From a NASCAR Fan’s View
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To be upfront, I’m not sure this title will actually line up with what is planned for the Auto Club Speedway at Fontana. That’s because there are mixed signals about what is in store for the speedway after this race. As it stands, I suppose I’ll have to agree with others talking about this being the last race – well, kinda, sort-a – and say the last race at this track in this configuration. Now… are you confused? Well, welcome to my world…
As it stands right now, the important thing is that there is suppose to be a race this weekend at Fontana. That may be a question in itself since the weather may have something to do with the running of the race. I mean, California has been having some strange weather over the last week or so and I’m not so sure this weekend will be different. Although the outlook for Sunday looks much better than what I saw when I checked on the weather situation at the time of this writing. Just in case they do get the race in, I guess it would be better to talk about the race rather than the weather. (After all, I’m not a weather forecaster at all. (Well, that is unless you want to count what my old football injured knee tells me about changes in the weather…)
When it does come time to run this race, it could prove to be one of the high points of the regular season. I say that because, not only is it is a track that pretty much always shows us a good race but also simply because it is the last race (maybe) at this track. Take a quick look back to previous races in previous years and I’m sure you’ll agree, this is a track where the racing can be intense and the finishes… well, they are often remembered for years. The reasons for the memories is because anything can happen, even in the final lap and the final straight. In fact, there have been times things memories are made of happen after the race, too.
So, what kind of a race will it be this weekend with no qualifying and no practice? I don’t know about you but, from this fan’s view it could prove to be very interesting. We all know there are favorites going into the weekend and they will be favorites even without the qualifying. I would go so far as to say, there will strong performances from ones that have shown they have a grip on the track and have shown they can win in past races. You know their names; Kyle Bush, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick.
Okay, those are the popular favorited names because of their past performances but what about the ones that just haven’t had a chance to really prove themselves yet? There are several names that come to my mind really quickly. Some of them are William Byron, Tyler Reddick, Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell, Aric Almirola, Chris Buescher and Ross Chastain. That’s just to name a few. There are several others that can also be included in the list. Names like Daniel Suarez, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Preece, Austin Cindric and AJ Allmendinger. In reality and at this stage of the season, I could just about name any of the ones scheduled to run in the Pala Casino 400.
There are at least a couple of others that I just have to mention. How about Austin Dillon, Bubba Wallace, Ty Gibbs and Noah Gragson. Wow!! Did I almost not mention Ryan Blaney?
It is difficult to not name at least two thirds of the field. With the Next Gen car and how the crews have adjusted to it. It makes it difficult to pick any one set of favorites, whether veterans or newer drivers to have a good chance at winning on Sunday afternoon.
I know, I know… You thought I wasn’t going to mention last weeks Daytona 500 winner, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Well, any other year, the Daytona 500 winner would be at a disadvantage simply because of the media schedule for the week follow their victory. However, this time it might be considered to be fairly equal because of the weather equalizer. Everyone is talking about and asking the question, is Stenhouse Jr. going to ride the wave of momentum that winning the Daytona 500 could yield?
Personally, this fan thinks it is a very real possibility that he could win this weekend. I just don’t know that he will and there are a few others that will definitely be there to press the issue.
This is one race I think we won’t know much about until the race at least gets a few laps in and we see how the field really stacks up…
Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© February 25, 2022 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
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