Another Saturday Night Short Tracking At Bristol from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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There is always something different about racing on a Saturday night under the lights, especially at Bristol. If you’ve been listening to the promos for this Saturday night at Bristol, they’ve been spending most of their time trying to get you to know about the beating and banging that Bristol seems to draw out. Personally, I disagree with their premise because I’ve raced at short tracks on a Saturday night, I’ve watched racing on short tracks on a Saturday night and I’ve seen it on TV. The thing I’ve noticed about short track racing under the lights on a Saturday night is it is pretty much beating and banging on any short track, everywhere.

Now that I’ve said that I don’t want you to think that Bristol is like every other short track on a Saturday night because it isn’t. Bristol is a “beast” all its own and it won’t be the usual short track under the lights race. This one is an elimination race for the first round of the 2020 playoffs. That means there will likely be higher emotions and intensity for most, if not all, of the race.

As many expected, last weekend at Richmond proved to be good for some and really bad for others. Brad Keselowski pretty much had the field covered for most of the race. From this fan’s view, I didn’t really see anyone that could run with him or anyone that could catch or keep him behind them. His was a truly dominating performance and may give us a little view of the possibility for the final four. For right now though, the final four is a long way off and there are several that just want to make it to the round of twelve. A close look tells this fan that there are at least six or seven contenders but there only a few ways for them to move into the next round and eliminate those already on the inside.

There are three above the cutline and four below. Of the three above the line, there are only seven points keeping them above the four below. Yeah, I know what you’re gonna say, “aren’t you missing something, Rusty?” Well maybe but, the ones with the biggest task ahead of them are Ryan Blaney and Matt Dibenedetto. Barring the fact one of these two wins or something really unexpected happens to one or two someones above them or the cut line, well, I think they are pretty much out of it.

When it comes to William Byron and Cole Custer, from this fan’s view they are still in it. Byron is just three points below the cut and Custer is only eight. Either one or both of them just need to gain that many more points than the three above the cut and they will both make it to the next round. That is by no means a given but, it is very possible they could be in and two above could be out of the playoffs.

Some seem to think Joey Logano is going to make a big turn around and end up in the final four and possibly even win the 2020 Championship. In my opinion, I am not so sure that he will make it that far. Yeah, I know he’s surprised us in previous times and is more than capable of doing exactly that but, I’m just not sure this is his year to pull that kind of feat off. If he does – and that is a mighty big IF in this fan’s view – I’m more than willing to apologize after he does. The problem is, I just don’t think he will and I can think of no one I would rather not see be the 2020 NASCAR Cup Champ than him. It’s nothing personal. I would just rather see several others do it other than him.

At this point, I’m not even sure Denny Hamlin will make the final cut. the only think keeping him in contention for the moment is because he acquired a lot of points during the regular season. That’s not to say he isn’t capable or that he won’t take it all the way. I just know he has been his own worst enemy when it comes to the playoffs and the final four. I am concerned this might be a repeat of previous years even though he has shown a lot of confidence and ability this season. I reckon this is one of those situations that, “time will tell.”

There are a couple of Hendrick teams that could make it all the way to the final four though I doubt all three HMS teams will make it. A lot would have to happen for that to take place and I just don’t think their performance this season has been good enough to put all of them in the final four. Personally, I think a lot would have to go wrong for the other teams during the playoffs for that to happen.

There’s a lot of talk that Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick will make up part of the final four. From this fan’s view, I don’t have a problem with Kevin Harvick being there but, I’m not so sure about Truex Jr. They have been running good but they have also struggled at times and that makes me think maybe they will or maybe they won’t. It is up to them and that thing called “Racing Luck… ”

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© September 19, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

The Playoffs Begin At Darlington from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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Remember… this is the year 2020. What begins this weekend at Darlington many thought would never happen this year. After all, everyone had to take a break for the shut down and NASCAR was not exempt from that either. Some will point to the fact that NASCAR was the first to resume their racing schedule (even though it was altered from the norm) and managed to bring their racing schedule up to date as of this weekend. Of course I, and many others, have our own opinion of some of the decisions made by NASCAR during the process, they still managed to get all twenty six races in before this weekend. So… no matter what your opinion, the playoffs start this weekend, right on schedule.

There have been many setbacks in this season and I’m sure we all realize some have departed the NASCAR scene for good. If you’re reading this, it is likely you’re not one of them as well as I. I admit I am taking this opportunity to get some things off my chest and make my view clear. I didn’t agree with several things NASCAR did over the last several months but I made the decision to continue with my articles and blogcast even though I had very strong thoughts and concerns about several things. I don’t blame people for the decisions they’ve made or expressing themselves in the ways they have but, I made my decision and that’s why I’m still here. (Support me if you will, hate me if you must. I definitely won’t hold it against you. I appreciate you being here whatever the case.) I offer my view as what it is, my opinion, and I will not be intimidated in either direction for expressing it.

Now, if you’ve been listening to those talking about the playoffs over the last week, you’ve probably noticed they’ve already decided the outcome and which ones will be in the final four at Phoenix. From this fan’s view, according to them, the whole playoff picture revolves around only two competitors and those would be, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin. Well… at least to many of those “analysts” I mentioned in bulk earlier. Actually, I prefer to call them “the talkers” rather than “analysts” simply because they do a lot of talking (just like politicians) and we’re supposed to take their opinions as gospel whether they’re right or wrong. Much like the afore mentioned politicians, they hope we’ll forget what they said if they are wrong or if someone other than the ones they’ve already crowned don’t win. (Oh well, I guess my opinion doesn’t really matter that much either, but I’ve given it anyway.)

Okay, I think I’m ready to get off that tangent and get back on the track…

Probably one of the biggest reasons I’ve chosen to talk about the things I have today is because, there really isn’t that much to talk about for the race this weekend. Other than this being the first race of three and the third being an elimination race for which drivers and teams will make it to the round of twelve, there’s not much difference in this race than any other race on a typical weekend in NASCAR. Yeah, I know if you listen to “the talkers,” there’s a lot riding on this first race of the playoffs; BUT from this fan’s view, it’s just another race until the results are in. The winner, if in the top sixteen, automatically moves on to the next round whether they are listed as number one or number sixteen when the race starts. If someone outside the top sixteen wins, well, that just means the drama becomes a little more intense and makes the next two races more important for those wanting to move on to the round of twelve.

One thing “the talkers” have brought out and seem to agree on is the fact that Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin have won half the races of the twenty-six in the regular season. For some reason it seems that means their performance will continue all the way to the end at the Championship race at Phoenix and that is where I might disagree. One thing I’ve learned about racing, whether in observing or participating is, there are times racing luck turns against someone and it can last for more than one race. Now, I’m not saying that’s going to happen. I’m just saying it has happened and could happen again to those that are the favorites. Look, parts break, engines blow and accidents happen. It can happen to anyone, no matter whether they are the favorites to win it all or the ones expected to lose. It can also happen multiple times in a row. Once again, I am not saying it will… I’m just saying it could.

I guess one thing should be included before I sign off for this week. One of the most prevalent discussions “the talkers” have brought into the conversation but it wasn’t unexpected by this fan. They’ve been asking all week which of the sixteen might have the advantage in the playoffs. Of course, their discussions usually ask whether it will be the older more experienced drivers or the newer, young guns. Yes, they do have a point in saying Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick have the advantage, if for no other reason than they have the most wins this season and have shown up ready to perform well almost right off the truck and able to adjust to the track conditions relatively quickly. They also mention Martin Truex Jr. as the likely third strong contender along with Kyle Bush finally winning a race this season and moving into the final four.

Well… I honestly have no idea if it will be the old, experienced drivers and teams or the young ones looking to make their mark in the future of NASCAR. What I do know is the younger drivers may not have the experience but they do have the desire. That alone could be the deciding factor when all is said and done; or… maybe not…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© September 5, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Facing Double Monsters At Dover from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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Double the Monsters and Double the Fun? Well… there may be some that look at it that way but, there’s several that aren’t thinking it’s going to be double fun. For those on or at the bubble, they aren’t thinking about anything but winning or, at the very minimum, scoring a lot of points to help their situation. To add to the pressure, their biggest fear is “what if” someone outside the top 18 or 19 wins and kills their position in the top sixteen or their hopes of getting there. After all, this is a double race weekend at the same track.

This double weekend could be double trouble for those in the fourteenth to nineteenth positions in the standings. Imagine if someone totally unexpected wins one of the two races and moves into the playoff mix. Then imagine if two unexpected winners come away from the weekend in the playoffs and leaving at least two outside looking at what could have been. With the way things have been lately, that scenario isn’t likely, but then again, stranger things have been known to happen, especially in NASCAR and especially in this year of 2020.

Along with those possibilities, think if one or some of those have not one but two really bad finishes. That could totally change the playoff picture, too. Clint Bowyer seems to be relatively safe with his points situation. All he needs to stay in the top sixteen is to finish at least in the top fifteen and hope that all of the others do worse than him. Matt DiBenedetto is right on the edge and needs to finish well and possibly get some points to help his situation out. As it stands at the moment, he is relatively safe. Well… at least that’s this fan’s opinion.

When it comes to William Byron, he needs to finish both races in the top ten or fifteen at least. Now that may not help him, but it may keep him in the top sixteen. He absolutely can’t stand to have a bad race. In fact, he can’t stand to have a bad race either day or both days. (Now, if that’s not an understatement from this fan, then I don’t know what would be.) Well… I guess if he does have a bad race or two and drops out of the top sixteen, he could always win at the Daytona Super Speedway next week…

As a Jimmie Johnson fan and wanting to see him win and be in the playoffs, I have concerns for him and his 48 team being able to deliver good enough finishes or even a victory this weekend. dover is a place he has done well at in years past. Even though he is had some good performances over the last several weeks, his finishes haven’t always been there at the end of the races. It is a shame to see the seven-time Cup champion struggling so but it does seem that the struggle is there. I don’t think it’s his driving ability. I just think the Hendrick teams are struggling for speed right now with the exception of Chase Elliott and even he has shown inconsistent speed week in and week out.

Personally, in this fan’s opinion, Jimmie needs to win. There’s just no two ways about it. Oh, I know he can point his way in but that is a very precarious way too look at trying to be in position to win an eighth championship. I’m not so sure they at Hendrick Motor Sports have the performance necessary for him to do something spectacular at the end of this season. If you’re wondering what that spectacular thing would be, that would be winning his eighth championship which would really be quite an accomplishment considering how they’ve been running this year and over the last couple of years.

It is this fans opinion that it is a shame that Jimmie Johnson had to end his career in the year of the pandemic. In so many ways, it seems so unfair and yet they just haven’t shown the performance necessary or put themselves in a position to do better than they have. Some of the failures have been and should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the driver. He is made mistakes but, there just hasn’t been the performance from the HMS teams that was expected either. To be blunt, they have all struggled at HMS at some point in this weird season of 2020.

