Cup Teams And The Ally 400 at Nashville        

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

The Cup Teams take on the Nashville Superspeedway this afternoon and it looks a little different from the get-go. For one, it is interesting that there is a Ford driven by Josh Berry. Sure, I know Denny Hamlin won the pole and has a very fast Toyota BUT, Josh Berry is associated with SHR and he has been showing a lot of speed himself lately. Not bad for a team from an organization that is going to shut down at the end of this 2024 season. I find it kind of fascinating that they appeared to have left their sort of mediocre season behind and have been qualifying and running very well since the announcement of the closing has been made. It just makes this fan wonder, where were they before the closing of SHR was made. I think it’s more than just the Fords have found more speed since the beginning of the season.

There’s something else interesting going on in the series, too. Kind of suddenly, there is a real difference at the top of the playoff standings. Christopher Bell has come out of the minor slump he’s been in and he is now being listed as the close favorite to be the champ along with Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin. Yeah, I know Kyle has been in his own struggle for a few weeks and not all of it has been something in his control. Both he and Bell have three wins and both show up almost every weekend as the ones to beat.

Okay, maybe it is still a little early to be talking about which of the drivers might end up as regular season champ because it is still a very tight situation at the top of the chart. There is beginning to be a pattern showing up here though. The top ten starters at Nashville Superspeedway today are all ones that have shown a lot of strength lately.

The one that stands out to me as one that is still struggling on a week-to-week basis is William Byron. He is one of the four that has three wins this season but the last several weeks haven’t been all that kind to him and his crew chief, Rudy Fugle. At the start of this season, at least from this fan’s view, he looked to be one of the most likely drivers to be at the top of the charts all the way to the end of the regular season and possibly even to take the championship.

Even with his struggles lately, he is still very much in the hunt and it is possible his slump could make a U-turn like Bells has lately. It’s not so much he has totally fallen off the cliff but it is obvious there is a struggle to perform at the same level they were at the beginning of the season. Even though both he and his crew chief talk positively about the way things are going and their expectations are high almost every week, there is a sense they need to turn things around and do so soon. And like I just said, that could happen at any time.

A quick look at the top twenty starters for this race shows there are twenty possible winners for the Ally 400 today. Of course, I know that’s a bit of an overstatement but it is true. In fact, there are probably several dark horses scattered throughout the field and it is possible one of them could take the win today and totally shake up the points, especially around the ones trying to make the playoffs that don’t have any wins yet.

Until last weekend’s race at New Hampshire, Bubba Wallace and Joey Logano were in a very tight race for that sixteenth spot. After the race, Wallace had slipped a bit and now he needs a good performance at Nashville to stay in close, points wise. An unexpected winner could put him and Logano in a precarious place as the Cup teams move toward the playoffs.

Gee, Nashville is such a dynamic racetrack, it is hard to even begin to say which if the drivers might have the best chance to win today. It is a definite from this fan’s view that any one of the top fifteen could come away as the winner today at Nashville Superspeedway. Actually, from this fan’s view, I really expect the winner to come from the top five or six but, since this is the NASCAR Cup Series, I have to admit there are several that could win and several that could surprise us all at the end of the race.

Honestly, I’m just not sure what will happen but I do think it will likely come down to the top six qualifiers and three of them in particular.

Do I want to say which are those I’m thinking about? Yeah, but I won’t…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 30, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

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