Cup Teams At Nashville

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

For the first time in thirty-seven years, this weekend is the first time NASCAR Cup teams take on the Nashville Superspeedway. Well… at least that’s what they say. But, is it true? Yeah, it kinda is depending on how you look at it.

I know you’ve been hearing about Nashville Superspeedway off and on over the last several weeks and it is almost like a new venue for the Cup teams if you consider that the Cup teams haven’t actually had a sanctioned race there in such a long time. It may not actually be a foreign track to some drivers and, depending on how long they’ve been around the sport, they may have run a lot of laps at the place.

Some have run here in what is now called the Xfinity series and in the days when NASCAR allowed testing at tracks that weren’t part of the normal Cup season circuit, it used to be a place the teams frequented for that very purpose. So, even though we can’t say it is the first time, it will be for some of the drivers since they either weren’t born yet or they weren’t anywhere near the driving age the last time the Cup teams took to the track.

So… what is so special or appealing about the Nashville Superspeedway?

From this fan’s view, one of the biggest reasons it is special is it is Nashville. It also appears it is going to be a race full of surprises and good hard racing. After all, it is a concrete track and it is, or will prove to be, one of the more challenging tracks in NASCAR.

If you’ve been paying attention over the last week or so, you’ve probably noticed many have already chosen the winner of this race. Yeah, I know you know the one I’m talking about and that would be, Kyle Larson. In his last six races, his worst finishing position is second. Over those six, he has three seconds and three wins. Even though he has performed well on just about every type track, he has particularly excelled on mile and a half tracks. The Nashville Superspeedway is a little under a mile and a half.

That could very well mean another win for Larson but, he does have three teammates that have been running really strong right there with him. In fact, the Hendrick cars have been the class of the field for a while now. Even in the fifty-minute practice session Saturday afternoon, the Hendrick cars looked like they were ready to take it to the rest of the teams again. William Byron and Kyle Larson pretty much ran identical laps to claim the top spots in practice. Since qualifying won’t take place until Sunday morning, I personally won’t know how they will line up for the race. This will be posted long before qualifying begins but, my suspicion is, the Hendrick teams will likely be at or near the top of the charts.

That may be sticking my neck way out there since anything can happen in qualifying but I am reasonably sure I will be correct in what I’ve just stated judging from their recent performances.

I suppose it is also possible that any one of the others could find something and end up leading the field to the green flag but, I just don’t get the idea that all that much will change overnight. I could be wrong and I know there are those that hope I am but, going against the performance of the Hendrick teams just isn’t something I think would be wise at the time of this writing.

Admittedly, there are reasons the Hendrick teams could surprise me and not perform as well as I think they will but, the other drivers and teams are going to have to step up their game a little. I know some of the drivers like Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin do have an incentive to take it to them and, of the two, Hamlin has been performing better than Harvick. That doesn’t mean a whole lot in my thinking but it is also possible either of them could surprise me. Another that could be little less of a surprise would be Kyle Bush. He has shown some strength in the last couple of races or so and he could be the one to overcome the Hendrick teams.

After last week in the All Star Race, Brad Keselowski did show the ability to run with Kyle Larson and I won’t rule out either of the Penske Fords because of that. Joey Logano and Brad are hungry enough to push the envelope at Nashville and maybe take the victory. Not saying they will but saying either of them could…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 19, 2021 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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