No matter how you look at it, Dover is a tough track and it is a fast track. It’s not fast just in speed, either. Things happen fast at Dover and anything can happen to those that need good finishes and they can come away with a total disaster. It may not be their fault and they can get caught up in somebody else’s mistakes but the results will be the same. Dover is a monster and the monster can steel everything from you. So, will any of those that need to, be able to conquer the monster this weekend? Well, I believe that remains to be seen…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© August 22, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Taking On The Road Course At Daytona from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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Well, it’s pretty much another weekend of firsts for the NASCAR Cup teams. A quick look back at history tells us that this is not actually the first time the Cup teams have raced on the road course but for all intents and purposes, it is. One thing that won’t be a first this weekend is that there won’t be any practice or qualifying. Of course, we know that many of the drivers will be or have been spending time in there iRacing rigs or the simulators and it remains to be seen how that information transfers to actually racing on the road course.

For some of the drivers this won’t be their first time on the road course at Daytona. Some of them have driven it in other series so it remains to be seen whether that will give them an advantage or not. Personally, I don’t think it’ll take them all that long to catch on to what it takes to make good time around the track but I could be wrong and it could be that this is a race filled with wrecks and other incidents. In listening to them talk about the track, it appears there are some tricky places along the way. Now that maybe true and the only thing that will do, at least from this fan’s view, is make it a much more interesting race that it might already be.

Possibly, one of the more interesting things for this race, is that they will likely run the race even if it is raining. Now we all know that there won’t be any laps run if there is lightning in the area and they do have those guidelines to follow. But it’s still possible that they could be running in the rain at some time or other during the race.

Even though there are some favorites for winning this one, this is also a case that the Victor might be someone completely unexpected. There’s no reason to go into a long conversation or dialogue or monologue as to who those might be, but rest assured the possibility is there.

The most talked about people to win this one are starting on the front row. Of course, that would be Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin. I’m not so sure did one of them will win, but I do have to admit that the possibility is very strong.

From this fans view, there are several other names that have a very good chance and their names must also rise to the top of the list. Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and a host of others that do show themselves to be quite capable of running well on a road course. In fact, Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr are two that would be likely choices by many. Chase Elliott is showing himself to be very capable on road courses and his one more than one in the last couple of years. Martin Truex Jr has also displayed his ability to win on road courses so, at least from this fans view, it’s a hard choice between those two.

Of course, as a Jimmie Johnson fan, I’m one of those that would like to see him win for several reasons. One of the most important reasons would be that it would at least lock him into the first part of the playoffs. Now, it’s not that he’s shown that much strength in performance recently but he is quite capable of winning on a road course. For me, I guess he’s a sentimental favorite and I would just like to see him win a race, break his losing streak and also open up an opportunity to win another Championship. I’m sure there are those that say, “There ain’t no way he’s gonna win the Championship!” and, I have to admit, they are probably right. But still, it’s nice to dream and think about the things that could be.

Since I’m thinking about the road course at Daytona and the first turn on the first lap, I can only say one thing. This might be another one of those very interesting first laps like the Roval last year. Now I’m not saying anything is gonna happen out of the ordinary but it is quite possible that the unexpected could happen. I suppose it’s even possible that some of the front runners and expected winners could either take themselves out or be taken out by someone else on this challenging road course. Perhaps my takeaway for all of this is that just the list of unknowns is going to make this race worth watching, especially at the beginning. No, I’m not saying that it’ll hold my attention the whole time through, but…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© August 16, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Michigan Double Header from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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With one of the two Cup races in the books for this weekend at Michigan, one has to wonder if it’s just gonna be between the Fords and the Toyotas when it comes down to it. Kevin Harvick, is looking very strong and could possibly win a second one this weekend adding to his total wins on the 2020 season. He totally dominated yesterday’s race.

Denny Hamlin, in a JGR Toyota is the only Toyota that showed much ability to keep up with the Fords yesterday and this fan can’t help but wonder if it will be the same today. Yes, there were some others that showed some strength here and there but, basically it was Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin. Now, that’s two Fords and one Toyota in case you’re wondering.

There appears to be something going on with Stewart-Haas Racing, especially Kevin Harvick’s #4 SHR Ford, and they show up every week lately ready to race for the win off the truck. Now that doesn’t mean that they win every week, but it does mean that they unload off the truck with a lot of performance.

2020 has been a disastrous year for many of us including those in varying sports as well as NASCAR. Some of the things that are going on could have been avoided if they hadn’t tried so hard to join in on certain things that they should have never joined in on. You see, the iRacing that they covered earlier in the year is good for some but I don’t think it was good for the total sport of NASCAR. Yes, I admit it’s interesting and impressive how their graphics and everything works and looks but it’s still just a video game to me. I know there are others that feel the same way I do about it, but in all honesty, I can only speak for myself. You see it’s not my intention to make any enemies here simply because I’m a little older and really don’t do much gaming. I think it’s fine that other people do, is just not for me. (Perhaps I would feel differently if I could afford to buy into the iRacing thing. Understand, if I had the money I’d even still be trying to race somewhere.)

Speaking of a disastrous 2020, Hendrick motor sports is probably suffering through another one of the biggest continuing letdowns they’ve faced over the last three years. The only one that’s really performing from HMS is Chase Elliott’s #9 team with crew chief, Alan Gustafson. I Will give some honorable mention to Alex Bowman, and William Byron but overall as a team, they’re struggling. Maybe I should say, still struggling.

