From a NASCAR Fan’s View
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 6:15 — 5.7MB)
The last thing any of those drivers and teams hanging around the cutline wants is to have bad luck at the Magic Mile. What those just outside or just inside the cut desperately want is some magic and/or a win at the Magic Mile at New Hampshire. Yes, those below the cutline are desperate and they don’t want or need any complications from here on out. They need some real magic if they want to make the playoffs. Those just above the cutline aren’t as desperate but they don’t need any more pressure or something bad to happen to kill their chances of making the playoffs.
As the regular season is winding down to a close, the chance for some to make the playoffs is to win and for others it is to continue to perform at the level that has them relatively safely in and maybe even take a win in these final races to secure that spot even more. There are several walking the knife edge and, depending on how those close to them in points do, they need to stay on the right side of that edge. A win could solve all their problems. Well… at least for making the playoffs, that is.
Some are in curious positions. Actually, a couple are in really curious positions and it depends on what happens with wins where they will actually be come playoff time. You probably already know the two I am thinking about in particular but, let me remove all doubt. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin have plenty of points to make the playoffs but they don’t have a win yet this season and that could set up a very interesting scenario for making the playoffs.
I realize what I am about to say has a very slim chance of happening but, just for a moment, let me set up a scenario that would not only be a first for NASCAR, (at least, I think that would be the case), but it would only take place if the following happens over the next four races.
What would it be like for Harvick and Hamlin if, (and it would take a mighty big IF,) both of them remain winless for the rest of the season? Let me add to the equation. What if there are four NEW winners over the last four races of the season? Both Hamlin and Harvick have plenty of points to make the playoffs, pretty much no matter what happens but, if there actually are four new winners over these next four races, they would be out because neither of them has a win this season. The four new winners would be in because of the wins whether or not they have the points and Hamlin and Harvick would be out even though they have the points. Well… what do you think? It would be strange wouldn’t it?
Like I said, the chances of that happening is like zero and none but, it is definitely a possibility whether or not anyone expects it to happen of not. The facts are, they really need a previous winner in 2021 to win and keep their hopes alive or they need to win themselves and remove all doubt.
Another interesting thing I thought of while considering the race this weekend at the Magic Mile was how Kyle Bush has been performing recently. Now I may be wrong but, it appears he does run better when they have practice and qualifying sessions or, at the very least, he runs in the Xfinity series. His performance has markedly improved over the last several weeks and he has run and won races in the Xfinity series during that time also. From this fan’s view, it has appeared all season long he runs better when he has a little more time on the track to get his car the way he wants it. What do you think??
Okay, maybe I should get back to reality for a little bit here. There is no doubt the JGR teams have been running better and have been more competition for the Chevys, especially the Hendrick Chevys. Sure, I know Kurt Bush in a Chevy won last weekend beating out his brother Kyle in a JGR Toyota. That may or may not figure in to how the race this Sunday afternoon goes but it does need to be considered. All the Chevys have been running strong and even more than just Hendrick Chevys.
That just might be what makes this weekend’s race a little more interesting than it might have been were it not for all the other possibilities. Look, I’m not saying any of what I mentioned here will happen… I’m just saying it could and just how interesting would that make the next four races running up to the playoffs? This has been a very different year in NASCAR Cup and strange things could happen to totally surprise all of us. Are some of them far-fetched? Yeah… Could some or all of them come to pass? Well… maybe and wouldn’t that be interesting…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 17, 2021 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated