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Well, it’s been a long haul but the Cup teams do get a break after this weekend until the following weekend. From this fans view, NASCAR has done a good job of getting all the races in, even with the inclement weather they’ve been fighting, and they’ve done a good job of keeping things moving. One has to wonder if the tracks could have done as good a job as they’ve done considering they had no fans in the stands to contend with, even though I really think they would have rather had fans in the stands. I guess that still remains to be seen and I’m happy to say I think they will be up to the task.
The race this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway should prove to be an interesting and fascinating race and it’s anyone’s guess who might take the win. Once again, they take to the track without practicing or qualifying and that should still make it interesting for the tough little track in Thunder Valley that is always a challenge But I loved challenge by almost every driver.
This could be a race that Brad Keselowski wins again. After all he does start on the pole and that could be a good thing for him. His teammate Joey Logano is also showing some strength recently but he has also faded at the end of races which is uncharacteristic for him. When it comes to all three of the Penske Fords, Ryan Blaney has probably been the one that has struggled the most, especially since they restarted the season after the layoff for the virus.
This fan can’t help but wonder if this weekend will be the weekend where the Toyotas begin to show something. I know they’ve been hit or miss since the restart of the season, but I also know that they are quite capable of pulling off victories. Kyle Busch has had good weeks and bad weeks and in his usual fashion, at least from this fans view, when things are going right, he’s happy and when things are going wrong, he’s not. Denny Hamlin is been on again off again, at least in my opinion, and this very well could be a race where he shines. Martin Truex Jr. has been struggling most of the season but I expect him to begin to show his strengths as the season progresses even though it may not be this weekend.
If you’re a Chevy fan, which I am, you’ve been pretty happy with the performance of the Chevys, especially since they started back racing after the layoff. In particular, the Hendrick Chevys have shown some real improvement, particularly over last year. Of the four Hendrick teams, Chase Elliott is showing the most strength even though he’s had a run of “bad luck.” Of course, he did pull off two wins last week, one in Cup and one in the Truck Series. He also picked up the bounty for beating Kyle Busch in the Truck Series. It’s not just my opinion, but there are many that have spoken highly of Chase’s performance, especially in recent weeks. He and his crew chief, Alan Gustafson, have shown up good off the truck almost every week and, in particular, unloading off the truck in recent weeks.
Alex Bowman and William Byron have also been very good off the trucks but, William Byron has had his share of bad luck also. In fact, I would go so far as to say that, had he not had that problem in the pits with, Corey Lajoie, he may have given Chase a run for his money along with Kevin Harvick at the end of the race on Thursday. I think, well at least in this fans view, the Hendrick Chevys have definitely turned things around over their performance in the last two years. As I admitted earlier, I’m a Chevy fan and always have been. Along with that I’m a Hendrick fan even though I also have favorite drivers in other makes and on other teams. Now all that remains for HMS is to get Jimmie Johnson into Victory Lane. Somehow, I think that’s going to happen pretty soon.
So, it appears that good racing doesn’t really depend on the stands being full and the marathon that NASCAR has been running over the last couple of weeks playing catch up has had some very good and intense racing. It is an adjustment, particularly for the drivers, to win a race and climb out of their cars with no applause or cheers from the stands. A lot of things are changing in our world today but, it appears that no matter how they have to run the races, the competition really doesn’t change. It’s been intense, it’s been good and the real thing is still much better and the virtual thing. Well…at least from this fans view…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 31, 2020 – 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