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Tag:HMS
Posted on: April 21, 2011 11:51 am
 

Is Rick Hendrick setting up Junior Nation again?

In 2007 Junior Nation went crazy when Dale Earnhardt Junior signed with Hendrick Motor Sports (HMS). Junior came out strong with HMS and even won a race and made the chase.  But once in the chase things went down hill in a hurry and for the next 2 years Junior was a side show for TV and Media more than a contender to win races.

Now it's 2011 and Junior is a surprising 3rd in the points after 7 races and Junior Nation is going crazy once again, saying he is going to win X number of races this year and he's a contender for the Championship etc. etc. etc. 

However, I have another theory as to why Junior is doing well this season and will probably make the chase but then start his slide once again.  The theory is 2 fold so hold onto your hat.

Part 1 of the theory is that Junior's sales are going down.  While Junior still outsells all other drivers he sales are slowing down,  And for Rick this is not acceptable.  Rick wants that extra money so he can win championships with JJ and Jeff.  Also, as Junior sales decrease it means more winning drivers and controvisal drivers like Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and others are gaining in the popularity ranks which may take an advantage that HMS appears to have with NASCAR away.

Part 2 and the heart of the matter in my opinion is Junior is in the 4th year of his 5 year contract and Rick wants him to extend for at least 3 more years and hopefully 5 more years.  Why, would he want this if he is not interested in Junior winning.  Well, read Part 1 for that answer.  Rick doesn't want another team to sign him and lose that 80 million plus a year that Junior brings to HMS.  So in order to get Junior re-energized he gives him a new crew chief and a little better equipment and Junior does well, regains his faith in HMS and extends his contract making Rick Hendrick a very happy and Wealthier man.  I'll even say as soon as Junior re-signs we will start to see the Junior of the last two years, starting to make endroads. 

What is going to be hard for Junior fans to swallow is Junior will extend this year.  Why? Because Rick want's to push that issue.  Reason?  Kasey Kahne is coming to HMS next season and when he does he will be the number 3 man at HMS and Junior will rate number 4 again. 

What happens if Junior does win a race this season?  Well, I would be happy for Junior and most of his fans.  It would be good for NASCAR as it would re-energize a particular fan base that is only in it because of Junior and the sport could use a shot in the arm in that direction.  However, if he wins like he did in Michigan, and I'm not talking fuel mileage as many a driver has won using that stratagy, but the fact that he broke the rules and NASCAR did nothing but give him a warning then I would have a hugh problem with that.

Anyway that is my rant as to why Junior is doing well so far this year.  It's all about the Money period.  Rick Loves it and he will bleed Junior dry getting it. 
Posted on: February 15, 2010 10:42 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2010 12:57 pm
 

Is Dale Junior Back?

Before I go into the blog this is not a Hate on Junior blog nor is it a love fest with Junior, As an individual that is not a fan of Junior by any means, I will admit that he is good for this sport right now.  


Now to look at the question I posed. 

Dale Junior had a great run at Daytona, at least for the last 2 laps of the third Green White Checkered.  Now those who want to jump on me will ask why I pointed out that it was the last Green White Checkered, and I say I point it out because the other two he was no where to be found and if the Checkereds had flown before that last GWC then Junior would have finished around the mid to low teens. Maybe a 10th place finish.  But fortunately for Junior it didn't, we went 3 GWC and Junior drove the heck out of his car to finish second. 

But does that mean he is back?  Well, if you heard his interview after the race, one may say he is, because Junior said he was bummed by not finishing first.  Also, his voice showed some emotions so for Junior fans there was hope. 

On the other hand if you looked at earlier interviews the reaction was mixed, at least to this race fan.  Also, his defiance of Rick Hendrick and his clean cut image seems to be either a I don't care what the boss says or what is he going to do fire me attitude. 

On the plus side - He was able to manuver his car at Daytona like we have seen in the past on restirctor plate tracks.

On the minus side - He was only able to do this when the sun went down and the track tightened up. 

I know a lot of people want to say last year was a fluke, and maybe it was and hopefully it was if it is for the better ment of the sport.  But until he can prove that he can stay in the top 15 for the next 5 to 8 races then the jury will remain out. 

But we have to remember a bad race at California, if it happens, doesn't mean much either,  So lets wait until we get to 'Dega to proclaim Junior is all the way back and a chase contender or that he is back to the way things were 2009.  . 

Not saying Junior fans shouldn't rally around what he did at Daytona, because they should, their fans, but those fans should understand the rest of us will have the wait and see attitude and will point out things good and not so good and not try to bash them.

Here's to Fans and detractors alike may all of us be able to converse both way without too much mud slinging. 