When the year 2020 started at Daytona, Hendrick Motorsports and the Chevys in general looked like they had figured a few things out. They had a slight redesign of the car and looked pretty strong at the very beginning of the year. Of course, then came the pandemic and the time off and then there was the performance drop-off. The performance drop-off appeared to be almost immediate after the break for the shutdown during the pandemic. Since that time, at least from this fan view, they’ve been relatively struggling to find speed and it’s not just at HMS. All the Chevys appear to be struggling to find speed.

With this being Jimmie Johnson’s final season, unless he decides to go one more year, it has to be a great disappointment to him to not only be having such a bad season But not being able to celebrate the final season In NASCAR with his fans. Of course we know Jimmie Johnson won’t just disappear from the face of the earth, and we really don’t know for sure what is next move will be. Yes, for the year 2020 and him possibly getting into the playoffs, things look pretty bleak. I’m not giving up on him yet but it does look like he’s got some real hurdles to get over to get into the top 16 or even get back to a performance level that would make him a threat to win his eighth Championship before he leaves.

Of course, I could go into a long dissertation of how sad it is that a Champion of his stature is having such a bad year in his final year but there’s no reason for that now. He’s already recognized as one of the best to ever compete in NASCAR and he’s won a lot of championships at a time when they are hard to come by. It’s just sad to see how bad the last few years have been for him.

So, as we watch the race at Michigan today, it will be interesting to see if the Chevys learned anything yesterday that will make them more competitive against the Fords and, in particular, Kevin Harvick. I don’t mind being critical when it’s necessary but I think we are all just trying to get through the year 2020 and criticism comes easy this year. I think it’s great that Kevin Harvick is having such a good year and that Denny Hamlin is also and may have the opportunity to win his first Cup Championship. But until the season is over and things get back to some semblance of normalcy, I’m just wondering… well… nevermind…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© August 9, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Cup Teams Take It To Texas from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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I’m sure you’ve heard the old quote, “the more things change the more they stay the same” but, things will be different as the Cup Teams take it to the Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Well, at least for the Cup teams it will be different than it might have been. There WILL be fans in the stands.

Even with all that’s going on, they do expect to have fans in the stands but they do expect the number of fans to be smaller than normal and even fewer than they could have according to the state and health official guidelines. The reasons offered for the number of fans possibly being smaller than the number allowed is, because of the recent surge in Texas of the Corona virus and the heat that’s taken over that part of the country at this time. To offer just a slight clarification from this fans view, there won’t be fans in the stands for the Xfinity or Truck Series on Saturday; just the Cup teams on Sunday. (Well, at least that’s the way I understand it so far.)

Since this has been a year of change and challenge for NASCAR, in particular because of the virus pandemic, one can’t help but speculate and wonder that next year might be a different year of change also. Since they have been doing more racing in a shorter period of time, this fan wonders if they might possibly shorten the season in the future. By putting the races closer together they could cut the season by one third to one half in my opinion. If they continue to eliminate practice and qualifying all together, which would be a continuation of what they’re doing right now, it may make for the same type racing we are witnessing at the present time.

Of course, this is all speculation on the part of this fan and from this fan’s view but, I think it is a very real possibility for the future of NASCAR. Something that many have talked about, especially over the last few years, is shortening the season. By doing it the way they’ve had to do it this year, they might be able to institute it in the not-so-distant future. Of course I realize that this would make it extremely difficult on the teams in transportation and prepping for the different tracks but, they’ve managed to pull it off this year so who’s to say they couldn’t do it in the future with some minor changes.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling for a total revamping of the NASCAR season. I’m just wondering if they might not find, or take, this opportunity to make a change, at least temporarily, to see how it affects fan attendance and television time. It could be a real challenge or, it could be that it works and makes it even more popular than it has been.

Of course, one of the real draws for attendance at the racetracks is to be able to mingle with the drivers and team members before and after the race. Another is the ability to spend more time in a venue which affects the economies built around the NASCAR schedule. That means there would need to be fans in the stands. I do realize this would make it harder on the teams and their logistics and on the tracks, especially if they continue with the midweek racing. But after all, they used to race a lot of races in a year and not just on the weekends.

Now that was just a little jaunt into the things I’ve been thinking about over the last several weeks. Another thing I would like to talk about and just make short mention of Bristol. The All Star race was a good one and there were a couple of things about it that people are still talking about. One is the choose cone and the other is the glow lights. I’m gonna give you my personal opinion as well as this fan’s view opinion. I like the idea of the choose cone because it will stop things from happening at the exit of the pits just so people can either make it into the inside line or outside line. As far as the glow lights go … well… I can take them or leave them. I mean really… Do they really make any difference other than during night racing allowing the fans to tell where their favorite make is by the color. I mean really, who cares. Mostly fans are interested in the drivers and numbers.

Well, let’s move on to Texas.

As a fan, I don’t have a whole lot to say about the race this weekend before it happens. There will probably be a lot more to talk about after it’s over. Probably the best thing about the race in Texas is going to be the fact that there are fans in the stands and, as was obvious last Wednesday at Bristol, the fans do make a difference. There seems to be more energy before the race starts and while we wait for the engines to be started. It also seems like there is much more energy and excitement for the winner when he can do his burnout, get his flag, and salute the crowd. That was pretty obvious as far as the change over the last several races with no fans. (It was much different than the iRacing in the fake cheers and the fake recognition of the crowd as they celebrated their win. Now, remember this was just this fans view.)

I suppose it is possible that the Chevys could make a good showing this weekend considering how Chase Elliott performed at Bristol. I don’t think they were all that strong at Bristol as far as a group goes but Chase really showed they’ve still got Bristol pretty much figured out.

The Fords looked awfully strong in Bristol also and Kyle Busch as well in a Toyota and he hasn’t won his first race yet this year. I’m not gonna make a choice as to who I think will win because I think that that’s going to be a difficult thing to do anyway, especially considering they will have no practice and no qualifying. The advantage may go to the Fords in one way because, at the time of this writing, Aric Almirola will be starting on the pole. At this point I would have to say that the Stewart Haas Fords look very strong just about any place they show up to race recently so I won’t discount the possibility of one of them winning this one.

I know this may sound a bit biased but, I really would like to see someone win this weekend that many people have pretty much written off and it’s true he has had his struggles this season. It just so happens it’s supposed to be his last season in full time NASCAR and his name is Jimmie Johnson. I really would like to see him lock himself into the playoffs , make it through them all the way to the championship race and maybe even win his eighth championship as he departs being full time in the sport. Will it happen? I don’t know but, I really would like to see it and I don’t think I’m alone in that…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 18, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Next Up – Kentucky from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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Well, there is at least one good thing about NASCAR racing at Kentucky this weekend and that would be Jimmie Johnson’s to return to competition. When it was discovered he had tested positive for the covid virus, many were wondering if he would or when he would be coming back to race and still have a shot making the playoffs. Personally, I think he would rather win a race or two before worrying about whether or not he’s going to make the playoffs. I think there are a lot of his fans that feel the same way. That being said, this fan is happy he tested negative to the virus so quickly two times in a row.24 hrs apart. I wonder what that says?

Taking a quick look at the starting lineup, Kyle Busch is starting on the pole. In some ways I can’t help but think that would be a relief to him. Lately, he’s been struggling to do much of anything positive even though the results that he has attained haven’t been that bad. There are two ways for looking at him starting on the pole and the front row. One is he could run away and dominate the race since he will be in clean air as long as he’s out front. Another is that he can’t blame it on having to start at the rear. No, I’m not saying that Kyle Busch makes excuses for any of his performances but, I am saying he has struggled recently and I’m sure he would like to have a really good performance, possibly even a win.

Another thing I see when I look at the starting lineup is how many Fords seem to be starting at, or near, the front. That could mean trouble for the seemingly struggling Chevys that, just a few weeks ago, looked so strong. From this fans view, The Ford driven by Kevin Harvick is hard not to rate for finishing near the front, possibly marking up another win. I’m not gonna give him the race yet, but his performance recently has been very impressive. Along with him are his other teammates on the Stewart-Haas race team. I’m not saying that they are dominating, I’m just saying that they look pretty strong and show up every week very competitive off the truck. To give credit where credit is due, I would say that the prep crew and the crew along with the crew chief are able to adapt very quickly to the tracks that they frequent recently. To me, that says a lot about how prepared they are and the possibility of Kevin Harvick, in particular, being the one to watch to win the championship this year.

Although Denny Hamlin is looking very strong this year, I’m not sure that he’s gonna be the one to take on Kevin Harvick. Of course it is possible that he could surprise me and take it all the way to the end and be in the final four and it be a race to the checkered flag for him and Kevin Harvick at the end of the year. That’s another scenario I’m not saying will happen, but I am saying it could happen.

If you would have asked this fan several weeks ago what his opinion of the Chevys was, he would have told you then it looked like they had turned things around and it was going to be a wild ride to the end of the season. Unfortunately, it appears the Chevys have stumbled and not just the Hendrick Chevys. All of the Chevys just don’t seem to be running all that well. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I think the Chevys will underperform this weekend. In fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see one of the Hendrick Chevys win at Kentucky or possibly even a Chevy from the Richard Childress camp. Of the Hendrick Motorsports teams, any one of the four could take home the win. Chase Elliott has been the fastest on a regular basis but then again, William Byron and Alex Bowman have had their shining moments also. Maybe that will surprise some of you that I say that but, there has to come a point where the Chevys put it all together again.

Personally, I would really like to see and Jimmie Johnson win on his first trip back from a weekend off and take a trip to Victory Lane for the first time in a long time. Will it happen? Well, probably not… well that is unless his luck takes a turn around…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 11, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

NASCAR Cup At Indy In 2020 from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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Well… As you can tell, I’m back for at least one more NASCAR Cup race and this one is at Indy. I’m not sure if it will be the same without the fans in the stands but I am sure it will be the same NASCAR that competed last weekend at Pocono. Well… there is one exception. Jimmie Johnson won’t be there for what was supposed to be his final Indy 400 at the famous track at Indianapolis. Covid and the NASCAR process for those that test positive for this disease has seen to that.

For the kind of year it has been for NASCAR and Jimmie Johnson, you can’t help but feel a little bit of his pain. This was supposed to be his year of farewell to the sport he has had such an impact on and it has been one setback after another. After all, Jimmie is a seven-time NASCAR Cup champion and definitely bound for the NASCAR Hall of Fame at some time in the future. As a fan of NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports and Jimmie Johnson, I would have really liked to have seen him win that eighth Cup Championship. Not because I didn’t or don’t like the other two that have seven but because I would just liked to have seen it. Of course, the season isn’t over yet and there is still a long-shot possibility he could pull it off but, I just don’t think it is in the cards for him.

