Taking on Phoenix from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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Rusty Norman

This weekend the Cup teams take on The ISM Raceway at Phoenix and it will be the last race on the track in its present configuration. That means all the notes the teams have gathered will be useless in the coming races there but, that won’t matter much this weekend. Judging from the practices and the qualifying, this just could be the week either the Chevys or the Toyotas break the Ford dominance displayed much of this year so far. Oh well, that’s enough small talk for the moment…

The big story this week has been the dominance of Kevin Harvick and the #4 SHR team over the last two weeks in particular. I doubt there is anyone that hasn’t heard of the rear roof and window problem with the #4 last weekend but there has been enough of a stink made of it that the car was gone over with a fine-tooth comb by NASCAR and they found there actually were a couple of things not quite right with it. I won’t go into the specifics because you can find that info in a lot of places. What I will say is that I agree with Kevin Harvick in the sense that if you look closely enough at any of the cars, you will undoubtedly find something wrong every one of them. Yes, they did have a problem with the side skirts but that was admitted by them as an “oversight?” and they should not have had that problem.

As a fan, I’m not really all that concerned about all of that, but it is interesting that NASCAR seemed to bow to public opinion (although that’s probably not really the case in this instance) and took the #4 car to their facility and gave it a good going over. Although it is true the #4 Ford has been dominant, I think it has more to do with the fact they were getting better and better, especially at the end of last year and now their previous hard work is showing through. Well… at least that’s this fan’s opinion and I am sticking to it.

I do find it interesting that Kevin Harvick still looks like the one to beat for winning the race this Sunday afternoon. After Tuesday, when the penalties and things came down, it is this fan’s opinion everyone figured that would be the demise of Kevin Harvick’s domination so far in the 2018 season. Well, maybe that is a little strong of a statement. Maybe I should have said, they figured it might slow him down a bit. From what I could tell, he is just picking up where he left off after trouncing the field so soundly at Las Vegas.

I have to admit there are a couple of other people I would like to see win. Of course I know I am a bit biased but it would be nice to see the Hendrick teams as a whole show some improvement. It does look like they and the other Chevys are hurting for speed, especially when compared to the Fords. Yeah, I know there are a few exceptions like Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott and it’s not like they haven’t shown anything at all so far this season. I also have to be honest and say it would be great to see Jimmie Johnson make a run for the checkered when it comes down to it.

When it comes down to it, (and since I am a die-hard Chevy fan), I’d really just like to see the Chevys begin to at least look like they are getting a grip on the new Camaro and have them and the Camrys make the races more interesting than they have been recently. (Well, at least that’s this fan’s opinion.)

From observing the practices and the qualifying, there is a chance for some to break their droughts on winning and there are a few that could win their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at the ISM Raceway today. Some of the names are new and some have been around for a while. And then there’s the fact that Kevin Harvick has eight wins at the Phoenix track but he hasn’t won there in recent years. (I guess you could say he has a double incentive to win Sunday afternoon. One is to show that the reason they’ve been winning wasn’t what NASCAR found wrong with the car, and two, to rack up another win on the track he already has a lot of wins at. (Oh, and I guess a third incentive would be winning three in a row, which he hasn’t done yet in his Cup career.)

So, from this fan’s view (and as I said earlier), this could be the race that the Chevys and Toyotas could outdo the Fords and Kevin Harvick along with his #4 SHR team; but I guess we won’t know that until it’s over…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© March 11, 2018 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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