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Double the Monsters and Double the Fun? Well… there may be some that look at it that way but, there’s several that aren’t thinking it’s going to be double fun. For those on or at the bubble, they aren’t thinking about anything but winning or, at the very minimum, scoring a lot of points to help their situation. To add to the pressure, their biggest fear is “what if” someone outside the top 18 or 19 wins and kills their position in the top sixteen or their hopes of getting there. After all, this is a double race weekend at the same track.
This double weekend could be double trouble for those in the fourteenth to nineteenth positions in the standings. Imagine if someone totally unexpected wins one of the two races and moves into the playoff mix. Then imagine if two unexpected winners come away from the weekend in the playoffs and leaving at least two outside looking at what could have been. With the way things have been lately, that scenario isn’t likely, but then again, stranger things have been known to happen, especially in NASCAR and especially in this year of 2020.
Along with those possibilities, think if one or some of those have not one but two really bad finishes. That could totally change the playoff picture, too. Clint Bowyer seems to be relatively safe with his points situation. All he needs to stay in the top sixteen is to finish at least in the top fifteen and hope that all of the others do worse than him. Matt DiBenedetto is right on the edge and needs to finish well and possibly get some points to help his situation out. As it stands at the moment, he is relatively safe. Well… at least that’s this fan’s opinion.
When it comes to William Byron, he needs to finish both races in the top ten or fifteen at least. Now that may not help him, but it may keep him in the top sixteen. He absolutely can’t stand to have a bad race. In fact, he can’t stand to have a bad race either day or both days. (Now, if that’s not an understatement from this fan, then I don’t know what would be.) Well… I guess if he does have a bad race or two and drops out of the top sixteen, he could always win at the Daytona Super Speedway next week…
As a Jimmie Johnson fan and wanting to see him win and be in the playoffs, I have concerns for him and his 48 team being able to deliver good enough finishes or even a victory this weekend. dover is a place he has done well at in years past. Even though he is had some good performances over the last several weeks, his finishes haven’t always been there at the end of the races. It is a shame to see the seven-time Cup champion struggling so but it does seem that the struggle is there. I don’t think it’s his driving ability. I just think the Hendrick teams are struggling for speed right now with the exception of Chase Elliott and even he has shown inconsistent speed week in and week out.
Personally, in this fan’s opinion, Jimmie needs to win. There’s just no two ways about it. Oh, I know he can point his way in but that is a very precarious way too look at trying to be in position to win an eighth championship. I’m not so sure they at Hendrick Motor Sports have the performance necessary for him to do something spectacular at the end of this season. If you’re wondering what that spectacular thing would be, that would be winning his eighth championship which would really be quite an accomplishment considering how they’ve been running this year and over the last couple of years.
It is this fans opinion that it is a shame that Jimmie Johnson had to end his career in the year of the pandemic. In so many ways, it seems so unfair and yet they just haven’t shown the performance necessary or put themselves in a position to do better than they have. Some of the failures have been and should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the driver. He is made mistakes but, there just hasn’t been the performance from the HMS teams that was expected either. To be blunt, they have all struggled at HMS at some point in this weird season of 2020.
No matter how you look at it, Dover is a tough track and it is a fast track. It’s not fast just in speed, either. Things happen fast at Dover and anything can happen to those that need good finishes and they can come away with a total disaster. It may not be their fault and they can get caught up in somebody else’s mistakes but the results will be the same. Dover is a monster and the monster can steel everything from you. So, will any of those that need to, be able to conquer the monster this weekend? Well, I believe that remains to be seen…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© August 22, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated