Who’ll Make It Happen At The Glen?


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Rusty Norman

Just about every talking head or commentator has made the same or similar statement this week and just in case you missed it, here it is again – “With only five races to go, who will make it happen at The Glen this weekend?” It seems like no one (including me) can come up with anything else to say, at least from this fan’s view. Then again, it is true, there are just five weeks left until we start the Chase (and as some have said, “It’s the new, improved Chase.”)

There’s really not anything new that could be talked about when it comes to The Glen except for the fact that this year the Cup cars are going faster than they’ve ever gone at this track before. There are a lot of reasons for that but none that we really need to go into because they’ve been talked about almost every week of the 2014 NASCAR season. Yes, we all know it’s because of the way that the down force has been changed on the cars this year and the ride height rules being changed. I guess it could also be because of the Goodyear tires, the increased horsepower coming out of all of the camps and just about anything else about we can think of about the Cup cars. One factor I do want to mention is that it appears that the drivers are really beginning to like a lot of things about these cars even though they have something to complain about every week.

When it comes to road course racing, this fan has always liked The Glen. There are many reasons why I like it but I don’t need to go into those. The Glen is a fast-track and the drivers can be aggressive as they make lap after lap trying to work their way towards the front. It is also a track that demands respect from the drivers and there are places they can overdrive and the track offers no forgiveness. One thing stands out very clear to this fan… Barring the unforeseen, this is going to be a strategy and fuel mileage race unless the absolute unforeseen happens. The biggest unforeseen would be an unusual number of cautions, at least from this fan’s view.

As everyone already knows, Jeff Gordon qualified on the pole and could also have a very good chance of winning the race Sunday afternoon. Still, it seems no matter how well Jeff performs, many still want to call him the “old man.” Though it is true that he is 43 there is no doubt in this fan’s mind that he’s as competitive as ever. In fact, I would go so far as to say that he’s even more competitive than he’s been in a long time. I’m sure some of that has to do with the fact of how well he and his team are performing this year but I also think it is because it’s just Jeff Gordon and the way he’s always been. One thing is pretty obvious, he’s not driving like the old man that many say he is…

Even though he’s had a good weekend and is sitting on the pole there is still no guarantee that Jeff Gordon and the 24 team will end up in Victory Lane when all is said and done Sunday afternoon. There are several drivers that intend to make it difficult for him to make it a run from the pole to Victory Lane. In particular and the most obvious ones would be Marcos Ambrose, AJ Allmendinger and Kevin Harvick, to mention a few. There are others but I think that will suffice because any one of those three could make Jeff’s task very difficult on this Sunday afternoon.

Included in the drama of the race at The Glen for Sunday afternoon are the plain facts that there are several people that need a win to almost guarantee themselves a spot in The Chase. Topping the list is Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne and followed by several that really don’t want to not be included. Although there is a possibility that a couple of unknowns could end up in the Chase simply by winning, it is more likely from this fan’s view that the field is pretty much set except for maybe one or two. If you’re going to ask me who those two are, I’ll have to answer that I just don’t know. What I do know is that the next five races , including this one, are going to be very interesting especially as the field gets set for the “new and improved Chase.”

Just a quick mention of how this fan thinks the race will go Sunday afternoon. Even though we’ve mentioned this many times, there will be mixed strategies as the day progresses and barring an unusual number of cautions there will be a set number of green flag pit stops the teams will be making. What happens during those pit stops and barring any equipment failures this should prove to be a very fast and stressful race, especially for those that need a win.

It’s pretty definite that Jeff Gordon is on a roll and Brad Keselowski is looking to flex a little bit of Ford muscle from the Penske camp. That’s not even to mention his teammate Joey Logano and the fact that Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards would like to show something from the Roush camp. With the speeds that everyone is running, a lot of things can happen and probably will and just about anyone in the field has a chance to win depending on how things go and where the cautions actually fall.

It’s true we are coming down to crunch time as far as The Chase is concerned and exactly how it’s going to turn out I don’t think anyone knows. One thing is fairly certain about this race though and that would be the fact that someone is going to make it happen at the Glen… it just remains to be seen who that will be…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© August 9, 2014 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions