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Night time is the right time for Stock Car racing as far as this NASCAR fan is concerned. It is what I grew up on and it is what I did for many years. Sure, I know it’s not the only time for it but I do know it was, and is, one of my favorite times and memories as kid and an adult. I’m always glad when NASCAR takes to the track on a Saturday night and that’s exactly what they’re doing at Richmond Raceway tonight.
There’s a lot to like about the Richmond track and with the MENCS teams taking to the track in the late evening and into the night under the lights, it just feels right. We often hear so many say, racing on a Saturday night is a return to our roots and I have to agree. I grew up in Southern Illinois and Saturday night was when we as a family went out to see our local heroes take on their competitors – whether from around our area or out of town – and hopefully root them on to victory. Of course it didn’t always work out the way we hoped and they didn’t always win but we sure did enjoy the racing, bumping and wrecking as they tried their darndest to win.
I was fortunate to live in a town that had two race tracks and I lived within bicycle riding distance of several of my favorite drivers. I used to ride my bike over to where they kept their cars and dream of the day I might be able to do the same. It was a time I will never forget and the door eventually opened and I got my chance to do exactly that. Admittedly, it was after my family and I moved to Florida, but still, I was able to enjoy the thrill of Victory and the agony of defeat. Even won a few Championships.
Okay, back to Richmond. Richmond Raceway is not only a fan favorite but it is a driver favorite too. It is challenging and all of the elements of Stock Car racing come into play. It is a drivers track and has all of the appeal that most short tracks have – high speed and high emotion. The two go hand in hand.
If last week gives us any insight into how tonight’s race will go, we should see a lot of hard racing and a lot of use of the bump and run. Richmond Raceway is track that is known for its great racing and, sometimes, the only way to get by a person ahead of you is to move them out of the way. The problem with the bump and run on a short track is that not everyone thinks they’re in the way and they should be passed without the use of the bumper. That makes for some high emotion and hot tempers will sometimes spill over into the ever-present possibility and use of payback. That’s just one of the things that makes short tacks so popular. Sometimes those high emotions end up in fisticuffs although generally as short-lived altercations in the pits and elsewhere.
As a fan, I have to admit that tonight there are those I hope don’t win. I won’t mention any names at the moment but there are those I’m pulling for that others probably don’t want to see win. I’m not saying it will happen, but it is possible that a relatively unexpected driver could win tonight. Things like that can happen on a short track on a Saturday night although it is not the norm.
As just a fan and an observer of this sport I love so much, I still say the Fords have an advantage over the other makes this year and the Toyotas follow close behind. The Chevys are coming along with their new Camaros but they still just don’t have the speed yet. Admittedly they are getting there but, so far, they’re not there yet.
Unfortunately, being a Chevy fan and someone that raced Chevys when I was racing, it is disappointing to see them get up front only to get passed instead of taking it all the way to the win. Yeah, I know the Chevys have had their dominance in the past and I’m sure fans of the Fords and Toyotas felt the same way I do these days but, I will be glad when a Chevy ends up in Victory Lane again. I really thought Kyle Larson was going to pull it off last weekend but it just didn’t happen and Kyle Bush got his second in a row.
I don’t want to make any predictions of which driver might win tonight because there are several that could and have won more than once at Richmond. Martin Truex Jr. is looking for his first short track win and tonight could be his night to do so. Truthfully though, this fan would really like to see a Chevy win and, although there are several he would rather see make the trip to Victory Lane, there are a few he would rather see than others. Uh, those would be the likes of Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott or even Jimmie Johnson. Nothing against those other guys in those other makes. It’s just what this fan would like to see…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© April 21, 2018 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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