Watkins Glen Setup

Sorry for the delay, been working overtime this week.

Monday we had an amazing race. Pocono was not its normal snoozer, with impending rain the race to halfway was on. An absolutely exciting race took place. Within that race we saw the 3 car of Austin Dillon power by other cars, he was one of the top 2 times all day! Freddy, Marty, and their teams in the shop had the hot rods ready. RCR has closed the gap and made it very clear, they are back.

Coming to halfway Austin Dillon raced Kyle Larson. Andy Houston reminded Austin again and again to keep the pressure on him, he will overdrive. Coming to halfway with rain in the area Austin could wait no longer. With a faster car he dove under Larson, turning the 3 hard into the turn the rear stepped out, he had to catch it up hill, this putting him into Kyle Larson. After contact the 22 of Joey Logano raced by. While some say Austin’s move was dumb or unnecessarily aggressive and I even heard one say Dale Earnhardt Sr. would be embarrassed of that move. Let me tell you, that was good hard racing for the lead. That was absolutely the right move. Austin had the faster car no Logano was catching them because of the blocks thrown by the 42. Austin made a good racing move and I know Dale would’ve been proud of it. Dale made that same move many times because, as he would say, “Pays more to win.”

In the end, Austin finished 13th after running some of the fastest times all day and running in the top 3. As a fan, I say it was a much needed run. I think the team needed that run. They know they have good cars, they have good people, they have good motors. It just has to all come together and they were much closer. Now, onto the Glen!

Lets just start with this, it’s a high speed road course. Austin has improved much over the years on road courses, but let’s not hold up false hope. I’m all about the reality of the situation and the situation is this, Austin has a career average of 22nd on this course. 26th in Cup and 18th in Xfinity. Now, it’s not a fire and brimstone sermon here, there is potential. With an average of 4 spots above his career average I think I can comfortably project Austin to finish 18th, which means I am basically handing this race to Frank.

In first practice Austin was 26th and in second practice he was 13th. If Austin attacks this newly repaved surface and if Austin breaks character and fights like he did for the lead at Pocono, I can easily see Austin finishing in the top 10. Funny thing happens when a driver sniffs that first win, he gets hungrier for it, he can feel it, he will fight for it even more. This is one course I wouldn’t mind seeing Austin ruffle some feathers. I think it’s time to do so. With a good second practice he is set up for a good qualifying run. If he starts near the front and Slugger plays his strategy right, there could be a surprise at the end of this old rainbow. Either way, it’s going to be a fun ride.

Good luck, enjoy the race, I’ll see you in the box.

 

P.S. If you are at Watkins Glen or will be there, swing by the Derrike Cope Racing hauler, get a picture with Nathalie, post it on Twitter and get yourself some Ice-Frost for your cooler. It’ll help save money and it keeps your beer really cold. I can’t find any reason not to do that.

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