From a NASCAR Fan’s View
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For the first time in two years the NASCAR Cup teams take it to The Glen and, as usual, there are those favored to win and those that don’t even get honorable mention. Along with that, the biggest question on most peoples’ minds is, “Who will win?” After the last race – which seemed like a year ago to me – someone winning like Aric Almirola did could even further shake up the playoff situation and some in the top sixteen now could be out. I mean think about it. He was twenty-seventh in points and quite unlikely to make the playoffs without the win. Instead, he jumped right over a bunch of drivers into the coming playoff battle. That really makes every one of the next four races even more pressure packed and stressful than they would normally be.
So… there are still a few drivers in on points but without wins. In reality, there are two places left to make the top sixteen for the playoffs but, if Kyle Larson overtakes Denny Hamlin for the points lead, that could possibly open up another spot. Sure, I realize Denny has a lot of points stored up but, if Larson does pass him for the regular season championship spot, his reserved spot disappears if three drivers without a win take a win over the next four races. Talk about making things interesting, well, that would do it.
Kevin Harvick is another everyone thought would have at least one win this season but, as you already know, he is winless so far this season like Hamlin. Both of these drivers are sitting in a good spot points-wise but they are still in a precarious position. Without a win, they are held hostage by the fact that someone that hasn’t won so far this season, wins every one of the four races coming up in the next four weeks.
I’m guessing you’re thinking there’s just no way Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick don’t make the playoffs unless they win a race. Well, from this fan’s view, it’s been that kind of year and it could happen just like I just said. I realize that scenario contains a very big “if” in it but the possibility is still there.
There is something to be said about some of the veteran drivers that have been in the sport for a while not winning in a season. It doesn’t mean they’re washed up and should consider retiring. It mostly just means they’re having a bad year. With the major change with the cars coming next season, it could be they’ve been sinking more time and testing in the new car. All this year, it appears the Fords have suffered with a lack of speed and handling. They just haven’t looked like the Fords of last year.
Admittedly, it does seem they’re beginning to turn that around but that could just be because of the differences in the engine and downforce packages. Even the Penske teams look to have turned a corner and it couldn’t happen a better time, especially considering where they start this weekend at The Glen.
There has been a lot of talk about the Camrys getting into the mix and apparently the talk has some weight to it. I still say, Kyle Bush performs better when he has some extra time on a track no matter where it is. When he isn’t in the Xfinity series car or they have to start a race with no practice, he just doesn’t always seem to rise to the occasion as well. Now I realize that is my opinion but, it is something to consider for this weekend. I’m not saying he won’t run competitively or that he won’t win; I’m just saying it is something I noticed over the last couple of seasons and, most times, it seems to pan out that way.
That brings us to the Chevys. All of the Chevys have been running strong this season, especially the Hendrick Chevys. Since I’m a Chevy fan, I do have concerns over their recent performance and whether the Hendrick Chevys have lost the edge they had on everyone earlier in the season or whether the rest of the teams have caught up to their performance level. It really does appear to this fan all of the Chevys have run better this season and that statement goes for all the Chevy teams.
Still, that doesn’t alleviate my concerns that they’ve fallen a little behind. Even with my saying that, there have been some fairly bright spots recently and that would particularly include the performance of the CGR teams. Both Kurt Bush and Ross Chastain have shown a lot of strong performance in recent weeks.
As usual, the first driver many are picking to win this weekend is Chase Elliott. I believe he will rise to the occasion in his usual fashion on a road course but there are several others that could win this one. Although not all of them drive Chevys, I do think the Chevys have a good chance of making a very good showing at The Glen on Sunday afternoon. There is really no reason to go through a long list of possible winners but, I do believe this one just might belong to Kye Larson. If he does, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see where Denny Hamlin finishes just to see how important next weekend becomes for the present points leader, huh?
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© August 7, 2021 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated