From this fan’s view, one thing can be said about the 2010 NASCAR season… it was different. Now I guess you’re wondering, do I mean different in a good way or a bad way. Well… I hate to disappoint anyone of you, but I think last season was one of the best NASCAR seasons ever, (and I’ve been around a long time.)
I know some will disagree and you’re entitled to your opinion, but with the changes NASCAR made in the rules, (and of course, the “boys have at it” statement), I’ve been hard pressed to find anyone that didn’t find something to like about last year. There is the one exception though… more than a few are still upset that Jimmie Johnson won his fifth championship in a row. I’d like to say I feel your pain, but the truth is… I don’t.
Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and all of Hendrick Motorsports have worked hard to accomplish what they have and no one should hold that against them. The #48 Hendrick team in particular has raised the bar to a new level and the other teams are just now beginning to catch up to them. Will the #48 team make it six in a row? It is possible, but if they do it won’t be because the other teams aren’t putting any pressure on them.
Just a quick look back at the end of the season could foretell how the coming season may shape up. Carl Edwards and Jack Roush Racing had a strong finish to the year and I know Kevin Harvick is looking forward to having another strong year, just as he did last year. I guess you could say all of Richard Childress Racing feels the same way, too. In fact, I think Denny Hamlin and Kyle Bush of Joe Gibbs Racing will take up from where they left off last season, too. Now that I’ve said that, it will be interesting to see what actually happens and who sets the bar from the beginning of the season and carries it through to the end.
Performance aside, the disappearance of the wing early in the year and several other small changes to the way the races are run made a gigantic difference in the strategy and planning for a race by the crew chiefs, especially when pit stops happen near the end. As it is right now, it seems as though we’ve been under these rules for quite a while. Of course, as long as the racing is as good as its been, no body really cares what rule changes NASCAR makes as long as they don’t mess up what they’ve already accomplished.
Well, that’s enough looking back for now. 2011 looks like it will be another great year for NASCAR. I’m thinking it could even be better this year (if anyone can imagine that.) Of course, I know every time we think the racing in NASCAR can’t get any better, something happens to make it do just that.
Whether it is NASCAR making some minor adjustments to the rules or just the teams being more competitive against each other, I think we, as fans, have a lot of good things in store for us. I haven’t heard to much new on the changes for the coming year yet, but I do think whatever the hierarchy says will probably good moves. No matter what some may say, NASCAR doesn’t make changes on the spur of the moment and they don’t make changes just to be making changes. They make changes to make the racing better for the fans and to make the sport more competitive. As someone who used to race and has been a NASCAR fan for a long time, I am glad they do what they do when they do it.
Most likely on Friday, NASCAR fans will know more about what changes will be made for the upcoming season. Listening to the buzz of interested parties, it seems only part of the information important to us all will be made known by then and more will be coming out next week on the possible changes to the Chase and any other incidentals before Daytona and beyond.
Hey, the season looks like it’s going to be a good one and, if you’re like me, you can’t wait for it to get started either…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© January 19, 2011 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman and Nascarfansview.com
(All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions)