The amount of fear in the NASCAR garage right now is unprecedented. It’s not like this is fear for their safety or anything of that magnitude. This is fear for what this weekend’s action will do in terms of the playoff standings.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL on Saturday as well as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday will surely shake up both of their playoff standings. Like it or not, there are going to be some furious folks when the checkered flag drops on both races.
I mean, just look at how crazy the limited testing opportunities were on the ROVAL. It was crashing galore. A lot of good equipment was torn up in a short amount of time. Even team owner Joe Gibbs told his guys to just stop going over there at one point due to all the wrecks.
What’s crazy is that all of the chaos was single car incidents. Drivers pushing the limits by themselves struggled to make it around the track. What’s going to happen when you have playoff drivers with their championship hopes on the line pushing the limits even further with 39 of their closest friends around them?
That’s where the fear comes in.
When Talladega was a cut off race in the playoffs, there was fear among those on the playoff bubble, but not this much.
Some drivers say the chaotic nature of Las Vegas and the calmness of Richmond were a direct byproduct of the ROVAL. Everyone gave it all they had in Vegas to try to win and not have to worry about the ROVAL.
Hence all the mistakes.
Then, last weekend, we saw an odd sense of calmness out of everyone in Richmond. The drivers in turn said that they were so fearful of Charlotte that they didn’t want to push it too much. They just needed to maintain their position at that point.
When have you ever seen drivers so fearful?
That’s how chaotic this weekend is going to be. This is a new race, on a new design and a cutoff race in the Cup Series.