The MENCS teams take it to the Super Speedway at Daytona tonight, (if it doesn’t rain again), so let’s talk a little bit about this Coca Cola 400 at Daytona. It is the last time the summer race will be taking place on the fourth of July. Next year it will be the last race before the playoffs begin so it is the end of an era. It is, and has been, one of the most popular races of the NASCAR season and it is the place it all started.
Besides all the history and the changes coming in the future, it is a race both looked forward to and dreaded by the drivers. It is a race that many call an equalizing race because just about anyone starting the race can be the winner of it, whether a large well financed team or one of the lesser smaller teams. Winning at Daytona is something that every driver wants to do and, because of it being a Super Speedway with lots of drafting and door handle to door handle, bumper to bumper racing, it really is anyone’s race to win.
Oh sure, there are those that are expected to win and there are more than a few favorites, but there are absolutely no guarantees any of the favorites or biggest names will win. From this fan’s view, that makes this one of the more interesting races to watch.
You’ve already heard about the “fireworks” between Brad Keselowski and William Byron I am sure and that just may put a little different wrinkle in the race tonight. There is one thing that has always been at the forefront of everyone’s mind when it comes to the Super Speedway races and that is what has come to be called the “Big One.” With the statements that Keselowski made after the altercation with Byron, a door has been opened that could make the possibility of one or more “Big Ones” even more inevitable.
Hey look, I will be one of the first to admit that Brad Keselowski is one of the best when it comes to Super Speedway races and I can understand his frustration with being wrecked when he could have won several of the last Super speedway races. From this fan’s view, it appears he attributes those losses to being “to nice” because he lifted to keep from wrecking the person blocking him. Now he is telling everyone on the track racing with him, if they pull down or over in front of him to block his run on them, he won’t be lifting. Basically, he is saying he will wreck them, (or, at least move them out of the way), before he will lift to let them block him.
I have to admit two things. First, I do understand where he is coming from and his frustrations. Second, by taking that attitude, he is opening a door he may not have intentionally intended to open for himself and all the other drivers on the track.
When I first heard his statements about the incident with Byron, the first thing that popped into my mind was that he was, and is, one that uses the block to keep the others behind him. He has used it many times to stay out in front of the pack coming up behind him in the draft. Not all of his blocks have been “convenient” to those trying to pass him and he has had some that are closer calls than others. In other words, from this fan’s view, he has done the same thing to others he is complaining about what Byron did to him last time that cost him the race and a wrecked race car. It is obvious he is still frustrated by the move Byron pulled on him and he took the opportunity to give a little payback and send a message to Byron and the others on the track. He isn’t going to lift.
Here’s the truth as this fan sees it. He can have that attitude and he can do what he says he will do but, the door is now open for others to expect how he is going to race them and he can expect them to treat him the same way. From my view, I don’t think they’re going to be as willing to lift as they might have been in the past and he still might be the one spinning into the infield or up into the wall and taking a bunch of cars with him and ending up with a wrecked race car and another loss that could have been a win.
Now that I’ve said all of that, I can’t forget that there will be a lot of cars running together, and probably it will often be Chevys with Chevys, Fords with Fords, Toyotas with… well… you know. If they find it works as the race progresses, there may be a mixture of brands as they all try to position themselves for the final laps. All of this will be taking place at 200 plus miles per hour. That’s fast and it also means things can happen fast… Look out Brad, you might be coming for them but they’re going to be coming for you, too and it will all be happening at close quarters and around 200 mph…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 6, 2019 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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