The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Season begins again and there are a whole lot changes happening. (Maybe I should say, “whole lotta Changes goin’ on!!!”) From the way they inspect the cars, to the new Chevy Camaros on the Chevy side of things, the new season begins, and it remains to be seen just how the changes will affect it.
Another thing this “old guy” NASCAR fan has taken notice of is how it seems the younger drivers are taking over the driver seats and there are fewer and fewer older drivers around these days. Tony Stewart retired last year, (by choice), Matt Kenseth was given his walking papers at the end of the 2017 season and, of course, Dale Jr. is retired and moving into a broadcast position with NBC Sports. Yeah, I know he has a few races he’s going to take part in, but as far as regular Cup competition, he is not there any longer. Gee, is there someone I missed…? As fast as things change lately, I may have…
Driver changes aren’t the only things going on either. There have been new rules for the cars, ride heights and the number of crew members over the wall on pit roads and the way they inspect the cars. Some of the rules even limit what certain of those crews can do while they are over the wall. I won’t go into these in any depth simply because there has been a plethora of talk about them by just about everyone that generally talks about NASCAR (and, yes, even some that don’t generally talk about it.) In fact, from this fan’s view, there has been a lot of talk about everything related to NASCAR and especially in the last two weeks. (Hey, no surprise there… It’s Daytona!!)
Like every other NASCAR fan I know, I watched The Clash last weekend just to see how some of the new rules and different type cars might affect the racing. The first thing I noticed was how low the cars were riding with the new no ride height rule. They definitely got the backend of the cars down and they looked like they were going to be dragging the ground. It will be interesting to see how that works throughout the rest of the season, especially where it is important for down force. From this fan’s view, the Clash was just a little bit boring to this fan, but then again, they usually are considering how few cars are on the track. From my view, more cars makes for more fun and excitement.
Of course the next part of Daytona was the Dual races on Thursday night. Even more things came to light revealing more of how some of the new rules were going to affect the racing in the restrictor plate controlled drafting, whether we talk about pit stops or how the cars handle. I will be watching the 500 with a little more interest than I might have since we saw how taking the air off the spoiler and the left rear can cause a car to spin. I don’t pretend to know what they will be thinking but from what I observed and with the full field involved in the draft, it could get pretty hairy at times.
This isn’t the first time we have seen or heard of this and we have witnessed it in some fashion in the past. From this fan’s view, that one renewed and enhanced result of a rule change just might be the likely cause of having the “Big One” or several of them. I will also be watching to see if someone uses this new aero aspect to move someone out of the way without touching them. I’m sure they’re all thinking about it and they’re thinking about it from both sides – when they have someone closing the gap on them and pulling inside of their left rear quarter panel and when they are closing on someone and having to do the same thing. If nothing else, it should prove to be interesting.
What I hope to see on Sunday afternoon is a good race with lots of excitement, tension and drama. What I really hope doesn’t happen is a lot of boring, single file racing, lap after lap until it comes down to the last fifty laps or so. That just makes the middle of the race extremely dull, at lest from this fan’s view.
So here’s to hoping we see all of them, Chevys, Fords and Toyotas mixing it up all race long and not just one of the makes dominating the day. I’m not picking a winner but I would like to see the new Chevy Camaros be a part of the equation when it comes down to those final few laps and, honestly, if there has to be a “Big One”, let it be injury free.
Okay, now I’m being real honest. I would love to see a Chevy win it…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© February 17, 2018 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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