On To Pocono For The Cup Teams       

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

Things are getting really tight in the race to make the playoffs for the NASCAR Cup teams as they take on Pocono this weekend. There is very little room for some to make any mistakes and there is a possibility some will fall further and further from their goal of making the playoffs. I mean, there are only four spots left to make the playoffs. Though those spots are filled by drivers with points at the present time, a win by someone outside the top sixteen can make their points useless. Soon, and in reality, winning becomes the only sure way for them to guarantee their place and there are still several races to go before the playoffs start. From this fan’s view, that really leaves the door open for some really different possibilities to take place.

The Toyotas have shown up with speed once again this weekend and, honestly, it could be a Toyota that ends up in Victory Lane. After all, Ty Gibbs is starting on the pole and the Toyotas did look good in practice before qualifying. They also didn’t do too bad in qualifying either. In fact, there are three other Toyota drivers other than Gibbs that perform well at Pocono and they are starting in the top seven spots. That makes four Toyotas starting in the top seven and one of them is Denny Hamlin that has seven victories at Pocono, more than any other driver in present competition. Like it or not, he could have his eighth win at Pocono today and make his bid even greater for the 2024 Championship. No guarantees but there is the possibility of it.

William Byron starts on the front row with Gibbs and he would like nothing better than to be the Chevy that beats the Toyotas today. He has shown a lot of speed but he hasn’t had that great of finishes lately. Well, that is when it comes to winning like he did at the beginning of the season. What do you think? Could today be the day he returns to those winning ways? Yeah, that’s what I thought you might say.

I also have my eye on several drivers starting in eleventh to fourteenth simply because they usually seem to be somewhere near the front at or near the end of a race. Well, at least in recent weeks. Of course their names are Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell and Brad Keselowski. Either one of these four drivers could be competing for the win when it comes down to the final laps at Pocono today.

And while I’m speaking about Kyle Larson, there is another possibility that could come about this afternoon. It is a well-known fact that he and Denny Hamlin have had their run ins in recent times and today could be another day at the races where they could be battling each other for the win. Is it all that unlikely that it could happen again this year? I don’t think so. Both of them have good speed this weekend and both of them have a tendency to work their way to the front in a lot of places including at Pocono. Will Denny door slam Kyle again or will he just force him into the wall running door handle to door handle? It has happened and it could happen again. In fact, the roles could be reversed this time around, IF they are running next to each other and racing for the win.

As I think about the way things have panned out recently, there could be another driver pressing both of them and that would be Christopher Bell. There is no doubt any of these three could be running for the win when it comes down to the final laps today.

Just because I’ve chosen to focus on these three doesn’t mean it will happen like I’ve suggested. You see, I love to speculate but I really think today’s race is going to be very intense and aggressive. That’s one of the reasons I think there is going to be extra intensity because every driver wants to win and especially those that need a win to make the playoffs. From my view, there are not only those that are in by points but those sitting outside the top sixteen that need to have good days and would like nothing better than to shake everything up by taking the unexpected win.

So… what do you think? Will Bubba’s changed attitude turn into a win this weekend or will it be someone like Kyle Bush, Austin Dillon, Chris Buescher, Ross Chastain or maybe even Ty Gibbs or Martin Truex Jr.?

Just so you know, I have no idea at all. I do know it is going to be an intense race with a lot of possible outcomes and the aggression is going to be off the charts…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 14, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Cup Teams Taking It To The Streets Of Chicago        

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

The Cup teams are taking it to the streets of Chicago this afternoon and it looks like it could be a real barn burner of a race. If yesterday’s Xfinity race gives any insight into what today’s race might be like, it could be one of the most exciting races of the season. As a rule, at least from this fan’s view, the two races don’t really compare all that much but this one could be even more intense than yesterday’s Xfinity race. And it was just that, intense right down to the final checkered flag.

So, why do I think today’s race is going to be the “barn burner” I mentioned earlier?

Well, that is for several reasons, at least from my view. First, there’s nothing like stating the obvious but the season is quickly winding down to its conclusion and there are several drivers and teams trying to qualify for the playoffs.

Sure, I know there are eleven drivers qualified for the playoffs by wins and there are only five places left to make the playoffs either by points or wins. That doesn’t change the fact there is still seven races left in the regular season or that the opportunities for someone to point their way in are dwindling. It also doesn’t change the fact here is still a pretty tight battle going on for the regular season championship.

There are four drivers with three wins on the season and two of them are often bouncing off each other just about every week. Of course you know I’m talking about Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin. Somehow they always manage to be running for position and one or the other playing bumper tag or crowding or door slamming the other, usually one doing it more often than the other. I won’t mention any names but his initials are DH. Both of them are aggressive and both of them want to win the regular season championship as well as the championship for the year. If things continue as they are, it is possible either one of them could be running for the 2024 playoff Championship. But there are still a lot of races left before that happens.

Getting back to the five spots open to qualify for the playoffs, there are those that can only make the playoffs by taking a win. Yeah, I know that includes a bunch of drivers but there are those who have a better chance than many of the others. They may not have the points but they do often have the speed to make it happen. Several of them could be in a position to change their future in the playoffs by taking a win today.

Even though there are other things to talk about when it comes to today’s race, I don’t want to go there just yet. That’s because the pressure on those not qualified for the playoffs yet, but have been performing well, only to have something happen to either cause them to fall way back in the finishing order or not finish at all.

Kyle Bush quickly comes to mind with all the bad luck he has been having just about every week. I mean, it’s been like he could be leading coming to the final laps and someone or something totally happens to his car or a lap car crashes in front of him for some unexpected reason causing him to either not finish or have spend extended time in the pits. It’s just not like him to not be able to pull off a win but recently he just hasn’t had the type racing luck that ends up with him in Victory Lane. If his luck continues as it has, this could be the first time in nineteen years he hasn’t had a win in a season.

Okay, before I run out of time and space to mention what could make this a race to remember for a long time, I want to talk about the two drivers most talked about this weekend. Of course, that would be pole sitter, Kyle Larson and the driver so many expect to win today at Chicago, Shane Van Gisbergen. In yesterday’s Xfinity race, the two of them put on a real show as they raced at the front for the first stage and part of the second stage. It was special to watch.

Although that was a great bit of racing, today’s race has even more drivers that are very good at this type of racing and, even if Larson and SVG are battling it out for the lead, there are going to be a bunch of drivers pressing them to make mistakes, take the lead from them and drive away. Still, this fan expects both Larson and SVG to be battling it out for the win at the end of this one and there are a lot of things that could completely change the outcome.

If Larson and SVG were the only ones on the track and racing each other for the win, it would be something to watch. The problem with that is the lap times are just too close together for a prediction to be made with all the other possible drivers that could win. At this point, as a fan, I’m not ruling out anyone in the top fifteen from winning. It only takes one mistake at an inopportune time and someone to take advantage of that mistake to take the victory…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 7, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Cup Teams And The Ally 400 at Nashville        

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

The Cup Teams take on the Nashville Superspeedway this afternoon and it looks a little different from the get-go. For one, it is interesting that there is a Ford driven by Josh Berry. Sure, I know Denny Hamlin won the pole and has a very fast Toyota BUT, Josh Berry is associated with SHR and he has been showing a lot of speed himself lately. Not bad for a team from an organization that is going to shut down at the end of this 2024 season. I find it kind of fascinating that they appeared to have left their sort of mediocre season behind and have been qualifying and running very well since the announcement of the closing has been made. It just makes this fan wonder, where were they before the closing of SHR was made. I think it’s more than just the Fords have found more speed since the beginning of the season.

There’s something else interesting going on in the series, too. Kind of suddenly, there is a real difference at the top of the playoff standings. Christopher Bell has come out of the minor slump he’s been in and he is now being listed as the close favorite to be the champ along with Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin. Yeah, I know Kyle has been in his own struggle for a few weeks and not all of it has been something in his control. Both he and Bell have three wins and both show up almost every weekend as the ones to beat.

