Will ‘The Glen’ Be A Chase Game Changer?


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Road Racing these days in NASCAR is a whole lot different than it used to be. Years ago, it was just something many drivers and teams suffered through until they got to the next oval track. Nowadays, it seems most, if not all of the drivers and teams, take it much more seriously. Now it is something they work at becoming better at doing it all the time.


So, does that mean they all are great Road Racers? No, not at all, but what it does mean is that the competition is much better than it used to be. Even when the teams bring in road racing “ringers,” they don’t tend to outrun the Cup regulars much at all anymore. Personally, from this fan’s view, I am glad so many of the regular Cup drivers have taken such an interest in trying to master the Road courses.


The Glen is a much faster track than the track in California and once again several of the drivers broke the old track record in qualifying. Not unexpectedly, Marcos Ambrose took the pole position and set a new track record while doing it also. He will definitely be one this fan will be watching to take the win this afternoon. I have to say, he will be very tough to beat, but he does have some very stiff competition starting next to him on the front row and in the field behind him.


Truthfully, there are some very good road racers running at The Glen and a lot of them are starting in the top fifteen. Of course there are some very good road racers further back in the field, too.


One of the unexpected ones for this fan is Clint Bowyer and he will start next to Marcos Ambrose. He has turned out to be a very good road racer and has been heard to say he even looks forward to hitting the road tracks. He has run very good at them and is another one to watch as the race this afternoon comes down to the final laps.


There are four Toyotas starting in the top five and that could mean trouble for some of the teams that need good finishes to improve or solidify their chances for making the Chase. That’s why this fan wonders if The Glen will be a game changer and I also wonder how much the standings might be shaken up after today’s race.


A close look at the standings from eighth to fifteenth doesn’t show that much separation. In fact, less than 30 points separates the eighth place from the fourteenth. To make one of the biggest understatements of the day, I say it’s pretty tight and it won’t take much to really shake up the standings in that part of the points race.


The four Hendrick teams didn’t qualify at all well. Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne made the best showings but only managed starting spots of 18th and 19th. Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon will start 25th and 28th in the lineup. I really hate to state the obvious but, from this fan’s view, they definitely have their work cut out for themselves. Neither of them have a win but of the two, Gordon is in the most precarious position. With so few races left before the Chase, he can’t afford any bad finishes and really needs at least one win to solidify a spot in the Chase. With the way the present points system works, it is much easier to lose positions than it is to make them up. Starting that far back in the field today puts a lot of pressure on him to finish at least in the top ten this afternoon. Unless all of the Hendrick teams find some speed and make use of some good strategy, that doesn’t look very promising.


Having said that, the top five starting spots in particular have made strong showings on road courses over the past couple of seasons and any one of them could win this afternoon. Kyle Bush is due and last year looked to have the race locked up until oil on the track and a little touch from Brad Keselowski set up one of the most exciting finishes of last season. We all know Marcos Ambrose ended up winning over Brad Keselowski but it was definitely intense.


From this fan’s view, this should prove to be a very interesting race. As usual, I don’t always put a lot of stock in qualifying and today’s race is no different. I’m not exactly sure which of the obvious front runners could win but, barring the unforeseen, I would say it could be a shootout with any of the top ten starters. Of course, this is The Glen and it is NASCAR and anything can happen by the time the checkered flag drops. I’m just not so sure those that need a good finish will get it…


See ya next time…

All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer

© August 11, 2013 – all rights reserved

Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com

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