Nascar Racing

NASCAR Cup Playoffs Continue At Richmond From a NASCAR Fan’s View


This might sound a bit repetitive but the playoffs continue tonight at Richmond. Sure, I know everyone that has any interest at all in how the playoffs will progress knows that as the second race of the Round of Sixteen takes place but there are some that just don’t care anymore. I can’t say that I blame them. NASCAR has made some – how shall I put this – questionable decisions since they picked the season back up after having to interrupt it for the pandemic.

It is this fan’s opinion some of the decisions NASCAR made were the right ones. It is also this fan’s opinion that most of those had to do with competition and safely bringing the teams back to the tracks without practice and qualifying to keep the drivers and team members safe. They have also worked hard to safely bring fans back into the stands. In doing what they did to get back to racing, this fan thinks they set the precedent for how other sports could return to competition themselves.

Now, without getting into the politics of some of the decisions they made, it is obvious that many are not happy with NASCAR and have decided to punish them by leaving them. As I said in my article/blogcast last weekend, I am not one that has left NASCAR but I also said I did not agree with some of the decisions they’ve made. Although I have not been necessarily vocal with my thoughts on those decisions, that, in itself, does not mean I do not have strong opinions about them. I won’t go into them here and now but, I will reserve the right to talk more about it at the end of the season if I think there is any value in bringing it up. I mean, after all, there have been plenty of opinions expressed and I can’t say that I have not heard my opinions expressed by others. The problem is I don’t agree with some of those decisions but I am willing to leave them on the sideline for now and see how NASCAR might deal with the decisions they’ve made after some time has passed. In other words, “time will tell” and I will be watching for now.

Just a few short thoughts from this fan’s view on last week’s race at Darlington. I’m sure some will agree with me and others disagree but, Darlington is a race that isn’t boring but is one that can become tiring to watch. I know it is intense for the drivers and teams simply because it is a challenging track that requires concentration and keeping up strategy-wise with the tire wear and changing conditions of the track. To watch as a viewer and fan, it is mostly waiting for the last fifty laps or so, kinda like Daytona or Talladega. Sure, the stages are more intense and interesting when it comes to the drivers wanting to gain points, but mostly it is the end result that matters.

Kevin Harvick probably shouldn’t have won last weekend. It likely would have been either Martin Truex Jr. or Chase Elliott had they not gotten together and basically took each other out of contention for the win. Kevin Harvick did win mostly because of that incident and I think he may be the latest recipient of what he claimed Jimmie Johnson once owned (according to Harvick.) I won’t restate it here but it has something to do with a Golden Horseshoe…

Once again, at least in my opinion, “the talkers” lucked out in spending most of their time talking about Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin being the ones to watch for being in the final four. They may be correct in that but, in the playoff race at Darlington some things changed drastically for some and the same thing can happen over the next two races, including this one tonight at Richmond.

Denny Hamlin is one of those that has been in the hunt several times when we get to this point in the season but has often managed to “choke” at some point in the quest for the Championship. His chances are better than ever that he will be in contention at Phoenix for the final four but, some are watching to see if he or his team manage to blow a great chance at being the 2020 NASCAR Cup Champion. As for my view about it, well, I think I’m one of those.

Tonight at Richmond will offer a bit more information about those that will likely move on to the round of twelve. Last weekend showed some improving their chances to move on and others struggling to find the consistency to do what needs to be done to move on. I’m not going to pick on any one driver or team but, it is obvious some just don’t appear to be up to the task.

When it comes down to this time of the season, the intensity goes up and sometimes the reaction to that is laden with mistakes from both the drivers and the teams. Mistakes by either could prove to be the deciding factor in how the rest of the season goes for any of the teams not solidly in the standings with points or wins. All we really know at the moment is that there are those that need to perform much better than they did last weekend and they need to do so over the next two weekends if they hope to stay in contention for the final four. What will happen? I’m not willing to make any predictions yet but, I will say some really have their work cut out for them…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© September 12, 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.