Michigan Double Header from a NASCAR Fan’s View

With one of the two Cup races in the books for this weekend at Michigan, one has to wonder if it’s just gonna be between the Fords and the Toyotas when it comes down to it. Kevin Harvick, is looking very strong and could possibly win a second one this weekend adding to his total wins on the 2020 season. He totally dominated yesterday’s race.

Denny Hamlin, in a JGR Toyota is the only Toyota that showed much ability to keep up with the Fords yesterday and this fan can’t help but wonder if it will be the same today. Yes, there were some others that showed some strength here and there but, basically it was Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin. Now, that’s two Fords and one Toyota in case you’re wondering.

There appears to be something going on with Stewart-Haas Racing, especially Kevin Harvick’s #4 SHR Ford, and they show up every week lately ready to race for the win off the truck. Now that doesn’t mean that they win every week, but it does mean that they unload off the truck with a lot of performance.

2020 has been a disastrous year for many of us including those in varying sports as well as NASCAR. Some of the things that are going on could have been avoided if they hadn’t tried so hard to join in on certain things that they should have never joined in on. You see, the iRacing that they covered earlier in the year is good for some but I don’t think it was good for the total sport of NASCAR. Yes, I admit it’s interesting and impressive how their graphics and everything works and looks but it’s still just a video game to me. I know there are others that feel the same way I do about it, but in all honesty, I can only speak for myself. You see it’s not my intention to make any enemies here simply because I’m a little older and really don’t do much gaming. I think it’s fine that other people do, is just not for me. (Perhaps I would feel differently if I could afford to buy into the iRacing thing. Understand, if I had the money I’d even still be trying to race somewhere.)

Speaking of a disastrous 2020, Hendrick motor sports is probably suffering through another one of the biggest continuing letdowns they’ve faced over the last three years. The only one that’s really performing from HMS is Chase Elliott’s #9 team with crew chief, Alan Gustafson. I Will give some honorable mention to Alex Bowman, and William Byron but overall as a team, they’re struggling. Maybe I should say, still struggling.

When the year 2020 started at Daytona, Hendrick Motorsports and the Chevys in general looked like they had figured a few things out. They had a slight redesign of the car and looked pretty strong at the very beginning of the year. Of course, then came the pandemic and the time off and then there was the performance drop-off. The performance drop-off appeared to be almost immediate after the break for the shutdown during the pandemic. Since that time, at least from this fan view, they’ve been relatively struggling to find speed and it’s not just at HMS. All the Chevys appear to be struggling to find speed.

With this being Jimmie Johnson’s final season, unless he decides to go one more year, it has to be a great disappointment to him to not only be having such a bad season But not being able to celebrate the final season In NASCAR with his fans. Of course we know Jimmie Johnson won’t just disappear from the face of the earth, and we really don’t know for sure what is next move will be. Yes, for the year 2020 and him possibly getting into the playoffs, things look pretty bleak. I’m not giving up on him yet but it does look like he’s got some real hurdles to get over to get into the top 16 or even get back to a performance level that would make him a threat to win his eighth Championship before he leaves.

Of course, I could go into a long dissertation of how sad it is that a Champion of his stature is having such a bad year in his final year but there’s no reason for that now. He’s already recognized as one of the best to ever compete in NASCAR and he’s won a lot of championships at a time when they are hard to come by. It’s just sad to see how bad the last few years have been for him.

So, as we watch the race at Michigan today, it will be interesting to see if the Chevys learned anything yesterday that will make them more competitive against the Fords and, in particular, Kevin Harvick. I don’t mind being critical when it’s necessary but I think we are all just trying to get through the year 2020 and criticism comes easy this year. I think it’s great that Kevin Harvick is having such a good year and that Denny Hamlin is also and may have the opportunity to win his first Cup Championship. But until the season is over and things get back to some semblance of normalcy, I’m just wondering… well… nevermind…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© August 9, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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