Okay, maybe it is still a little early to be talking about which of the drivers might end up as regular season champ because it is still a very tight situation at the top of the chart. There is beginning to be a pattern showing up here though. The top ten starters at Nashville Superspeedway today are all ones that have shown a lot of strength lately.

The one that stands out to me as one that is still struggling on a week-to-week basis is William Byron. He is one of the four that has three wins this season but the last several weeks haven’t been all that kind to him and his crew chief, Rudy Fugle. At the start of this season, at least from this fan’s view, he looked to be one of the most likely drivers to be at the top of the charts all the way to the end of the regular season and possibly even to take the championship.

Even with his struggles lately, he is still very much in the hunt and it is possible his slump could make a U-turn like Bells has lately. It’s not so much he has totally fallen off the cliff but it is obvious there is a struggle to perform at the same level they were at the beginning of the season. Even though both he and his crew chief talk positively about the way things are going and their expectations are high almost every week, there is a sense they need to turn things around and do so soon. And like I just said, that could happen at any time.

A quick look at the top twenty starters for this race shows there are twenty possible winners for the Ally 400 today. Of course, I know that’s a bit of an overstatement but it is true. In fact, there are probably several dark horses scattered throughout the field and it is possible one of them could take the win today and totally shake up the points, especially around the ones trying to make the playoffs that don’t have any wins yet.

Until last weekend’s race at New Hampshire, Bubba Wallace and Joey Logano were in a very tight race for that sixteenth spot. After the race, Wallace had slipped a bit and now he needs a good performance at Nashville to stay in close, points wise. An unexpected winner could put him and Logano in a precarious place as the Cup teams move toward the playoffs.

Gee, Nashville is such a dynamic racetrack, it is hard to even begin to say which if the drivers might have the best chance to win today. It is a definite from this fan’s view that any one of the top fifteen could come away as the winner today at Nashville Superspeedway. Actually, from this fan’s view, I really expect the winner to come from the top five or six but, since this is the NASCAR Cup Series, I have to admit there are several that could win and several that could surprise us all at the end of the race.

Honestly, I’m just not sure what will happen but I do think it will likely come down to the top six qualifiers and three of them in particular.

Do I want to say which are those I’m thinking about? Yeah, but I won’t…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 30, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Cup Teams Take It To The Magic Mile     

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

There are those looking for magic at the Magic Mile this weekend and there are some that need it more than others. Some are looking for a victory to cinch their spot in the playoffs. They may have enough points to make it in but all it takes is one or two unexpected winners and the whole thing could come down to having to have a win before the regular season ends.

Things are a little different this weekend. The rains kept the cup teams from qualifying and they only got about six or seven laps of practice before things were called off for the Cup teams. There is still a chance for weather to make an impact on today’s race but that won’t be known until time for the race. Teams will be winging it for the first part of the race and going on old notes. That may or may not make a bit of difference for the end result but, as I just stated, things are a little different this weekend.

The lineup is based on the algorithm NASCAR uses when things like the rain keeps them from qualifying. But then you already know that. My question is just how much of a difference will it make on how this race goes. I mean, it is pretty much a total shakeup of the way the teams will line up and where they will pit.

Because of the lack of qualifying, Chase Elliott starts on the pole and gets the number one pit stall and some of the ones that may have qualified better than the algorithm placement will start in the middle to the back of the pack. That could be a two-edged sword when it comes to the race. The Magic Mile is a hard track to pass on and this is not a long race, only 301 laps.

From this fan’s view, I believe the drivers starting in the top ten will have a definite advantage, at least at the start of the race and probably through out the first stage. That means there are some very good cars that will be starting further back in the field and that means they will have to be aggressive to make their way toward the front. Once again, that two-edged sword comes into play. Because this is a short race on a fast track that is hard to pass on, their aggressive attack could spell trouble for them as they try to pick their way to the front. I’m not saying their plight is impossible but it is, or will be, a bit precarious.

What I’m saying is, just take a look at where some of the possible winners have to start from. Tyler Reddick starts twelfth, Denny Hamlin starts fourteenth, Chris Buescher fifteenth, Ty Gibbs eighteenth, Kyle Larson nineteenth, Austin Cindric twenty ninth and Kyle bush thirtieth. Those are some pretty strong teams and I expect them to move aggressively toward the front as quickly as they can manage their way through pack. That puts them in a situation where they could cause or get caught up in someone else’s mistakes.

Another problem these will likely face is that the front runners aren’t going to wait around for them to catch up. Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney will try and put the rest of the field as far back from them as they can, plus the rest of the top ten is full of some very strong cars and I expect they will make it as difficult as they can for those others to catch and pass them. From this fan’s view, that means this is likely to be an interesting and tight race with lots of emotion because of the aggression this fan expects to see.

So, along with all of those situations just mentioned, strategy is going to play a very important part of this one. As usual, it is expected that tire management is going to be a must depending on how the race pans out. The pressure is going to be on the drivers, the crews and the crew chiefs throughout the race today and the ones with the least mistakes will likely end up ruling the day.

In the end, this fan expects to see several of those starting in the middle to the back of the field pressing the envelope for the win at the end. As I mentioned, that is going to take strategy and a lack of mistakes from the drivers and the crews.

Of course, a little luck can’t hurt either…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 23, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Cup Teams Take On Iowa Speedway      

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

The NASCAR Cup Teams take on the Iowa Speedway tonight for the first time. It is a little less than a one mile oval and should be a very interesting 350 laps. One thing that should make it a little more interesting is that there have been tire issues and, well, at least from this fan’s view, no one knows for sure how these issues might affect the outcome of the race. During the practice on Friday, the problem showed its ugly head around laps 19 to 25. Now I’m not saying the teams haven’t had a chance to correct the problem but I am saying we may not know until a lot more laps have been run.

Personally, I haven’t heard at the time of this writing the real reason why the tires were having problems. I don’t think it makes much difference, why. I think it’s more about the uncertainty that may face the drivers as they click off the laps in this Iowa Corn 350. I mean, Tyler Reddick could be running away from the field in clean air and, all of the sudden, one of his tires could let go and he end up in the wall and end the race in the garage. Of course I just picked Reddick out of the blue as my example but it is possible it could happen to anyone at any time during the race. We can only hope the problem won’t show up again but, when it comes to racing, anything is possible.

A quick look at the lineup shows a mixture of manufacturers starting in the top ten. For starters, the Chevys and Fords seem to have the upper hand but, judging from the way things have been going in recent races, it could still be anybody’s race to win. The qualifying speeds were relatively close unless you consider some of the ones that struggled with loose cars through the turns. Even at that, many in the top twenty showed good speed and, barring tire problems surfacing, this fan thinks it will be later in the race when the strength of one over the other will show up.

From my view, it looks like the Toyotas are struggling a bit at the Iowa speedway. I’m not sure but looks can be deceiving or at least they have been lately. Last week Joey Logano qualified on the pole and yet had a terrible day when it came down to it. Denny Hamlin had the engine problem and a totally unexpected finish of last place. I can’t say I expected that considering how he has been running and how he usually shows up at the end of a race near the front.

The Fords of Ryan Blaney and Josh Berry looked to have good speed and could have extremely good days, maybe even a win for either one. Then there are the Fords of Brad Keselowski and Chris Beuscher of RFK racing qualified fifth and fifteenth. Both have been showing some good finishes and speed in the last several weeks. Either of them could be leading the pack as the laps wind down to the finish. Chris Beuscher is particularly hungry for a win since he has had some very good finishes and some say he is due. I can’t say I disagree with that. He has been on the verge of victory only to have some circumstances keep him from sitting in Victory Lane lately.

Chase Briscoe in a SHR Ford starts sixth and is mentioned as a possible winner of this one. He has some history of a good performance at Iowa and some expect he could walk away with the win. I’m not sure I expect that but then again it is a possibility that can’t be ignored. He is followed by Kyle Bush and he has been showing good things lately but with nothing to show for improved performance at the end of the race. I’m thinking it is possible, although not definite this could be his weekend to end the day in Victory Lane.