It is unfortunate that he hasn’t had stellar years over the last few but he has still left a fine legacy in the sport. As many have stated over time, he is probably the one of the most underrated drivers in the sport. He has accomplished a lot in his time in NASCAR and his record tells part of the story. The rest is told by the way he has represented himself and the sport on and off the track.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is well known for more than just NASCAR. The Xfinity cars ran the road course on Saturday after the Indy cars that same day and I imagine that may open the door for the Cup cars to run that course someday in the future. I guess it would be similar to the Roval at Charlotte. Whatever the case, that’s not what will be happening Sunday afternoon. Sunday afternoon Will be a normal NASCAR race at the historic Speedway except there will be no fans no practice and no qualifying. That in itself could make it a very interesting afternoon or a very boring one.

To be honest, I have absolutely no idea have which drivers, teams and makes will win this one. I really think it will come down to strategy plays and track position. From this fans view, I am sure the Fords Will show the strength they have recently and of course, Joey Logano will be starting on the pole or, at least was supposed to when I started writing this, So I’m sure he will be a player unless something goes wrong. His teammate, Brad Keselowski, usually makes a good showing at Indy however I’m not gonna put all my stock in the Penske teams, including Ryan Blaney.

The Stewart Haas teams always seem to show up ready to race at Indy and they could be the contenders this weekend for taking the checkered flag. I’m not saying they’re the only ones that might win; I’m just saying they’re are the ones to watch, (well, at least as far as the Fords go.)

Just taking a quick look back at Pocono, Chevy fans may not have much too celebrate at the end of the day. They just didn’t run that well at Pocono. I think this will be a good test for the Hendrick Chevy’s. Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and William Byron could finish at or very near the front; but not unless they and their teams figured out what they did wrong at Pocono. Yeah, I know the Chase Elliott finished very well last weekend but I have seen Him and his team struggle in the past and sometimes the struggle becomes quite hurtful in loss of points and positions. Fortunately, for him he already has a win and that kind of guarantees him being in the playoffs.

I’m really questioning what kind of racing we will see this weekend. Indy is a fantastic track but it wasn’t made for stock cars even though they do very well there. So I guess I’ll just have to wait and see the end result.

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 5, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

A Historic NASCAR Weekend At Pocono from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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Hi everyone. I decided to do something a little different this week and talk about Pocono after the fact. After all, with all of the rain delays and lightning delays and no people in the stands, it was a relatively long weekend at Pocono and not just for the Cup teams. It really was a historic week for NASCAR at Pocono with all of the racing that took place over two days but what’s even more interesting to this fan is how difficult it seems for the drivers to adapt to no fans in the stands.

I have to admit that the racing, at least to this fan, wasn’t really all that interesting. Of course, Pocono is not one of my favorite races to watch nor is it one of my favorite races to talk about. You see I have a long running disagreement with the way they talk about Pocono anyway. Pocono is the only race track that they talk about differently when they come to the turns. They say there are only three. I say there are six. Why do you suppose that is? I assure you, I don’t really know their thinking other than they want to make themselves seem different than every other race track except maybe one.

I do admit that it is a different race track as far as the way that it’s designed. What I find interesting is that, at any other track, when you enter a turn and when you exit a turn, both are numbered as turns. But not so at Pocono! At Pocono, a turn entry and a turn exit is counted as one turn. If you look at a normal oval instead of a triangle you will find they count the turns as they enter, turn one and as they exit, turn two.

I guess if I think it through completely, Pocono is numbered similarly to the Indianapolis Speedway or maybe a Road Course. I guess it could have to do with the straight sections instead of the continuing curve at those two locations. You see, if it were me, I would count the turns the way they count the turns just about everywhere else that you have a continuing curve. At Pocono, there would be six turns. At Indianapolis, there would be eight turns so, as you can see I’m confused when it comes to the way they count turns at these race tracks.

Now, I suppose you’re wondering why I’m taking so much time to talk about the way they number the turns at Pocono and so little time talking about the races. Well I do have a good reason for that and I will share part of it with you. You see, I don’t have a lot of filler information or interest in getting into the inflammatory situations at hand. These are things that have to be handled individually and I don’t like all of the rhetoric that goes along with such volatile things. People can say a lot of things and vent a lot of frustrations but in doing so it seems that very little gets accomplished. I don’t want to get into that.

Watching NASCAR these days has become a lot like what the drivers go through when they climb from their cars after they’ve taken the winning checkered flag. I think I began to lose interest this year when they began to consider iRacing to be simply the same as the real cars being on the real tracks. I do admit, that the iRacing developing team has done a great job of building their program, their graphics and all of the things that they present to make it seem so realistic. To me, it is a great presentation for those that can afford or want to get involved in iRacing itself but it was no replacement in any way for the real racing in NASCAR that was preempted because of the pandemic.

Am I criticizing the iRacers? No, I just don’t think that much of Fox Sports for trying to make it something that it wasn’t. In fact, I think they should have just decided to leave the iRacing as it was and is. It was, and is, a game made for gamers and drivers to hone their skills. It has nothing to do with real, on the track NASCAR racing in any of the series.

Not that it doesn’t require skill which was proven when the NASCAR regulars joined in and had never done it before. It showed how long it takes to develop the skill. I didn’t even have a problem when they had NASCAR drivers join the regular iRacers. I did, however, have a problem when it became sort of a requirement for all, or at least most, of the regular NASCAR drivers to become iRacers. In reality, and from this fan’s opinion and viewpoint, I think they probably did it just because of the loss of revenue because of the loss of the real NASCAR racing. By bringing in the regular NASCAR drivers in larger numbers, they knew more people would watch something that they wouldn’t normally watch. To me that was a cheap shot at NASCAR fans. (Like I said, at least that’s MY opinion.)

We do live in difficult times for now and it is unfortunate that NASCAR and some of the fans of NASCAR have had knee jerk reactions to some of the decisions and things that have happened recently. I don’t criticize anyone, but all of this chaos in so many different areas and ways has caused me to lose interest in the sport that I’ve been a part of for many, many years. I also think that this is a natural progression for me and others. Losing interest has been difficult and maybe even a little hard to admit. I’m not saying I won’t continue watching and even writing about NASCAR but, I am saying it is more difficult to watch a race completely through or even write about it. I find I record more races and speed search through the most boring parts more regularly than I once did or just wait and find out who won later.

I don’t know, maybe I just need a break…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 30, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Talladega More Than Just A Challenge For Cup Teams from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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Talladega… There’s not much that can be said that hasn’t been said about the Super Speedway at Talladega Alabama. In fact, there’s not a whole lot that can be said that hasn’t been said about anything lately. I think just about everybody’s run out of things to say about the way NASCAR is proceeding through these times and I won’t try to offer anything new but, I will give my opinion on what’s to come on race day Sunday afternoon.

This race at Talladega will be another race with no qualifying and no practice. So, in that sense, it will be just like many of the races they’ve already run since the “pandemic” hit and everyone took a little break. One thing that will be different is that they will be allowing around 5000 people in the stands. Now, that should prove to be interesting to say the least. I’m sure there are those that think that this is a bad move and time will tell if that’s the case but, it’s time for people to get their lives back, (at least that’s my opinion.)

I’m just giving you my opinion of these super speedway races and I have to admit that I still like the superspeedway races even with the rules that they have and the way that they make them compete. Restrictor plates made a big difference and then the engine rules and changes to other things have made a big difference also. Now that they’re no longer called restrictor plate races, there still restricted in how fast they can go. Of course, they will probably not set any new speed records but the racing is still very good at a super speedway race. As the talking heads like to say, “If you’re in it you can win it.”

Admittedly, that is true. I have to agree that anyone can win one of these depending on what happens with the “big one” (or Big Ones) or just how things pan out at the very end of the race. Let’s just say, if someone unexpected wins, it wouldn’t be the first time that ever happened.

I know I’ve said this many times before and I also know that many don’t care what I remember from when I used to race myself but, some of my favorite races were where we raced door handle door handle and bumper to bumper for lap after lap. Of course, on the short tracks we were running at much lower speeds but the sensation is the same. You can look in your mirror and see the cars behind you, you can look out your window and see the cars beside you and you can look in front of you and see the cars ahead of you, (unless you’re in the lead), and there’s no place for you to go except where the pack is going and you’re all going about the same speed. To put it another way, your life (or your race) is in the hands of those around you.

I think that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy these type races so much. It’s because for much of the time, no one really has an advantage. As we watch, we have no idea who might be able to pull out and get help and move ahead of those that were once ahead of them. It’s also interesting to watch to see how they handle adversity either caused by equipment failures or mistakes by the drivers they’re running with. Unfortunately, it’s also true that these type races can become a little bit boring depending on what the drivers decide to do as they click off the laps. One of the advantages of stage racing is that there are at least three times when the racing really gets interesting. That’s when they go for the points.

It’s true, I could go on for many more paragraphs and talk about my fondness for super speedway races but, I won’t do that. (Besides, I would probably be the only one interested in hearing what I have to say.) When it comes to these type races it is extremely difficult to pick a winner before the race or even as the race progresses but, it’s not hard to have favorites. I know that I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am a Chevy fan and I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am a Hendrick Motor Sports fan. Naturally, it would follow that I would pick one of the Hendrick teams to win and hope that a Chevy wins. That’s not necessarily what will happen during this race on Sunday afternoon but, it is the hope of this fan that it will. I won’t go into a long list of those names that I think could or should win, or that I hope will win, but it is enough to say I’d like a Chevy to win.

OK, I know that sounds like I’m a little bit biased and it’s probably true that I am but, the facts are, that this won’t be a race that’s a challenge just for the drivers and teams that are in it but it will be a test for NASCAR, the fans that are allowed in the stands and those of us watching. Much as there are some that will probably not watch because of decisions NASCAR made recently, I will be watching simply because I like to watch these type races on the Super Speedways and even though I have my opinions and my favorites, I’m not going to be making any political statements or raising a ruckus but watching just to see the race…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 20, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Homestead Is Next from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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It’s a busy weekend at Homestead, FL and all of the NASCAR series are showing up to do a little racing. The Cup teams take on Homestead Sunday afternoon and we can only hope that the racing will be good. Unless you’ve been totally disconnected recently, you already know that there is a lot going on in NASCAR and not all of it is without controversy. I wish I could say that everyone agrees with NASCAR’s decisions and thinks that they do what they do for all the right reasons. Unfortunately, I really don’t think that’s the case. Without going into these matters at hand and getting involved in controversy after controversy or disagreement after disagreement, I’ll just try to talk about the Sunday afternoon race that’s coming up.

I will say this though. I’ve been a NASCAR fan for a long, long time. I’ve seen a lot of changes and a lot of fans and drivers come and go. There have been disagreements and controversies that have come along and there have been people that have joined NASCAR and left NASCAR over the years. No matter how you view it, these times are different times. Without being completely specific, I have to say that these are very trying times for all of us and for our country. Personally, I do hope cooler heads will prevail and we stop with all the knee-jerk reactions that often bring regrets later.

