Will Dover Be A Monster For The Chasers?


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Last week it was the Magic Mile and this week the NASCAR teams face the Monster at Dover, Delaware. Of course there are those that say Matt Kenseth and his #20 JGR Toyota team’s start to the Chase is the real monster they face. I have to say, with him sitting two for two in this year’s Chase, he is making it difficult for the rest of those in the Chase.


No one can deny Matt Kenseth is having a great year and this fan is certainly not going to. If anyone doubts the truth of that, then they’re just not paying attention or, at least, they’re just not willing to admit it. In fact, except for the year Denny Hamlin has had so far, JGR in general is having a great year. From this fan’s view, unless some of the teams from the other makers step up their game a bit, the Toyotas are going to walk away with the first two spots in the Championship.


Now that I’ve said that, after only completing two races in the Chase so far, a lot can still happen to change the entire landscape of the battle for the Cup Championship this year. Many are already considering this year’s Chase to be down to three drivers and we all know which ones they’re talking about. Yeah, that would be the top three in points at the moment namely, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Bush and Jimmie Johnson.


At first glance it is awfully hard to argue with those thoughts, but from this fan’s view, the 2013 Chase is only one fifth over. What happened in the first two races could happen in reverse for those at the top. With the way the points format works these days, it is much easier to lose points than it is to gain them back. It only takes a couple of really bad finishes from the top teams to completely change things around and yes, it could happen that all three of the top teams at the moment could have a run of bad luck over the next several weeks and everything could even out.


I know what you’re thinking… something like that couldn’t really happen and to even think about it as a possibility is pretty far fetched. Well… that may be true but, it is possible that any one or all three (and even more) could have exactly that happen.


There is no guarantee that the Toyota engine problems won’t return and affect both of the JGR teams and Jimmie Johnson has had year filled with unexpected happenings that have cost him wins and/or good finishes. Now, before you get all bent out of shape and start thinking I’m saying these things are definitely going to happen, I’m not. I’m just saying there is a long way to go in this Chase and, no matter what the last two weeks have shown, anything can happen.


If we rule out the way the top three are expected to run over the next weeks and look at the rest of the Chasers possibilities, it is still just about anybody’s to win. Of course I do admit contemplating this scenario is, in reality, a little bit out there and not likely but, thinking things will continue as they have is also an assumption and we all know what happens when we assume something, right?


So, looking at the way things line up at the moment, Dale Jr. sits on the pole. I can’t say I expected that but this could be where his luck changes and he begins to make a run for the top spot. From this fan’s view, he still has a shot at the top spot but absolutely cannot have one more bad finish. He is already sitting eleventh in points and sixty-two points back. For him to have a real chance at making up that much space, a lot of people have to have some really bad finishes. (Uh, and in case you haven’t noticed yet, Matt Kenseth is starting right next to him on the front row.)


All in all, Dover has been fast and things can happen fast at the Monster Mile. From this fan’s view I think this one is going to be won with consistency and strategy. More positions are likely to be made up in the pits and, as has been proven almost every race this year, track position is going to be the key element. There won’t be room for any mistakes in the pits and the drivers can’t make any coming in or going out of them.


After this one is over and depending on what happens to those in the Chase, we’ll all have a better glimpse of how this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship is going to pan out… well… at least that’s my view anyway.


See ya next time…

All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer

© September 29, 2013 – all rights reserved

Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com

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