Nascar Racing

The Pennzoil 400 At Vegas   

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

Once again this weekend, Joey Logano sits on the front row for the start of the race. Of course, there are other benefits to winning the pole but two of the most important are controlling the start of the race and first pick of pit stalls. Joey Logano has had great starting positions over the last three races as well as having one of the fastest cars on the track. Unfortunately, having all that speed hasn’t really helped his racing luck situation. Well, that is at least from this fan’s view in the first two weeks of the 2024 NASCAR Cup season.

I don’t know if it means anything at all for the Pennzoil 400 today but, there are four Fords starting in the top ten. There are also four Toyotas starting in the top ten and only two Chevys.

Of course those two Chevys have been the strongest Hendrick teams of Kyle Larson and William Byron even though they didn’t finish all that well last week at Atlanta. That’s not to say they didn’t have fast racecars. They just didn’t have good finishes because of being involved in accidents. Larson has already had his first DNF of the year because of being involved when he was running right behind Brad Keselowski when Brad’s RFK racing Ford spun in front of him. Byron on the other hand did manage a decent finish considering all the problems he had with being involved in or near the several accidents that damaged all but a few cars in the field. Last weekend at Atlanta saw a lot of torn up cars throughout the field by the time it was finished.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the first test of the Toyotas and Fords on a track that makes up most of the races in the season with their new body styles. It is a one-and-a-half-mile tri-oval and only the Chevys have notes from previous seasons since they didn’t change body styles this season. Will that make a difference? That’s a good question and my answer is that I just don’t know.

It is possible I suppose that the Chevys could have a slight advantage but, with the strength the Fords and Toyotas have shown over the first races of the season, their advantage will likely be small. After all, so far there hasn’t been that much difference in the ability of the three makes to gain much of an advantage over the others. In fact, and I know I’m not the only one saying this, at this point I don’t think there is much difference between one over the other. Competition has never been closer. (At least in all my years of following NASCAR Cup.)

So, how will things shake out in the Pennzoil 400 at Vegas today? Will it have as an exciting close finish like last weekend at Atlanta? Personally, I don’t think so but it is a tough call. Qualifying showed the speeds to be very close even though the Fords and Chevys do seem to be pretty closely matched. So far, the Toyotas have shown they can keep up with the other two makes but they just haven’t been able be in the mix at the drop of the final checkered flag. Well, at least not at the very front, anyway.

As a fan, I’m wondering how much strategy is going to play into this one. Will it be a fuel mileage thing or will it be a tire advantage thing? I just don’t know. I definitely think it will be a race that has a few surprises and I think the strategy for the long run over the short run will be what makes the difference. Of course, that could all change if there are one or more caution flags near the end. Those that might rely on long run speed to get them up front during the race could be adversely affected if they have to fend off the competitors in a short run situation.

Once again this weekend, there is a lot of talk going around on whether or not we could be in for another finish like there was last weekend at Atlanta. This fan thinks that is a little far-fetched. Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time he was mistaken, either…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© March 3, 2024 – 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.