From a NASCAR Fan’s View
Things might be a little different at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the spring race this year. NASCAR made some rule changes to the cars and it remains to be seen how those changes will affect the competition. Of course, there are several things at Vegas that can affect it so it is hard to be sure if the changes will be the difference maker or if it will be the wind speed and direction or some other factor.
So far from this fan’s view, it looks like the changes could make the competition a bit tighter than it may have been last year. But then again, the teams have a full year of working with the Next Gen car under their belts and have a lot more understanding of the car itself. That could be what seems to make the competition closer but, there is really no way of knowing until the race gets into full gear. As an observer, it is hard to tell much from a practice session and qualifying. Personally, I think it will depend on how the cars react when there are more cars on the track and how that affects the handling and performance in the heat of battle.
Looking at the qualifying times, all three manufacturers appear to be very close in speed. Of course, that depends on whether or not the speed holds up when they get into racing trim. Even the pole sitter, Joey Logano, brought that up in a post qualifying interview. So, it remains to be seen what differences there might be once they get into race trim.
Chase Elliott’s broken left leg from a snowboarding accident has thrown a wrench in his season, at least for the time being. Even though there is no set date for his return, the general consensus is it will be approximately four weeks but that is up to his doctors and the way his leg heals up. Until he is cleared to race, he will sit on the sidelines.
The Fords and the Chevys look to be the ones to watch for running up front this weekend considering how they did in qualifying, Once again, qualifying can be a deceptive beast and have nothing at all to do with how the race actually pans out.
Joey Logano took the pole and won the last race in the fall last year so he looks to be a favorite choice to win this afternoon. He does have speed and he does have confidence in his racecar and team to get the job done. Starting on the pole could help along with his choice of pit stall. It could very be an advantage for adding another win to his list at Vegas.
William Byron starts outside pole and the qualifying times between him and Joey were extremely close. In my opinion, William is about due to win again. This could be his weekend but even starting on the front row is no guarantee of finishing up front. There are a few reasons why I think he could win this weekend but starting so close to a person he has had some friction with in the past could affect both of their outcomes. We already know Joey is a hard charging, aggressive driver. If there is a latent grudge between the two, it could surface this afternoon. Not saying it will but there is always that possibility.
I don’t want to draw this out for an extended period but there are a lot of strong drivers and teams in the top fifteen starting lineup for Vegas. I won’t say anyone of them could win today but there are more than one or two. To name a few, there’s Ryan Blaney, Kyle Bush, Kyle Larson and, yes, even Ty Gibbs. Some of the possible winners could be further back in the lineup.
You see, I believe this is going to be one of the most competitive races of this early part of the season. I have no idea which of the drivers may win but I think it is going to be a battle right down the final flag…
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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