Okay, enough of avoiding the obvious. Kyle Larson won the pole and his teammate, William Byron, qualified fourth. Chase Elliott starts ninth and has been very consistent most every week when it comes to the end of a race. As proof of that I mention him sitting in second spot in the points right now. If there is anyone that can keep up with or pass Kyle Larson the way he has been running, I would say either Chase Elliott or Willaim Byron could do it.

By the way, I mentioned Ryan Blaney earlier and he lost the pole position to Larson by a very small margin. From this fan’s view, if someone other than a Hendrick Chevy wins this one it could be him…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 16, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Cup Teams Take On Sonoma     

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

The Cup teams take on Sonoma again but this time it’s different. The track layout is the same but there’s a whole new dynamic this time around. This time the track is completely different even though it is still the same old Sonoma. This time it’s been repaved and judging from the way things have gone so far, the old notes the teams have may not be all that helpful. The grip is up, the speeds are up and the challenge appears to be new for all.

Ok, so what does all this mean for the race today?

Well, it could mean a lot could be different from the way the race is run, the strategies applied and a totally unexpected outcome when the final flag drops. Yeah, there could be some totally unexpected drivers leading the way OR it could be all the same ones running for the victory at the end of the day. No one really knows exactly what the end results will be because the track redo has changed everything from the speeds being considerably faster to the way the drivers have to approach every segment of the track.

It was one thing when it was practice and qualifying but one has to wonder how things will go when all of the cars are on the track at the same time, vying for the same real estate as they all try to advance to the front and end up in Victory Lane. Needless to say, it should make for a very interesting day at the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

There is no doubt about it. The speeds are blisteringly fast this time around and that can be a good thing or a bad thing for all involved. From this fan’s view, I don’t think anyone has a really good grip on how the tire wear will go for this one and, at the end of the day, that could be one of the biggest difference makers on the whole strategy approach. I know they got some good input from the practice and the qualifying but there is still that long-run thing they always talk about.

Probably one of the things that surprised me the most during qualifying was how the tires seemed to do better after a lap or so instead of the usual fastest being on stickers. That is one thing about today’s race that I will be taking notice of as the race progresses. Just how long will a set of tires last? Since the speeds are up, will there be a sudden drop off or will there be a lot of consistency throughout a run? Just how much will tire wear affect how the racing goes?

If you ask me, those are good questions and they are questions I am sure the engineers are asking, too. Sure, I know the Fords of Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney qualified first and third but, will their speeds hold up in the long runs? From what I heard, they don’t expect a lot of tire fall off as the race goes on and that could be one of the major aspects affecting the whole approach to stages and race strategy.

Another thing that is likely to affect the racing today is just how aggressive the drivers are going to be. Since the speeds are up, and up a lot, there is likely going to be more than a few “excursions” off the racing surface by more than one driver and, from this fan’s view, it could happen to any one of them. That includes those that might be at or near the front at any time during the stages or as they press for the lead at the end. If you don’t think that can happen, I would simply point you to Kyle Larson during qualifying. His wasn’t exactly and excursion off the racing surface but it was contact with the tire barrier that killed his lap. Things like that can happen at anytime during the race and it can change the whole outcome of a stage or the race.

So, how will this Toyotas/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma go? I find it interesting that in qualifying, there are only two Toyotas qualified in the top ten. That would be Tyler Reddick and Ty Gibbs. I already mentioned the Fords of pole winner Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney. Probably the biggest surprise to this fan is the Hendrick Chevys. I don’t know how it will hold up for them but they all qualified pretty much together in the top eight with Daniel Suarez in seventh and Ross Chastain in ninth. I don’t know that that’s so unusual for the Chevys to show some speed for qualifying and the start of the race but, I do find it interesting they all qualified very close to each other.

With every lap expected to be hammer-down and highly aggressive, I suppose anything could happen and none of the top ten starters could finish in the top ten. (Uh, and if you believe that, I do have some great waterfront property I can sell you.) Now, I’m not at all saying that’s the way things will go and the top teams usually find a way to get and stay up front. I don’t expect this race at Sonoma to be business as usual and I am sure the drivers starting this one and that end up at the front will have to drive like every lap is the last one…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 9, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Cup Teams Take On The WWT   

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

The Cup teams take on the WWT Raceway today and it looks to be an interesting day at the races. Well… it does have a different feel. I mean, it is a 1.25 mile track and it has four Fords and five Toyotas in the top nine starting positions. You have to admit, that is just a little different and with Michael McDowell winning his third pole for the 2024 season it makes it all the more interesting.

The first Chevys start in tenth and eleventh driven by Kyle Bush and William Byron followed by Logano’s Ford and then a plethora of Chevys fill in the rest of the top twenty. Oh, and by the way, there is that Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. in nineteenth.

All in all (and from this fan’s view) it doesn’t look like it will be an easy day for the Chevys. To me, it looks like they will have their work cut out for them if they want to run up front. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know the Fords have often shown up on race weekend with fast qualifier cars only to fade out of the top five by the end of the races. But, Michael McDowell starting on the pole and showing a lot of speed could mean a dominating day for the Front Row Motorsports Ford. I mean, he was very fast qualifying and that could be an advantage as the day progresses.

Admittedly, the track conditions will be quite a bit different today than they were yesterday. Yesterday it was mostly overcast with a much cooler track temp and today it is supposed to be sunny and quite a different track temp. To this fan, that means the faster cars yesterday could be the slower ones today. Now, I’m not saying that’s the way it will turn out but it will very likely make a difference in the handling and balance of the different makes.

I do find it interesting that the Hendrick Chevys are starting relatively close to each other in the eleventh to seventeenth starting spots but, their qualifying just wasn’t up to what many have come to expect from them this season. It also doesn’t surprise me all that much that the fastest Hendrick Cars were William Byron and Kyle Larson. They weren’t all that much faster than their teammates but they did qualify better than Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott. Will that make a difference when the race is done? Maybe but, I kinda have a feeling they could all be near the front when the day is done.

I know there are those three fast Fords starting up front but then there are those three pesky Toyotas of Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick and Denny Hamlin. I call them pesky because they usually show up at the end of longer runs and the end of the race at, or very near the lead. Well, at least that’s been the case quite of then this season. All three of them have wins this season and all three of them have shown speed at the right time when it comes down to the end of a stage or the race.

There are some other things about this race I should mention. Well, at least from my view that is. Ross Chastain could surprise us by finishing up in Victory Lane when this one is done. After all he is a hard charger and usually ends up in a better spot than he starts in. I don’t know why but he could be a dark horse finisher for today’s race. I realize it could be a longshot but it could happen.

Now, I just can’t leave without saying something about Kyle Larson’s adventure last weekend. I mean, the circumstances were completely out of his control and it was a totally disappointing weekend for him at Indy and then Charlotte. He wasn’t happy with his pit road situation at Indy and then he paid a price at Charlotte in points because of something totally out of his control once again. In watching and listening to him this weekend, it was pretty obvious he was still down after last week’s disappointments. From my view, I believe he is very motivated to go for the win today and he very well could win. I believe he has something to prove to his team and himself this weekend and it could propel him to push a little harder than usual (if that is even possible for Kyle Larson.)

From this fan’s view, there are a lot of unknowns for today’s race. As is usual for my view, I don’t put a lot of stock in qualifying because it usually says very little of how a race will go. That’s not always the case but it is often enough to take notice of it. As I see it, this could very well be a breakout day for the Fords and a number of them could be running up front at the end of the race. But there are those pesky Toyotas, too…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© June 2, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

The 2024 Coca Cola 600   

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

Memorial Day Weekend is always special at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR and The Speedway go all out to honor the soldiers that gave it all for us as a Nation and, of course, their families. As you have heard most all week, the soldiers gave their lives for us to enjoy the freedoms we have because of their sacrifice. The families gave up the lives they might have enjoyed with their loved ones that so willingly gave all they could give. I think it’s amazing how NASCAR honors all of them and how the whole thing goes from the beginning to the end.

