The clocks get turned back over the weekend, but not far back enough to analyze a season that had so much of a new feel, that even today the teams are still adjusting. An entirely new car, with entirely new setups, and stricter parameters, it was a fresh start for the entirety of NASCAR.
Two exhibition races, 26 regular season events, and nine races in the playoffs, with so many stories along the way.
And yet, here we are, in the desert, with daylight savings time coming to a close. A weekend where the night before the deciding race, some will either get an hour more of rest, or an hour more to dial in setups.
All the talk at the beginning of the year, with a new car that had only been in testing situations, and got delayed because of a pandemic, then saw issues of parts shortages, and even now is still a major talking point within the garage area. It was a talking point for multiple reasons, as was stated above, but the talk changed as the season wore on, and it saw one of it’s former champions suddenly sidelined, admitting to some woes.
Those woes became echoed, and soon became a forefront. Yet, there also were moments where the car ran phenomenal, and suddenly the echoed talks became overwhelmingly overshadowed. Wrecks that looked slight, they in reality were more painful.
It brought back memories of 2001, when a wreck at Daytona that didn’t look bad instead stole away the sport’s modern day icon.
There have been tough battles on the track, controversy off it, feel-good wins, unexpected wins, and then there’s last week when the driver that won got literally overshadowed by another driver that put his foot down.
Now, all the wins, all the moments, and all the controversy, are in the past.
One race for the remaining Championship 4 simply means an even playing field.
A final four-way battle between Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott and Ross Chastain. Someone is hoisting a trophy at the end of the day.
It has been an incredible year, and now we have to dust off the finale. One final run to the finish.