In This Fan’s Opinion, It’s All About Racing Luck


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Rusty Norman

Well, when it comes right down to it, this fan thinks that some people have missed the point so far this season and in this Chase. When it comes to the Penske teams compared to the other teams that are in the Chase, it appears that their luck has been just a bit better than all the rest. I’ve heard many people and commentators talk about how well Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski have performed so far and I can’t deny that they have done well but, I also have to say that there’s been quite a bit of racing luck that has gone their way, too. In fact, in this fan’s opinion, it’s been more about racing luck rather than just the strength of the teams.

Let’s compare a few things…

In one of the first races in this Chase Joey Logano had an engine blowup coming to the checkered flag and still finished fourth rather than further back. It could have happened sooner and completely changed where he is in this Chase.

Last week, Brad Keselowski was involved in an accident at Talladega and yet it didn’t affect the outcome of his performance that much simply because (in this fan’s opinion) he had a bit of good luck along with the hard work of his team. In that same race at Talladega, Joey Logano was also involved in spinning through the infield but because of “racing luck” his front splitter wasn’t ripped off as it has been for others this year when he went plowing nose-first through the grass. Some might say (and myself included) that was a bit of racing luck too. (I mean, what else could we attribute it to.)

On the other hand, let’s look at Kyle Bush and what happened to him at Talladega. He came into Talladega in the best points position of the non-winners in the contender round and really expected to be able to just have a decent finish and still move on to the elimination round. Unfortunately, he was slowing down to avoid an accident and gets hit from behind and because those racing luck “gods” as some call them, he ends up against the inside wall after hitting it hard and ends up done for the 2014 Chase no matter how hard they tried to fix his severely damaged car and quickly get it back on the track.

Dale Earnhardt Junior had a chance to win the race – if things went right for him – even though he was not performing as well at the end of the race as he was earlier in it. He got caught up in an incident with Greg Biffle, slammed into the wall and, because of not being able to win or finish up front, he is also done for the 2014 Chase.

Now, Jimmie Johnson had a relatively good race going at Talladega but hadn’t always benefited from “good racing luck” in races leading up to Talladega. Because of all that bad luck, (and just generally not performing like everyone expected), he was eliminated from continuing any further in the Chase, mostly because of the circumstances at the end of the race that kept him from winning even though he led the most laps for the day. (In this fan’s opinion, if that’s not bad racing luck, I really don’t know what is.)

So, what am I trying to say here? Well, I’ve heard a lot of people say how well the Penske teams have performed and I do have to agree but, I also have to say that the ugly beast called “racing luck” I’ve been talking about could turn on them at any time. It may be at a very unfortunate time, in particular during the elimination round, or worse yet, when and if they make it into the top four and the beast turns on them at Homestead. (Heaven forbid if they just happen to be leading the race with only a few laps to go and the ugly beast attacks, completely ruining their day.)

Just like the beast attacked Kyle Busch at Talladega, any one of the eight in the elimination round could see the beast of racing luck turn against them and eliminate them from the final four. It is also possible that it could affect anyone of them after they get into the final four in that final race at Homestead in the middle of November going for the 2014 Sprint Cup Championship.

We’ve all heard it said, “when it’s your year, it’s your year,” but from this fan’s view, this year in particular it seems as though the Penske teams have benefited much more from good racing luck than they have from bad racing luck. Now I’m not saying that they haven’t tasted the wrath of that beast called “racing luck” but I am saying that they have fared far better than many of the others have so far throughout these first 30 races in 2014.

Will it make any difference as we progress through this elimination round into the final four? Well, from this fan’s view that beast can raise its ugly head at any time against anyone and all of them are just hoping that it’s not them. Well, at least not them being in the right place at the wrong time when the beast attacks…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© October 22, 2014 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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