The Chevrolet camp is feeling a lot better about themselves after this weekend’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Finally, the manufacturer got themselves a win notched in the 2019 schedule with their shining star, Chase Elliott. Elliott led the field to the checkered flag followed by Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman for a 1,2 finish. They were joined in the top 10 by four more Chevy-powered teams, making six out of the ten top spots Chevy affiliated. Talladega marks the most Chevys in the top 10 in the 2019 season and is certainly having the manufacturer and the teams associated with them feeling very good heading into the rest of the season.
This weekend specifically, the manufacturers and everyone involved in them had a meeting about teamwork. All three manufacturers did this type of meeting and they all stressed one thing, unity. If a driver is driving a Toyota, they drafted with a Toyota, no one else and same went for all the other teams. Especially coming to the finish of the race this type of plan had to be in effect. No one can sure what the repercussions would be if a driver did not follow the plan, as that was not discussed, but thankfully for any of the drivers that situation did not happen
The main thing here for Chevy teams is they won this “unifying” weekend. They were the top manufacturer at a racetrack where anything could happen. Now whether that was just happenstance or the Chevy teams finding a mode of communication that worked, there are some takeaways from the weekend that need to be mentioned. Looking at the finishing order, Chevy was able to run together. This type of teamwork across multiple teams, that run for the struggling manufacturer is very promising. Can they turn this into a “team effort” to fix the struggles that they are having and bring the bow tie back to victory lane with more consistency? That obviously remains to be seen, but this is just a takeaway.
Another thing is Toyota and Ford definitely looked a bit discombobulated during the race. Now granted, there are only seven Toyotas on the track but Joe Gibbs Racing, the main Toyota team, all dropped to the back before pre-race with unapproved adjustments. This normally means they would all draft together to get to the front or to wait until “The Big One” and then advance forward. They did not do this though. They were always a few car lengths away from each other never really looking to get together. This was weird with all the attention regarding the respective manufacturer meetings. The same with the Fords as well. The Mustangs, while racing at the front of the pack most of the race, seemed to race each other very aggressively in a time that the aggression did not seem necessary.
Let me know what you think is in store for the rest of the season in regards to the three manufacturers on Twitter @BenHarner3 or in the comments below. I would love to see what you think!
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