The unknown brings out many emotions, no matter the situation. There’s the unknown of a future, whether it be a potential job, a new city for a fresh start away from what caused one to leave in the first place, and there’s the unknown in relationships, whether the person one is with is the right one, or THE one for them.
The unknown in the work environment is just as difficult. A change in job code, or location, or even destination, can change how one completes the task.
In this case for NASCAR, it is familiar surroundings, but unfamiliar territory…with unknown expectations.
Sure, the location is the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and from the outside, the 1.5-mile speedway does have the look one would see for the playoffs. But, on the inside, that track is completely altered. The high banks will see action, but not before the infield does too. A track with 17 total turns, two chicanes, high speed, and what has turned out to be difficult curbing, has many unknowns already at the forefront of the action.
Fans wanted a change, they certainly got one. The first round of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Playoffs will be a road never traveled, as it will be the Charlotte ROVAL that will determine who moves on, and who is left grasping at straws in the playoffs.
This creates a lot of worry for the League participants, because they have no idea who will be the one to go with. Somehow, they decided on picks, and are hoping for the best. Here’s who they feel will get them the win, and possibly move them on in their playoffs, in the Bank of America ROVAL 400:
Misan Akuya: Jamie McMurray
This race could be insane. This race could produce an outside winner. Seeing that McMurray is one of the few drivers with not only roval experience, but a win on one winning the 24 Hours of Daytona. With nothing confirmed for 2019, McMurray is going to be racing with a “Chip” on his shoulder.
Rob Blount: Jamie McMurray
Billy Fellin: Jimmie Johnson
This is honestly kind of a “why not” as I’m already locked in for the next round. Johnson is currently on the outside looking in for the next round but he’s been really good at Charlotte before and at road courses. So, why not?
Ashley Hobbs: Chase Elliott
While stats for this particular race are hard to work with, the stats of Elliott at Charlotte earlier this year along with the two road courses could spell success for the young driver this weekend!
Dustin Parks: A.J. Allmendinger
With me already in the next round, there’s no sense in wasting a good driver on an unknown track. So, way I figure it, I have nothing really to lose since I’ll get reset with everyone else to an even point. So why not go with a guy who has won on a road course, has tested here, and now…is looking for a ride. Why not take a gamble…gimme Dinger.
Trisha Rodisch: Martin Truex Jr.
No reason given.
Sal Sigala Jr: Chase Elliott
I’m thinking winner will be a driver who is smooth and very patient when attacking this track. Especially with the flat corners.
Rob Tiongson: Chase Elliott
Penny Whitecotton: Chase Elliott
No reason given.
Playoff Standings after Richmond:
Penny Whitecotton – 2118 – Martin Truex Jr. finished 3rd (7) 56
Trisha Rodisch* – 2104 – Kyle Busch WON (6) 34
Misan Akuya – 2104 – Aric Almirola finished 5th (4) 23
Billy Fellin* – 2103 – Kyle Busch WON (5) 36
Dustin Parks* – 2101 – Kyle Busch WON (2) 15
Rob Tiongson – 2085 – Clint Bowyer finished 10th (4) 22
Ashley Hobbs – 2084 – Denny Hamlin finished 16th (5) 26
Sal Sigala Jr. – 2084 – Joey Logano finished 14th (4) 23
Rob Blount – 2061 – Denny Hamlin finished 16th (2) 16
*Locked into Second Round
Summary of Picks:
Martin Truex Jr-1