Today was supposed to be the day that Kyle Larson was to attempt the double running the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600. Since the weather isn’t cooperating at Indy it will likely put a crimp in him getting to run the 500 and get to the Charlotte Motor Speedway to start the 600 for Memorial day. For me, that’s a shame because he and his team have worked so hard to be able to run the double and it appears to be falling apart at the present time. I guess we will just have to wait and see on that…

Once again, it appears the Toyotas have shown up with speed for the 600 and Ty Gibbs won his first cup pole. Honestly, he looked awfully strong and could have a chance to win his first cup series race. He has had a lot possibilities this season but he hasn’t been able to close the deal when it came time for the final flag to drop. Perhaps tonight will be the night. In fact, it would surprise me all that much.

Martin Truex Jr. is another that has a very good chance at pulling off the victory at CMS. Even though he has had his problems this season, He has been relatively consistent in his runs. Well, his consistency has gone both ways. He has mostly been on the positive side but he has had those times of struggle this season. With Larson maybe not making it to CMS until late in the race, it is possible he and Gibbs will be able to battle it out in the end. That’s another one of those, “Guess we’ll see about that,” when it comes down to the final laps.

There are other Hendrick Chevys showing speed for this one. One of the surprises to me is Alex Bowman. In practice and qualifying, he showed really good speed and this could be the race he turns things around. He is quite capable of winning the 600 and it will be interesting to watch and see. William Byron and Chase Elliott also showed very good speed for tonight’s race. I won’t rule them out either. Well, that is until the last laps of the 600 are winding down.

There are others that could win tonight and they could be in a Chevy, a Ford or a Toyota. I’m looking at Ross Chastain, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and maybe even Chris Buescher.

There are others but I don’t want to go int that right now. All I know is 600 miles and 400 laps is an opportunity for lots to happen. How it all pans out is anybody’s guess from this fan’s view. I reckon we’ll just have to wait and see.

By the way, is it possible that Kyle Larson could show up late and still win?? Well, that is a possibility…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 26, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Time Again For The All Stars To Shine  

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

It’s that time again… Time for the All Stars in NASCAR Cup to shine and they once again put it all on the line at North Wilkesboro. As is the case for every All Star race, it’s not about the points, it’s about the money and it brings out the best and the worst in pursuit of that big money. Well, maybe “the worst” is a little bit too strong of a word for what actually happens but, it does bring out the “strong competitiveness” of every single driver involved.

So what is the thing that makes the All Star race such a big deal other than just the money? Well, from my view, it is because of a lot of things. One of the most obvious things, at least to me, is the way the competition goes. It is usually wide open and it is generally exciting to watch. After all, first some have to qualify by running in the Open and then they get to compete in the big show. After that, there is the way the race is setup to run or the format for it. After that, it is generally just good hard racing and taking advantage of every opportunity to end up at the front, hopefully taking the victory – and the money – home. Of course, there are always the bragging rights that come along with winning the 2024 All Star race.

Mostly, it is about the racing and, as I mentioned earlier, it is about winning. With the winning comes the money and then it’s moving on to the next big race which is the 600.

It does appear the Fords have finally found some consistent speed. After the last two weekends with the RFK team of Chris Buescher finishing second in a photo finish with Kyle Larson and then RFK boss, Brad Keselowski, finishing first last weekend. And then there is the way qualifying went with Joey Logano winning the pole and Brad qualifying second. Then the pits crews took over and did their most to shine and that they did.

Speaking of Kyle Larson, it has been a busy week for him. After a few setbacks, he did qualify in the top twelve for the Indy 500 and will be pressing the envelope to make it on time for starting the All Star race tonight. If he qualifies in the top six this afternoon at Indy, he then can qualify to run for the pole position later this afternoon and, no matter what happens there, he will jump on a jet and, as I mentioned, press the envelope to make it to North Wilkesboro to start in the rear for the All Star race.

I don’t know how you feel about all of this but, for me, I am not only pulling for Kyle to qualify well at Indy – maybe in the front couple of rows – if not on the pole, and then go to the All Star race tonight and finish at or near the front there. After all, he is still leading in the points race by thirty points and has been performing well this season. It will be a challenge but I am sure he is up to the task. One plus for him though, There are no points to lose or gain tonight so his points lead is safe, at least until next weekend.

