Cup Teams Taking It To The Streets  

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

The Cup teams are taking it to the streets. No, that’s not an old Doobie Brothers song… they’re taking it to the streets of Chicago and this is for the first time ever in the history of NASCAR. But then, with all the hype that’s been going on about today’s race, you already knew that didn’t you.

So, I’ve been hearing all the talk about how great this is for the sport from the many talking heads and drivers along with their teams but, I’m not so sure this is anything more than excitement generated from something new for the NASCAR fans and teams. Personally, I’m not so sure this is going to be as good as expected. I mean, what I saw in the practice and especially the qualifying was something different but also something that could make or break this race.

Hey, I’m not trying to be critical about it. I think it’s great they try new things in NASCAR trying to add to the fan base. I’m just not so sure this is something that’s going to be more than a one or two time thing. I could be wrong and it wouldn’t be the first time but, I’m just not so sure this is going to be a “thing” that lasts into the distant future. I don’t know, I may be surprised and that wouldn’t be anything new either but I’m just not so sure it’s going to “catch on.”

Being real for a moment, one thing that stood out to me was in some of the interviews with the drivers. When asked how they felt about the track and what was happening with this race, it seemed to me what they talked about the most was the difference in seeing the buildings and racing in the streets, not much else. Sure, I understand it’s new and different. I understand the drivers like new challenges and that’s a good thing. I’m just not so sure the novelty won’t wear off pretty quickly.

Look, I know I sound like I don’t like change but that’s simply not true. I think change is good and new experiences are too. I’m just not so sure this is one that will stay around the sport for an extended period. It may be good for one or two times and maybe keeping to street racing but changing the venue on a regular basis could make it last longer but time will tell on that. I guess it will be a wait and see kind of thing, at least from this fan’s view.

Okay, now that I’ve spouted off a bit, let me get to the racing (from my view, of course.)

There is no doubt in my mind this is going to be a different and interesting race. In many ways it will be much like a regular road course event but the look and feel to the fans and the drivers will be quite a bit different. We’ve already seen there are places on the course that were trouble for some and I expect we could see problems add up for many as the race progresses. The more cars in an area that has already caused trouble will more than likely be trouble multiple times as the race progresses.

I already expect the racing to be much different than the qualifying. Even though there were multiple cars on the track during qualifying, possible problems have already become obvious when all of them are on the course and competing for position and points. Passing is going to be interesting and I imagine emotions and tempers are going to show up as the race progresses. For some, a good day can turn to bad just because patience will run short as aggression takes over.

Yeah, I know. I could be over-reacting to what I think might happen, but then, we have seen pretty aggressive driving most every race this season. I don’t expect that to change and, with the type of race this is, I expect it might be elevated just a little bit more. After all, there are several drivers that need wins more than points if they expect to qualify for the playoffs and the time is getting shorter and shorter to do so. I expect that to be a factor for two things. First, the level of aggression and the desire to win is probably going lead to impatience and bad decisions and bad results. Second, it could lead to overdriving already shown to be precarious areas and ending up with a bad finish because of driver error.

Any way you look at it, when things tighten up and the racing gets intense and close – like on restarts – things are going to happen and emotions are going to run high and tempers might flare. Or… well I guess we’ll see, won’t we…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 2, 2023 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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