Nascar Racing

Cup Teams Taking On New Hampshire  

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

There’s a lot that can happen between the drop of the green flag and the final checkered flag, especially if it’s at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. So, why would I say that? One reason is because this is New Hampshire Motor Speedway and it is a fast, basically flat track with lots of speed and turns that can be lot of trouble. The other big reason is because it could rain and NASCAR has already hinted that it will run in the rain, if necessary, with the infamous rain tires.

Along with that decision, NASCAR also decided to cancel the package they were intending to test this weekend. I do believe their reasoning is good because it just may not be a good test with the speeds at New Hampshire and the rain tires along with the wet track. After all, even though the package test would have been interesting at New Hampshire on a dry track, it doesn’t follow that they could get true results on a wet one.

There is one question I have about racing in the rain. Most of the talk I hear about racing in the rain is how the teams should adapt to racing in the rain or, at least on a wet track. We all know the good and the bad about the rain tires since they’ve run them several times over the last couple of seasons and they do work but only if the track is wet. My question is, has anyone thought about the fans sitting in the stands? Does anyone really like sitting in uncovered seats in a drizzle or light rain to watch a race? Sounds to me like it could be a decision made for the TV audience rather than the die-hard fans sitting in the seats. I know the drivers can handle driving on a wet track and they probably like the challenge. I just wonder if they’ve considered the fans.

Oh well, that’s just my opinion and a discussion for another day…

Once again, it looks like most of the Chevys left their speed back at the shops. Judging from the practice and qualifying, the Chevys were the poorest performers and the Toyotas and the Fords looked to have the advantage.

I’m sure the Chevys are wondering where their previous seeming advantage went and I think that especially applies to the Hendrick Chevys. I mean, look at the lineup after qualifying and you see an obvious fact. In the top ten qualifiers, there are only two Chevys and one of them is William Byron in seventh and the other is Kyle Bush in tenth. Both of them will probably have to start in the rear since they both had problems that will likely be considered as unapproved adjustments when the race starts. Byron’s was a power steering issue and Bush backed his car into the wall on his second qualifying lap.

Now, I know it sounds like I am being a little critical but it is more a surprise to see the Chevys struggling for speed lately. I guess the Fords and Toyotas have found their missing performance from earlier in the season and the Chevys haven’t improved theirs. I realize that’s an over-simplification but it does beg the question, is this a good thing as the teams are moving close to the playoffs?

Once again, the Gibb’s Toyotas have shown up at the top of the qualifying. Christopher Bell and Martin Truex Jr. top the list and both showed they definitely had speed over the rest. Of course, you already know how this fan feels about qualifying speeds and race results. The two results just don’t necessarily agree. Fast qualifying speed doesn’t always transfer to a trip to Victory Lane.

How often have we witnessed the top qualifiers either drop like rocks at the start or only hold on to their advantage for part of the race? This may not be one of those days though. Martin Truex Jr. has shown a lot lately. I know Christopher Bell was the fastest qualifier but Truex Jr. did show good speed as well. One can only wonder if those two might run off and dominate the day over the rest.

There are a lot of drivers that need to have really good finishes and many of them need to have better days than their qualifying suggested. Look, I know the Cup teams have the ability to adjust and adapt and make a seeming bad day turn into a very good one. I also know, just looking back to last weekend’s win by William Byron that anything can happen whether or not you have the fastest car and no problems all race long. Strategy figures to be one of the most important elements on race day and this fan is willing to bet it will be no different in this race today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

I do have just one more question though. Is it possible to have a rain-shortened race when the plan is to race even in the rain using rain tires…?

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 16, 2023 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
All audio productions by and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

By Rusty Norman

Amateur writer, NASCAR Fan, musician and former local Stock Car racer.