THE LEFT TURN
NASCAR rolls the dice in Vegas this weekend
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Las Vegas this Sunday for the South Point 400. This track is one of the many mile and a half bullrings that we see on the NASCAR schedule. It is known for how hard it is to get on to pit road so look for the possibility of speeding penalties. Another thing to look out for is the heat. As we all know it gets hot in Las Vegas in September, this will make the track much more slippery and there is a good chance that there will be tire problems. It should be a good race though, and I am looking forward to seeing who moves on as the round of 12 begins.
Last week, Kevin Harvick went on to his ninth victory of 2020 as he continues to tear through competition. In the closing laps he and Kyle Busch battled it out in one of the best races we have seen all year. The race was different from what we usually see at Bristol as there weren't very many wrecks and there were a lot of cars that went a lap down as there were only six cars on the lead lap. A few people were critical of the racing last week which personally I didn't understand. This race had everything you would want it to, two of the best drivers in the sport going for the win.
There was news a plenty this week in the NASCAR world. It all started on Tuesday when it was announced that Ross Chastain would take over the #42 Camaro for Chip Ganassi in 2021. This doesn't come as too much of a surprise as he had driven for them in the Xfinity Series. He was lauded as the early candidate when Larson was suspended and many were surprised when he wasn't named the replacement for this year. But in the end, it all came full circle and the driver we all thought would get the ride ended up with it. Personally, I like this move. Ross has more than proved he is capable of running up front and winning in the Xfinity Series and now he is going to get the opportunity of a lifetime in decent equipment.
The other big headline this week was the announcement that Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan would be purchasing the Germain Racing charter and starting their own team in 2021 with Bubba Wallace as the driver. This is a HUGE deal for NASCAR as arguably one of the most recognizable brands in the world is coming on board. These rumors had been persistent over the last few weeks and many questioned the validity of the reports until it was confirmed on Tuesday that this was happening. More than likely what we will see with this new team is that they will receive cars from the former Levaine Family Racing team and technical support from Joe Gibbs Racing. This will also be the first time that a driver will own a team while driving for another team since Dale Earnhardt did it when he owned DEI and drove for Richard Childress. This will certainly be a huge boost for Bubba as he will now get the funding he deserves. Look out for this team going into the future.
As the week went on the rumors got even crazier as it was reported by Adam Stern that NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway were in talks to run a dirt race! This was a huge surprise to me as there was hardly anything to suggest this was even an idea. This truly came out of nowhere. This isn't really all that new to the track as it hosted a World of Outlaws race back in 2000 but never has there been a full-on stock car race on the dirt there. It will be interesting to see if this comes to fruition in the next few weeks.
The driver that I have winning this week at Vegas is Brad Keselowski. Over the last few times they have been coming to this track, he has been nearly untouchable. He has four top fives, six top tens and a victory back in 2018. His lowest finish here has been seventh! He has just been phenomenal here and I look for that to continue. This would be big for Brad if he can win considering that would put him through to the next round, and he won't have to worry so much about the unknown next week at Talladega. I look for Brad to take his Mustang to victory lane come Sunday.