Now that I’ve said all that, what I have to say about the race will probably not be as long as most of my articles are. This one will be relatively short for several reasons. For one, I have limited time this weekend for personal reasons and I don’t have a whole lot to say about the Homestead race. I will say that the racing at Martinsville was both exciting and boring to me. It seems that every time I think that the Chevys are making headway, the Fords and the Toyotas make a strong showing.

Now, since I know you’re very familiar with my thinking on makes since I’ve made no attempt to hide my loyalty to Chevrolet, I have to admit that I still want to see the Chevys win more than they do. Maybe that’s not fair to Toyota fans or Ford fans but, it is fair for me since I’m a Chevy fan. So, Martin Truex Jr. winning at Martinsville is good for him, his team and Toyota but not so good for those of us Chevy fans. It’s OK though, we don’t hold it against you Ford and Toyota fans and there’s a good chance the Chevys could make a good, strong showing at Homestead, maybe even end up in Victory Lane. I also don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to think that a Hendrick driver might be the one in Victory Lane and it could be Jimmie Johnson.

It’s not really much of a surprise to this fan that the Fords or starting on the front row nor a surprise me if the Toyotas don’t make a strong showing at this track since they usually do. What I am wondering is whether or not they will get to race at the usual time or if it will be delayed because of rain. We have been having quite a bit of afternoon rain over the last several days down here in Florida. How ever it goes, one thing is sure. Someone will win and they will either be driving a Toyota, a Ford or a Chevy. Nobody will know until the checkered flag drops. After all, this is just my opinion and, with all that’s going on, there probably ain’t nobody listening anyway…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 13, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

On To Atlanta With No Practice Or Qualifying from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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The NASCAR Cup teams are taking it to Atlanta this weekend and, once again, they’re doing it without practice or qualifying. As I said recently, it looks like NASCAR might be finding a way to change the way they do racing, at least in the near future. The reason I say that is because it doesn’t seem to affect the racing in any negative way without those things. Of course, we all know that this is a very different time but, I think it is plausible for NASCAR to continue doing what they’re doing without practice and qualifying and still continue to have good racing. I seriously doubt they’ll take any of my advice about that but for the present, it seems this is working out very well and, at least from this fans view, the racing seems to be a little better(?) And more intense. Well, I’m not so sure that everyone feels the way I do about it but it has been interesting.

Of course, we really need people in the stands so that when the drivers do something like win or make a good move or just get out and mix it up with somebody, the fans can give them their uproarious support either for or against. it’s pretty obvious to this fan that it does affect the drivers without having the fan reaction when they climb out of the car for whatever reason, especially after they’ve won. I would say it has taken a little bit of getting used to.

If I could reflect on the days when I used to race, I remember that it was really great to have that fan reaction after a hard-fought battle with someone for the win. I even remember having an accident like being put in the wall or rolling over are numerous times on the front straightaway in front of the stands and hearing their reaction. Somehow it makes it a little easier to take when you climb out of the car and everybody yells and cheers because they know you’re OK. (Trust me, I’ve been there both ways…)

Before I talk about this weekend’s race at Atlanta come I would like to make a short comment on what happened between Joey Logano and Chase Elliott near the end of the race last weekend at Bristol. I really didn’t see it the way that several did and I don’t know if it’s because I was able to watch the camera shots or because I just saw it differently. It seems that Joey Logano thought Chase Elliott got him loose by giving him a nudge after Denny Hamlin got into the loose stuff and gave the lead away to Joey Logano. From my view, it appears that Chase might have taken the air off of Logano’s spoiler and that’s what caused Joey to lose traction and slide up as Denny Hamlin had just before him.

Shortly after that the caution came out and as the cameras followed Elliot in Logano I think down the back street, Logano got into Elliott’s bumper and gave him a good long hard push, appearing to let him know that he wasn’t happy with him pushing him up and towards the wall. Since I don’t think that’s what happened it is possible that Chase had a little bit of a temper resurgence and that’s why he drove so hard into the turn after the restart even though it was pretty obvious he was trying to win the race and definitely over drove it.

What struck me is more than a little humorous, was how upset Joey Logano was that Chase had done that to him – driven into the turn so hard as to take them both out – as though he had never done that to someone else in the past. It appears that all he really wanted was an apology in for Chase to man up. Funny, it seems I recall times when Joey didn’t do that himself.

Oh well, enough of that…

The race this weekend in Atlanta should prove to be very interesting and there are several that could end up in Victory Lane. We talk about people that have won there numerous times or several times before, they’re the ones that are likely to win again. Well, at least that’s what we’re told. However, I think the Chevy just might win this one. I know there are several others that could win whether it be in a Toyota or Ford. I just think that this could be where Jimmy Johnson actually gets over his100 race losing streak. No I’m not saying that he will because chase Elliott has been running strong too along with teammate William Byron and Alex Bowman. Those four right there are probably the biggest reason that I suspect or at least am expecting a Chevy will end up in Victory Lane. Now, I could be wrong and that wouldn’t be anything new but don’t be surprised if it happens Just the way I say.

I do admit that Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney all have a chance and there is also a good chance Martin Truex Jr. could pull off the victory. I can’t tell you how much I hope that Joey Logano doesn’t win, (it’s a personal thing with me), but unfortunately, he is a possible winner also. Of course. there’s always that guy named Brad Keselowski (and you already know how his luck has been running.)

The thing about this race in Atlanta is that the track is pretty well worn out, there are multiple grooves the drivers can run in, and strategy is going to play a very strategic part in this one. The fuel mileage is going to be much further than the tire mileage and that should make things interesting. Who knows, someone completely unexpected could win this one and it wouldn’t surprise any of us, would it?

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 6, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated