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Gluck: NASCAR's long wait for drama may end soon

One of NASCAR’s biggest nights used to happen atRichmond International Raceway, where the drama of which drivers would make the Chase for the Sprint Cup played out under an intense spotlight.
This year, though, there doesn’t seem to be much excitement. Yes, there are technically five of 16 playoff spots still up for grabs.
But barring a first-time winner such as Kasey Kahne or Tony Stewart, the chances of a current Chase driver falling out are slim (Clint Bowyer has a 29-point lead over Aric Almirola for the final spot). Something crazy would have to happen in order for the playoff field to change at Richmond – and this hasn’t exactly been the craziest ofNASCAR seasons when it comes to on-track action.
Heading into the Chase, the story of the year has been Kyle Busch’s comeback. He broke his leg and foot in a crash at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 21 in theXfinity Series opener, missed 11 races and then came back to win four races and make the playoff by getting himself into the top 30 in points.
Other than that, the hot topics have revolved around which aerodynamic package NASCAR should use at its races to offer fans a more exciting product and drivers a more challenging car, Austin Dillon’s scary crash into the catchfence at Daytona, Jeff Gordon’s upcoming retirement from Cup racing and NASCAR’s position on theConfederate flag.
But the storylines that have traditionally sparked conversation from race to race -- those that focus on the drivers battling each other – have been largely absent. Rivalries? Fights? Tempers? A summary of the whole season in that department could fit into a single tweet.
Coming off last year’s explosive Chase, this season figured to see more action – especially when NASCAR decided to have all cars stop on pit road this year (in order to remove a tapered spacer that reduces horsepower). Surely, being in close proximity after a race would spark something between drivers.
There was seemingly no one upset after the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway – often a breeding ground for outbursts – nor after last week’s event at Darlington Raceway, despite a track-record number of cautions.

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