NASCAR Is Back – Kinda – Well Sorta from a NASCAR Fan’s View

Well… NASCAR is back! Well so am I but… that doesn’t mean we’re really back does it? That’s right. I don’t really think NASCAR is totally back until there’s people in the stands and things are back to, “normal.” Of course, there are a lot of people that there is actually something new to watch in a sports program on television instead of all those repeats they’ve been running. Honestly, I think that people are tired of watching reruns of football games, reruns of baseball games and reruns of all the races that NASCAR has probably ever had. Well… ok; maybe that’s a little bit of an overstatement. What I probably should say is that all of the races that they thought people might want to watch that they haven’t seen in awhile.

I know that everyone discovered iRacing and Fox Sports made a fairly big deal out of it and many people, especially the younger people, thought it was the best thing to happen since, well, whatever it is that they think is the best thing since it happened. I’ve already given you my opinion of iRacing, but I have to admit that their graphics and the way that they did things was pretty spectacular compared to what things used to be like in days gone by, (or maybe I should say, years past.) The reason I particularly point out younger people is because younger people (and I’m not talking about people that are really all that young necessarily,) but people that are gamers. They play games on their TV and you know as well as I, gaming is very popular. But, since I used to drive and own a race car, for me there’s nothing like the real thing. I’m sorry, but playing a game is not the same as actually being on the track and smelling the burning fuel, the hot rubber and all the things that go along with bumping and banging and especially the live competition and winning.

Look, I understand that a lot of the things about the iRacing is much like being on track but it’s really not the same no matter how you look at it. One of the things that disappointed me was that a lot of criticism went around about two drivers in particular and one of them actually lost his ride in NASCAR Cup. It is unfortunate what happened And I understand it all but it is still a shame that it happened that way.

As a side note, if i had the extra money that it takes to get a rig that’s good enough to win with I would work at it and probably do the same thing that many others do. At least after the initial expense, you don’t have to keep rebuilding and engine or a car whenever you wreck or blow up the engine. So, in that sense the biggest expense you have is the rig and they go from relatively inexpensive to very expensive. I guess, if the truth be known and I had the extra money, I wouldn’t mind doing the iRacing thing but I’m gonna have to leave it at that.

Alright, I’ve said enough about that (and much more than I intended to.) Before I go, I would like to say a few words about the racing that transpired at Darlington twice this last week and the upcoming Coca Cola 600.

First, I think NASCAR did a good job with all of the regulations they had to follow to come back to racing live at the track, of course without the fans. I also thought that the drivers did very well since they’ve been off for a while and only been able to do that iRacing thing. It was interesting to see how well they performed without any practice and no qualifying, so maybe they don’t need all of that anymore. (ha, ha)

OK, actually it was pretty good racing considering that they had really no time on the track other than when they dropped the green flag. Sunday went along pretty much without a hitch even though there were some strange accidents. Maybe I should say unexpected accidents and one of them was Jimmy Johnson. Of course we all saw it and wondered why in the world he would want to basically put himself out by pressing the issue so close to the drop of the green checkered flag, Which would have given him the win of the first stage.

Wednesday was a different story altogether. There was a little dustup between Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch at the end of the race. It was relatively unexpected from a driver like Kyle Busch to make such glaring mistake. Now I’m not gonna join the chorus that said that he did it on purpose (even though I think he might have.) I’m also not gonna join the chorus that says it was just racing. It was a mistake as he said and I think that it’s interesting that he reacts differently when things are caused by him and when things happen to him. That’s probably because all drivers react the same to things that cost them a race or a win and they feel as though someone did it on purpose whether they did or not. (Honestly, I’ve been there, done that…)

I’m sure they’ve worked it out, (at least they said they have) and I’m sure that Chase will do what he usually does; just go out and prove that he has ability also and can win without putting somebody out or retaliating against someone who did that to him. I’m not saying that Kyle did anything on purpose and maybe he actually does regret what he did but, I do think that he will be looking over his shoulder for awhile – especially if Chase is near.

The 600 will go on as normal except no fans and they won’t be getting that much practice other than maybe what they do for qualifying. I expect it will be a long race and there could be some surprising happenings during it. I’m not sure that it’s going to be won by any particular make but I do think the Toyotas may have a slight advantage right now. I also think the Chevys have found speed and they’ve improved greatly in this new season. Of course, we all know the Fords are strong and have been.

When it comes down to it this could be a very interesting race. I do hope that Martin Truex Jr. doesn’t run away with it as he has in the past or at least once and I hope the Toyotas aren’t as dominant as they have been at times. What I really want to see is a really, really good race for the Coca Cola 600, the longest race. Who wins? I don’t really care. I just want it to be a great race a safe one at that… and well, I have to be honest. I’m hoping that a Chevy wins and I’m hoping that the driver is Jimmy Johnson or Chase Elliott or Alex Bowman or William Byron. (Gee… does that sound like I’m just the slightest bit biased? Yeah, I probably am…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 24, 2020 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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