From a NASCAR Fan’s View
There’s a lot riding on the race today at The Glen. There are so many possibilities that could play out and any one of them could change which of the drivers will be qualified for the playoffs. There are some above the cutline and some below it and, the way things have been going, just about any one of those things could happen and shake up what’s left for qualifying for the playoffs.
Just a quick look at the top twenty starters shows a number of very good road course racers and some of them absolutely have to win to get in the playoffs and, just to add to the drama, just about any of them could win. Some of them have a better chance than some of the others, but still, a few of them should be considered as likely to win.
So… which ones am I talking about here? Well, rather than name off a bunch of names, I’ll just start off by talking about some of the more interesting stories. (Well… at least form this fan’s view anyway.)
Now I’m not saying anything about the ones above the cutline not having a chance. I’m just saying there are a bunch of drivers just below the cutline that could pull off a win. No, I’m not saying all of them could make the jump into the playoff picture but there are some that really stand out as possibles.
Let’s take a look at Daniel Suarez. Last weekend at Indy he was a contender for a lot of the race. He sits just twenty-eight points outside the top sixteen. He is a good road course racer and he could just as easily win or gain a bunch of points by running strong from the beginning to the end without a win at the Glen. It is pretty obvious he is determined to make as big a splash as he can this afternoon and it wouldn’t be that big of a surprise to see him do well or even win. Like several of the others, he needs a mistake-free run for ninety laps at The Glen and he just might pull it off.
Ty Gibbs is another that needs to have a good points day but along with it, he really needs a win if he hopes to get in. Whether he can get it at The Glen or next weekend at Daytona is the question and the other question is can he run a mistake-free race at either place. I believe he can but I also know how easy it is to make a costly mistake that could put him way back in the field and down in points.
The next two need a win in the worst way because that is just about the only way either of them can make it in to the top sixteen. These two long-shots are very capable of winning and one of them has already won at The Glen. Of course you’ve already figured out I’m talking about chase Elliott and Alex Bowman. Even though they both had very good days last weekend at Indy, the only way they both can really make it in to the playoffs is to win and, since only one of them can win this race, the other one will have to win next weekend at Daytona. (Do you really know anyone that wants to go to Daytona having to win to get in the playoffs? Yeah, that’s what I thought… me neither.) Even though I know Chase Elliott is the better choice of these two to possibly take the win today, I wouldn’t put it past Alex to battle for the win and lock himself into the playoffs.
There are those that are talking positively about Michael McDowell possibly making it two in a row. Honestly, I can see that happening but a lot of things have to go right for him to win. Yes, he did qualify well and he is showing good speed again this weekend but, I’m not so sure he and his team can actually pull it off. One reason I say that is because of the speed shown by Denny Hamlin to take the pole. It is possible he could dominate the day with the speeds he ran in qualifying and, since the Toyotas have been running very strong lately, that could happen.
Let’s face it. There are already thirteen drivers qualified for the playoffs with wins and that leaves only three spots available for someone to make it into the playoffs. Going into today’s race those three places are filled by drivers with points. Two of those drivers, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski, are relatively safe because of the number of points they have. Bubba Wallace is in a good spot but he absolutely can’t afford to have a bad day and, if there is a new winner and it’s not him, he drops to at least the seventeenth spot and would either have to point his way in or win at Daytona next weekend.
Like I said at the beginning… There’s a lot riding on today’s race at The Glen and I believe – along with many others – this just might be one of the most intense and drama-filled races at The Glen we’ve seen in a very long time. There is so much on the line and, depending on who wins, so much pressure on those not yet qualified to win that I expect to see very aggressive driving from start to finish. Will Denny Hamlin dominate the day or will someone like Michael McDowell take the win.
Did I mention there are a bunch of drivers starting in the top ten or fifteen quite capable of winning today’s race and they all want to win this one as much as anyone? Yeah, the way this one is shaping up, it’s gonna be a good one and I expect it’s going to shake things up in a big way…
Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© August 20, 2023 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated