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The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs are getting intense. There are three places left to make the show at Homestead and only two races left for someone to make it in other than by points. At the present there are eight drivers hoping to make the finale at Homestead. One, Joey Logano, is already qualified and three already have enough points to make it in. The problems arise when, and if, someone other than the top three wins a race, whether at Texas or next weekend at Phoenix. Then things get even more intense than they already are.
There are a lot of “ifs” facing those still qualified in the round of eight. What happens “if this” or what happens “if that” and for each of the remaining seven it is more about winning – which they say it is every weekend – than just running for position. As just a NASCAR fan, I understand the winning part, but… well… let’s just say when it comes down to these final two races, there is hardly anything other than winning. That is if you want to advance to the final four at Homestead.
It is interesting to this fan that Kevin Harvick hasn’t done better in the Playoffs than he has. He is a former Cup Champion and he has had a stellar year but his performance in the playoffs just hasn’t been great. It has been mediocre to good but he just hasn’t shown the consistency he did earlier in the season. Both he and Kyle Bush have struggled at times. Both of them had acquired a lot of points over the regular season and both have been able to sustain their advantage much because of winning all those races. It may be just me that thinks this but, I really did expect them to show more than they have during the playoffs.
When it comes to Martin Truex Jr., I just have to express my NASCAR fan opinion about what happened to him last weekend at Martinsville. He was robbed. That will probably raise a few people’s blood pressure and I know there are those that will vehemently disagree with me. That’s okay, I can take it. You have your opinion and I have mine and I don’t seem to agree with many that have assessed what happened in the closing laps last weekend.
I realize many people think racing is win at any cost and the higher the stakes, the more that may be true. Well, at least if you listen to much of the chatter since last weekend’s race. I’ve heard a lot of people say, “Well, that’s just short track racing. That’s what it’s all about.”
I just don’t agree with that. Well, at least, not completely. I’ve been a driver and I’ve been on the receiving side of that type action and I do understand both sides of the issue. I don’t remember dishing it out. That doesn’t mean I’ve never put a bumper to someone, to, uh, let them know I’m there and probably faster than them. I know that sounds a little contradictory but there are differences to what I saw Logano do to Truex Jr. I never remember moving someone out of the way just to pass or win a race. I may have but I don’t remember it. I do know it happens and everyone likes a good intense race between competitors.
I just don’t think Joey Logano is some kind of hero because he decided to do what he did. That seems to be the consensus from many though. Logano did what he had to do to win. It didn’t matter to him that Truex Jr. gave him plenty of room and basically ran him hard but clean. If he was going to move on to the final four, it was win at any cost. Joey has a different set of values than Martin Truex Jr. He did what he could and still sleep at night. That doesn’t make him a hero in my book. What it does do is remind me of why Matt Kenseth put him into the wall a couple of years ago or so, killing his chances at moving on to race for a championship. Believe me when I say this… you reap what you sow and this will come back to haunt Joey in the races ahead.
Oh well, back to Texas.
Texas is a fast, challenging track and that will only add to the intensity of the race Sunday afternoon. From this fan’s view, the Fords look very strong but that doesn’t mean they will walk away with the win and the trophy. In my opinion, the best thing that could happen at Texas is for someone unexpected to win. You know, someone like Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski or a relative unknown this season like, David Ragan. I think If I had my druthers, I’d pick Chase Elliott but then, well, you know… that’s just this fan’s view…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© November 3, 2018 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated