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Off Weekend is Just Calm Before the Storm

July 21st, 2013 at 12:04 AM
By Clayton Caldwell

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has their final week off of the 2013 season this weekend and drivers are taking advantage of it. Usually Nationwide races and Truck series races are popular destination spots for Sprint Cup drivers to scratch their itch on an off weekend. 

If you look this weekend's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway only three Sprint Cup Series regulars are in the field and they are Joey Logano, Joe Nemechek and Landon Cassill. Instead of seeing a huge number of Sprint Cup Series drivers at the race most of them are taking the weekend off and relaxing with their families and that's probably a good idea. 

From this point forward there won't be much rest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and teams. There will be 17 straight weeks of hardcore Sprint Cup Series racing and they will be spread out all over the country. 

The next time there isn't a race during a weekend we will know the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and fans will be itching until February for the 56th running of the Daytona 500. 

From this weekend until Thanksgiving the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will no longer be drivers sitting back waiting until later on in the year to collect wins and collect points. No, there are only seven races until 2013's version of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Will Jimmie Johnson win his sixth championship? He looks like the favorite right now. Will Matt Kenseth chase down Johnson and beat him for his second championship and his first in ten years. How about Kyle Busch? Will he finally find himself in the Chase and win the championship that everyone expects him to win? How about Kasey Kahne? Will that #5 team find the consistency needed to win and make a late ten race run at the championship. Will we see someone else who is not on the radar come and make a great ten race run and compete for the championship?

All that will be answered in the next 17 weeks. Not only that but the silly season will be heating up. Anyone got an idea as to what Mark Martin's plans are for 2014 and beyond. Will he be in a fourth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota? Will he and Jack Roush strike up a reunion and have Martin run the #6 car for one last season? Or is there something we're all missing that is in front of our face? How about Ryan Newman? Will Newman find a competitive ride for 2014? Will there be a reunion with him and Roger Penske? Will he be running for RCR or Furniture Row Racing? Maybe Roush Fenway even makes a play at the veteran driver? Will organizations add race teams, will there be a new start up team for more drivers to consider for the future. 

'Dale Earnhardt 1997: NASCAR Photography By Darryl Moran' photo (c) 2009, Darryl Moran - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Speaking of Richard Childress Racing will the organization race the #3 car in 2014 with Austin Dillon? Will the organization have four cars or three? What about the manufacturers? Will they be happy with the results from the new Generation six race car or will they make some changes prior to the 2014 season. 

It's gonna be a busy last 17 weeks. Enjoy this off weekend because it's just the calm before the fun storm that will be the next 17 weeks in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Tags: Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, matt kenseth, Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Ryan Newman

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