With his usual outspokenness, Eric Descarries looks back on the Bristol event in the NASCAR Cup Series and in particular on the Harvick / Elliott fight, It’s Bristol, baby!
Finally, NASCAR at its best. And in Bristol too! We are finally back to normal. NASCAR racing is contact sport. And even more on Saturday evenings! That’s what I love about short track racing.
First, Friday night’s Xfinity regular season finale where AJ Allmendinger (No 16 Camaro) and Austin Cindric (No 22 Mustang) finished the event in a serious collision sending the two cars through. the finish line. It was a consecration for Allmendinger, the famous road circuit driver, who won his first championship there (regular season) but quite a frustration for Cindric who was sure to win this championship before eventually moving to the NASCAR Cup.
On Saturday night, the situation was even more heated as with two laps to go, “young” Kyle Larson (No 5 Camaro) took the lead in the Brass Pro Shops Night Race from veteran Kevin Harvick (No 4 Mustang). who expected to win his first race of the season there, a victory he needed to advance to the second stage of the Qualifiers (however, with his second position, he still made it). But there was a third player in that fight, Chase Elliott (No 9 Camaro) who lost the race there due to contact with Harvick. A shouting match ensued after the race (the contact caused a puncture in a tire in Chase’s car which relegated him to 25e position). Ironically, the two protagonists who “grappled” in front of the television cameras preferred to end their discussion in… Elliott’s trailer, away from the cameras! Elliott will have to get used to it one day! And to think that we are making a big deal out of the Hamilton and Verstappen “chicane” in Formula One… small beer!
For NASCAR fans, it was an exciting evening (see a weekend). As tradition dictates, it was Ford vs Chevrolet (which remains one of the great motivations of auto racing in America!). But, I repeat, Elliott will have to get used to it! This is NASCAR, this is Bristol. There was no carnage, there were no injuries, there were no demolished cars. Only crumpled wings (and prides). But there was action….
Of the four drivers eliminated from the championship, we will have lost Tyler Reddick (Camaro no 8 who gave quite a fight). Aric Almirola (No.10 Mustang which nevertheless retains a fine reputation as a fighter), Kurt Busch (No.1 Camaro which we hoped to keep in the championship race) and Michael McDowell (No.34 Mustang whose only feat of arms will remain his victory at the start of the season at Daytona).
We will attack during the championship of 12 (of the 16 starters) starting with Vegas next weekend (certainly not the favorite track of Chase Elliott) followed by Talladega (you never know who will emerge the winner, often a surprise but a tailor-made track for Logano (Mustang no 22)) and the Roval road circuit in Charlotte (to watch an Elliott-Blaney duel, the latter on Mustang no 12).
I hope no one said NASCAR was ‘flat’!
This article is written by Éric Descarries from the 360Nitro.tv site as part of the collaboration between US-RACING.COM and 360Nitro.tv.