So… once again it is time for the All Stars to shine in the race tonight and I am not at all sure how this night race at North Wilkesboro is going to pan out. I am sure there will be some surprises and possibly an unexpected winner and that winner could be one that no one is even thinking of.

So, what do you think? Will it be a Ford or will it be a Toyota? Will it be a Chevy and will that Chevy be in the Hendrick camp and will that chevy be piloted by Kyle Larson or one of the others? I’m not sure which of the makes or teams will win but I am sure this All Star race won’t disappoint. It will be intense right down to the final flag and I know which of them I want to win, but then I am just the slightest bit biased. After all I am a fan, too.

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 19, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

Cup Teams Take It To Darlington  

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

Over the years the Darlington Raceway has gone by several names. The Lady in Black is one popular name it goes by and the Track Too Tough To Tame is another. Mostly right now, it simply goes by Darlington Raceway. The other names are still very much in the minds of fans and drivers, but that doesn’t change what it is. It is a track that is Too Tough To Tame for many and it ends up as The Lady In Black and she is really no lady to many of the competitors. For many today, she will deliver the Darlington Stripe.

One of the things that stands out to me as a fan is that, if she is understood and treated right and with the respect she deserves she will and does deliver a win to those that understand her. That seems to be the way of The Lady In Black.

There are those that understand that and they have been on the receiving end of the charms of the “Lady” and wins are proof of the relationship they have come to understand with this track. It is a track that eats tires up quickly and, since tires are most important for being able to finish up front, the drivers that can manage their tire wear the best usually end up as contenders for the win at this track. That’s not to say they will always be the winner but it does say they have a chance to win when it comes down to the final laps of a race at Darlington.

Over time, there are drivers that have learned the important lesson of racing at Darlington Raceway and that one lesson makes a big difference when it comes down to it. The lesson is that, to win at Darlington, you race the track and not so much the other drivers. Speed helps but speed out of control at this track will often cost the one that doesn’t understand the patience required to “tame” this track will often fade from being a front runner to an also ran.

From this fan’s view, there are several that understand what it takes to master Darlington Raceway. They don’t always win but they are usually regular contenders for the win. They don’t always start up front but they do often finish up front as either contenders or the winner at the end of the day.

As has been the case much of this 2024 NASCAR Cup season, the expected front runners are the Chevys and the Toyotas. In particular, the JGR and 23XI Toyotas and the Hendrick Chevys. To boil it down even further, most of them are starting in the top ten rows. Okay, maybe I’m boiling it down a little too much. There are a bunch of possible winners for today’s race starting in the top twenty.

There are actually several surprises starting in the top ten. Most notable are the Fords of Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher of RFK Racing and Ross Chastain from TrackHouse Racing. I suppose some would say Chris Buescher starting in the top five isn’t that much of a surprise considering how he finished last weekend at Kansas, losing to Kyle Larson by one thousandth of a second. He and his boss are starting second and third and are ones to watch as the laps wind down for this one.

Some of the usual ones to watch are also starting in the top ten and, of course, they are from the JGR, 23XI and HMS teams. Tyler Reddick starts from the pole position and could be up front a lot today. Ty Gibbs starts fourth and he could be in contention and possibly take his first win in Cup today. William Byron and Kyle Larson start fifth and sixth followed by Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain and Martin Truex Jr.

From this fan’s view, the top ten is filled with people that could not only win but dominate today’s race. The other problem is there are others in the top twenty that could take the win. There are even some that didn’t qualify all that well but they have plenty of time and laps to move from their starting spots in the back, all the way to the front and end up in Victory Lane at the end of the day. Some them didn’t qualify all that well not because they didn’t have speed but because they brushed the wall in their qualifying lap which killed their momentum and put them far back in the field.

Yessir, today’s race at Darlington Raceway is going to be another nailbiter to the very end considering the way things have been going so far this season and on tracks like this or similar in length. At the time of this writing, I can’t really decide which of the drivers might dominate or win the Goodyear 400 today at the Track Too Tough To Tame… How about you… ?

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 12, 2024 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and Pod Cast Norm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated