From a NASCAR Fan’s View
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Everyone knows Martinsville is special track and a challenge for everyone that takes it on. This weekend will be no different and it may be even more intense than usual if for no other reason than just one of the remaining eight drivers is a definite for the final four. Of course, that would be Joey Logano and he hasn’t had to work very hard since winning his way into the final four but, I personally don’t think his finishes or qualifying have been by choice but have been either experimental times or just poor performance. Whatever the case, he has no pressure to qualify for anything this weekend. He is ready to move on to the final four.
For the other seven, the story is quite a bit different. None of them are actually guaranteed a place in the final four and all seven of them are going to try and win. From this fan’s view, that means a very intense and emotional race lay ahead of all of them and two of them are in a must win situation.
Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, the two in a must-win situation from my view are Chase Briscoe and Christopher Bell. I don’t think you’ll find many that disagree with my assessment of their situations but I do agree that Christopher Bell could actually get in IF something really strange happens other than a win. Will that happen? I guess it could seeing as this the year 2022 and a lot of very strange things have happened. Rest assured, Christopher will do everything he possibly can to get everything he can out of his car to try and win. Since he pulled off something similar a couple of weeks ago, I guess I won’t totally say he won’t but I don’t think it is very likely.
Since Kyle Larson dominated last weekend and is sitting on the pole this weekend – with that coveted number one pit stall – it is possible he could win and take away the chances of both Bell and Briscoe. Of course, nothing is written in stone and there is still some very strange things that could happen but, I think the final four will come from five of those seven drivers.
A quick look at the starting lineup shows several of the round of eight starting in the front rows for Sunday afternoon. Chase Elliott, Chase Briscoe and Ryan Blaney start in the top four. After that, well, then it gets really interesting.
Ross Chastain starts ninth and he is eight points ahead of Chase Elliott. By the end of the race he could be challenging for the win. He has been making a very strong showing in the playoffs and has finished near the front for the last couple of weeks. He is also in a Chevy and the Chevys have run strong at Martinsville, especially the Hendrick Chevys.
William Byron is one of those Hendrick Chevys but he is only five points ahead of Denny Hamlin in the starting lineup except Hamlin starts eleventh and Byron starts twenty-fifth. Man, talk about starting off in a hole. Byron sure put himself in one and I expect his day is going to be very intense. I’m sure he will have to control not only his own intensity but also his emotions and temper. I believe he really has his work cut out for himself. Hamlin, well, I think I’ll have to reserve my opinion for him and where he might finish. He has struggled in the playoffs often and the Toyotas just haven’t looked all that capable of beating the Chevys this season. That’s not to say the Toyotas won’t run good, I’m just saying they also have their work cut out for themselves.
I expect the intensity and emotions to run high and I think their might even be a few tempers displayed. There is too much on the line for there not to be and it could rear it’s head at any time during this one. Martinsville is a challenging short track and it will challenge every driver on the track. I expect it to be hard to pass and, of course, I expect there to be a lot of bumping and banging and pushing and shoving. There may even be some payback opportunities show up at the most inopportune times. Whether it will affect the outcome of the race remains to be seen but, chances are, it very well could…
Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
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Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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