Taking It To The Indy Road Course

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

Once again, it’s time for the Cup teams to take on the Indy road course. I don’t know about you but, I kinda miss the old race on the oval. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the road course race. I’m just saying I kinda miss the old Brickyard original. There was a lot of history to the oval part of Indy and I liked watching the cars compete on the oval where do many others had raced. You know, big name drivers and not just those in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Anyway, it does appear those days are gone for now and we have all settled in to the road course races. That doesn’t bother me so much either because I like them also. It is interesting how the Next Gen car seems to work best on the road courses and, along with other changes that NASCAR has made in these more recent times, the parity of the field and the drivers has changed the competition.

Although I never got to do any road course racing in my time racing, I do think I could have done well at it if for no other reason than I just liked driving racecars and the faster the better and the more challenging the more I liked it. Of course, that’s easy for me to say now. Heck, I used to stress over trying to be faster than the rest of the drivers in my class, and now, I don’t have any stress at all. (Well, that is now that I don’t own or drive a car anymore. Not that I wouldn’t like to, though.)

Judging from the practice and qualifying, it looks like the Fords might have a chance at winning. There were several of them running really fast laps and, admittedly, I was surprised. I expected the Chevys to sort of be the more prevalent ones at the top of the charts. However, that wasn’t the case.

Well… except for one Chevy that is. That would be the Chevy of Tyler Reddick. He was the fastest of all the qualifiers on Saturday morning. In fact he wasn’t just the fastest qualifier, he was the fastest by a long shot.

We all know that qualifying doesn’t always tell the real story of how the race will go but, if he has the advantage over the field during the race that he had during qualifying, he could be the dominating runaway winner of this one. We all know he is a good road course racer and seems to be clicking on all cylinders right now but will he manage to maintain an obvious advantage throughout the race on Sunday afternoon?

As a fan, I have been surprised at the performance of Kyle Larson this season. As of late, he has been struggling. Even when it looks like he may be in the hunt for the win, it seems something happens to put a damper on his performance. Some of it is his fault and some of it is his crew’s fault but they just haven’t been at the top of their game in recent weeks. It is my opinion, he is struggling somewhat with the Next Gen the way those that spent a several years in the old car have. That may not be a fair assessment of what’s going on but, it is a possibility. I know he is very talented and can drive just about anything well but it is definite, at least from my view, he just isn’t on top of his game like last season.

Chase Elliott, on the other hand, is just consistently showing himself to be a contender in the playoffs and, even though he was handed a gift last weekend when both Denny Hamlin and Kyle Bush were disqualified after finishing first and second. That gives him four wins this season and he has also finished in the top two several weeks in a row.

It has been an interesting year so far and it is winding down to the final weeks before the playoffs. I’m not sure that we have seen all of the winners yet and I’m not sure that all of the “win and you’re in” drivers will make it to the playoffs. If there are three more winners that haven’t won yet this season and they are all high enough in the points to qualify for the playoffs, it could be another first for this playoff format. But then again, it is 2022 and it has definitely been a year of firsts in NASCAR…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 30, 2022 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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