, it may make for the same type racing we are witnessing at the present time.

Of course, this is all speculation on the part of this fan and from this fan’s view but, I think it is a very real possibility for the future of NASCAR. Something that many have talked about, especially over the last few years, is shortening the season. By doing it the way they’ve had to do it this year, they might be able to institute it in the not-so-distant future. Of course I realize that this would make it extremely difficult on the teams in transportation and prepping for the different tracks but, they’ve managed to pull it off this year so who’s to say they couldn’t do it in the future with some minor changes.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling for a total revamping of the NASCAR season. I’m just wondering if they might not find, or take, this opportunity to make a change, at least temporarily, to see how it affects fan attendance and television time. It could be a real challenge or, it could be that it works and makes it even more popular than it has been.

Of course, one of the real draws for attendance at the racetracks is to be able to mingle with the drivers and team members before and after the race. Another is the ability to spend more time in a venue which affects the economies built around the NASCAR schedule. That means there would need to be fans in the stands. I do realize this would make it harder on the teams and their logistics and on the tracks, especially if they continue with the midweek racing. But after all, they used to race a lot of races in a year and not just on the weekends.

Now that was just a little jaunt into the things I’ve been thinking about over the last several weeks. Another thing I would like to talk about and just make short mention of Bristol. The All Star race was a good one and there were a couple of things about it that people are still talking about. One is the choose cone and the other is the glow lights. I’m gonna give you my personal opinion as well as this fan’s view opinion. I like the idea of the choose cone because it will stop things from happening at the exit of the pits just so people can either make it into the inside line or outside line. As far as the glow lights go … well… I can take them or leave them. I mean really… Do they really make any difference other than during night racing allowing the fans to tell where their favorite make is by the color. I mean really, who cares. Mostly fans are interested in the drivers and numbers.

Well, let’s move on to Texas.

As a fan, I don’t have a whole lot to say about the race this weekend before it happens. There will probably be a lot more to talk about after it’s over. Probably the best thing about the race in Texas is going to be the fact that there are fans in the stands and, as was obvious last Wednesday at Bristol, the fans do make a difference. There seems to be more energy before the race starts and while we wait for the engines to be started. It also seems like there is much more energy and excitement for the winner when he can do his burnout, get his flag, and salute the crowd. That was pretty obvious as far as the change over the last several races with no fans. (It was much different than the iRacing in the fake cheers and the fake recognition of the crowd as they celebrated their win. Now, remember this was just this fans view.)

I suppose it is possible that the Chevys could make a good showing this weekend considering how Chase Elliott performed at Bristol. I don’t think they were all that strong at Bristol as far as a group goes but Chase really showed they’ve still got Bristol pretty much figured out.

The Fords looked awfully strong in Bristol also and Kyle Busch as well in a Toyota and he hasn’t won his first race yet this year. I’m not gonna make a choice as to who I think will win because I think that that’s going to be a difficult thing to do anyway, especially considering they will have no practice and no qualifying. The advantage may go to the Fords in one way because, at the time of this writing, Aric Almirola will be starting on the pole. At this point I would have to say that the Stewart Haas Fords look very strong just about any place they show up to race recently so I won’t discount the possibility of one of them winning this one.

I know this may sound a bit biased but, I really would like to see someone win this weekend that many people have pretty much written off and it’s true he has had his struggles this season. It just so happens it’s supposed to be his last season in full time NASCAR and his name is Jimmie Johnson. I really would like to see him lock himself into the playoffs , make it through them all the way to the championship race and maybe even win his eighth championship as he departs being full time in the sport. Will it happen? I don’t know but, I really would like to see it and I don’t think I’m alone in that…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 18, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
All audio productions by and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

By Rusty Norman

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