The Coca-Cola 600 At Charlotte from a NASCAR Fan’s View

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Rusty Norman

This is a weekend of racing. Well… you already knew that, didn’t you. It is true though. With the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 taking place on the same day, well, that means racing all day and into the night. Some will pay attention to both, some will pay attention to one or the other, but no matter what, there will be racing all day and into the night.

There are a lot of things I like about NASCAR but one of the most important is the way they honor those that serve us, keep us safe and the many that pay the supreme price for keeping us safe. The fallen will be honored in special ways by and during the Coca-Cola 600 and there will be an emphasis on the fallen heroes, whether man or woman, and the sacrifice their families made along with them. I am proud to be a NASCAR fan and I am thankful to those that gave so completely of themselves. It is more than just another race day or holiday. It is a day to remember the sacrifice of those that gave their lives for us and this great country we live in. Hopefully it won’t rain on the planned festivities to Celebrate the Memorial Day holiday or the remembrance and salute to our fallen heroes.

It is hard to tell how the racing will be. Since last week’s All Star Race was with a completely different package, it is hard to say whether the Fords or the Toyotas have the advantage. From this fan’s view, it does appear the Chevys will have another weekend of struggle even though they do show signs of improvement. In fact, the Toyotas may once again have a slight advantage over the others. Kyle Bush will start on the pole with Joey Logano starting outside the front row. Then there are the two Toyotas of Hamlin and Jones and the Ford of Brad Keselowski.

The Chevys sparsely populate the lineup until we get to the Chevy of Austin Dillon starting in the 20th spot. From this fan’s view, that doesn’t look good for the Chevys at first glance. Hey, it doesn’t even look good if we take a longer look at them.

One can only think of it being more of the same for the Chevys as the race goes from sunlight into darkness as it’s been for them over most of the first part of the season. They just don’t have it figured out yet.

Once again, (yeah, I know I’m repeating myself), it has been hard for Chevy fans to watch as their favorite make has become an also-ran for most of this season. Well, at least it has been for this Chevy fan. I would guess it is the same for the drivers and team members, too.

Even though there have been some moments when it looked like they were going to be turning the corner on their handling and balance issues, the Fords and Toyotas have overshadowed them most every week. They seem to be struggling, at least somewhat, in all areas. From this fan’s view, it mostly appears the drivers are just not comfortable with the way their cars feel. From this amateur’s point of view, it doesn’t appear to be horse power, although that could be part of it. it just seems that their overall lap times are not as good as the others. Sure, I know there have been some bright moments, usually from Kyle Larson and a few others, but it still appears all of the major Chevy players have a ways to go before we see a Chevy in Victory Lane, at least on a regular basis.

Now that I’ve whined about the performance of the Chevys, they could surprise me in the 600. It is a long race, longer than any other, and anything can happen. I’m not expecting it but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see it. In the first 13 races, most of them have been won by Kevin Harvick and Kyle Bush. Of those 13 races, only one has been won by a Chevy and that was Austin Dillon at Daytona.

The Stewart/Haas Fords have looked strong most of the season but this weekend it appears the field is more equalized between them and the Toyotas. With Kyle Bush starting on the pole, it could be another win for him and Joe Gibbs Racing. Can’t help but think back to when Martin Truex Jr. started on the pole, led most of the laps and won the race. I guess it is possible Kyle Bush could do something similar but I hope the race is much more dramatic than that. 600 miles is long time to watch hardly anyone challenge a dominate car. Why, some would almost call that boring…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 26, 2018 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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