Posted on: July 7, 2009 7:07 am
Edited on: July 7, 2009 8:43 am
 

Mikeyfan's Mid Season Report Card - (Chevy)

Well, it's mid season so lets see how I grade myself on my preseason picks.  Also, please feel free to grade me too.

I'm starting out with Chevy just like last time.

Starting off with HMS and my pre-season prediction:

Prediction for HMS - HMS should have 3 cars in the chase again this year, maybe 4, JJ and Jeff should be a lock with either Dale Junior or Mark Martin the third party.


Well Jeff and JJ are locked in the chase and Mark Martin has been bouncing in and out of the top 12. The only disappointment is Dale Junior who is having a less than steller year.  

Grade: B+:  If Mark was in the top 12 at this time I might give myself an A - on this but never an "A" because of Dale's struggles.

Outlook for the remainder of the season:  Mark is in a fight for the Chase slot, and I'm not sure if he will make it or not.  It should be a great battle,  But with 3 wins already if he makes the chase those bonus points could give him a great push for a title.  IF HE MAKES THE CHASE.

 

Next up RCR:

Here was my presesaon prediction:

Prediction for RCR - RCR should have 2 cars locked into the chase and a third car should make it.  I don't believe they will get all 4 cars in the chase meaning either Mears or Bowyer will not make it.  This season could be a turning point for Casey as Richard's grandson is starting to make his way into the lower NASCAR circuits.

 

I missed this one by a mile.  Jeff and Clint have an outside chance to make the chase but it is likely that RCR will not have a car in the chase this year.  Kevins year has been a total disappointment and Casey, well he is driving like Casey a 15 - 20 place driver. 

Grade:  D - : Just Because Jeff has an outside shot at the chase keeps me from an "F"

Outlook for the remainder of the season:  Richard needs to shake things up in the shop, and not just crew changes like earlier in the year. He needs to take a long look at his program and find out what is wrong.  His fight with GM for the money they owe him may be affecting this team more than we know.

Next up EGR

My Prediction:

Prediction for EGR - This is a team sorely in need for another full time sponsor for the 8 car.  It is possible that we may see this team close its door at years end.  Montoya and Truex Jr. should battle for a chase spot but right now I'm not sure either will make it.

 


Juan Montoya is currently in 11th place in the standings and would be in the chase if it started now.  Truex Jr on the other hand is struggling and if that has anything to do with his contract talks no one knows.  As predicted the 8 car had to be shut down because of lack of sponsorship.

Grade:  B , With Montoya fighting for a chase spot, currently in, and Truex having a bad year I gave myself a "B" although a C+ may be more appropriate.

Outlook for the remainder of the Season: Juan will continue to fight for a chase spot and Watkins Glen may be the race to put him in.  Personnelly I wouldn't mind seeing him and a couple of other mid level teams get in and bring the "Big Boys" down a notch.  Martin may be able to turn around his season after it is announced he is moving to MWR as that team can now relax and race.  Aric is poised to move into the 1/8 car next season after Martin leaves.

Last SHR:

Prediction for SHR  I believe Tony will struggle more this year than most will think.  Tony is a great driver and I am a fan of his, my number 2 driver behind Mikey, but I think he will have his plate full trying to keep his car in the top 20 and getting Ryan in the top 25.  Don't look for too much from this team.


Boy I couldn't have been more wrong on this pick nor could I have had such a change in heart for a driver.  Tony is sitting on top of the points and has 2 wins plus the All Star win,  Ryan is a solid 7th in the points and will probably make the chase.  I have flipped on my support of Tony based on his arrogance at Lowes with David Reutimann and the fact that SHR, in my opinion, is an extension of HMS and therefore is skirting the rules.  I know its my opinion and I have nothing to back me on this, but Logic tells me that when someone like Rick is up on Victory Lane with his arm around Tony like he is a teammate then something going on that isn't quite right.

GRADE:  F-  If there was ever a time for an "F -" this would be it.  I was so far off on this prediction that it is kind of a joke:

Outlook for the remainder of the season: It appears that Tony will make a strong run for the fourth title in a row for HMS, um, I mean a strong run for a title in his first season and Ryan will be strong in the chase.  I don't think Tony will win the title this year, but if he does then you can bet the press will be all over it proclaiming him the greatest owner/driver of all time, when he built absolutely nothing of his own. 

Well, there you have it.  I know I'll get bashed by the SHR comments and that's ok, Let me know how you would grade me and as always I would love to see your thoughts on the season and how its progressed so far with each team. 

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: EGR, HMS, NASCAR, RCR, SHR
 
Posted on: January 30, 2009 10:35 am
 

Mikeyfan's Pre-season Predictions (Chevy)

I am going to do a blog on each of the major teams by manufacture.  This one will be on the Defending Champion Chevorlet.  Then I will do Ford, Toyota, and last Dodge.  Here's my take on the Chevy teams

Hendricks Motor Sports

The question with HMS is how many drivers they will have in the chase.  We know that Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon will probably be there, but the question is will Junior or Mark Martin be the third or will HMS actually get 4 drivers in.  I understand that Junior was running 3rd when the chase started, he was very consistent last year, however, I still have issues on his communication with his crew chief when it comes to the late stages of the race.  The question is was the regular season what we should expect to see from Junior or did what happen in the chase really show the state of that team.  The other big question is Mark Martin.  Here is a good driver that hasn't raced a full season the past 2 years.  Question is can he do well and make the chase in a car that did not make the chase last year or the year before.  Rick has seemed to always have an R&D car and the biggest question is what car will be his R&D car this year or will they finally all get it together.

Prediction for HMS - HMS should have 3 cars in the chase again this year, maybe 4, JJ and Jeff should be a lock with either Dale Junior or Mark Martin the third party.

 

Richard Childress Racing

This is Richards First year as an owner of 4 cars.  The past two seasons he has been able to get all 3 cars in the chase but will he do it again this year?  The 29 of Harvicks and 31 of Jeff Burton should be a lock to make the chase, the questions lie with Clint Bowyers move to a new team with a new crew chief, in the 33 car and can Casey Mears live up to his hype and make the chase with a crew that made it with a rookie and sophomore driver the last two year?

Prediction for RCR - RCR should have 2 cars locked into the chase and a third car should make it.  I don't believe they will get all 4 cars in the chase meaning either Mears or Bowyer will not make it.  This season could be a turning point for Casey as Richard's grandson is starting to make his way into the lower NASCAR circuits.

 

Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing

Will the merger of DEI and GR bring success or failure to the new team?  Both Truex Jr and Montoya have an outside chance to make the chase but for this organization the main question is can they field a 3rd full time team in order to keep Turex Jr. and more importantly Bass Pro Shop for another year?  It appears that John Andretti will be using the points from the 15 and will run full time with an alliance to EGR.  Will BASS Pro Shop recognize this alliance as a full filling thier agreement with EGR?

Prediction for EGR - This is a team sorely in need for another full time sponsor for the 8 car.  It is possible that we may see this team close its door at years end.  Montoya and Truex Jr. should battle for a chase spot but right now I'm not sure either will make it.

 

Stewart Hass Racing

Repeat after me:  Tony is not a teammate of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Mark Martin.  He does not race for Rick Hendricks and never will. Now with that out of the way......

Will Tony be successful on his own?  How will he do without Zippy in his corner to keep him under control?  These and many other questions will be answered the first half of this season and should prove interesting.  The other question is what chance does he and Ryan Newman have at making the chase?  Very little if you ask me.  I know most don't agree with me, with the exception of Hawks, most are in a wait and see mode.  But I cannot see Rick Hendricks selling equipment to Tony that will take money out of his pockets.  Tony is an outstanding driver and could win a race this year, (plate track being his best bet) but I look for Tony to finish somewhere between 15th and 20th in points with Ryan finishing outside the top 25.  New team, growing pains and not building their own equipment will hurt this team this year.  Hopefully, Tony is getting things set up to start building his own in the future.

Prediction for SHR

I believe Tony will struggle more this year than most will think.  Tony is a great driver and I am a fan of his, my number 2 driver behind Mikey, but I think he will have his plate full trying to keep his car in the top 20 and getting Ryan in the top 25.  Don't look for too much from this team.

Well there you have it.  I have covered all the major Chevy Teams now it is your turn to let me and others know what you think.

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: Chevy, EGR, HMS, NASCAR, RCR, SHR
 
Posted on: November 10, 2008 2:29 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2008 8:00 pm
 

Mikeyfans End of Year NASCAR Awards

Most of you remember I did a mid year awards blog, so now I'm going to do an end of year awards blog.  Using the same categories and I will even show who my mid season winner was.  Please feel free to comment as usual.

MVP:

Mid Season Winner: Kyle Bush

My how fortunes change - at mid season there was no question who should get this award Kyle Bush had it locked it seemed, but something happened at the start of the chase and well, to the joy of Junior fans everywhere, Kyle hit a rough patch and may not make the banquet table, imagine that. 

So who is this years MVP,  Well the obvious would probably be Jimmie Johnson, he has his 3rd championship virtually locked up, he would win the points battle even it was under the old system so why not JJ.  But no one ever accused me of going with the obvious.  My pick for this years MVP is:

CARL EDWARDS - Carl has been consistent all year, he won races in the begining of the year, mid-year and the end of the year.  And if it wasn't for a 100 point deduction at Vegas this year Carl would be leading under the classic points system by 46 points. 

Most Improved:

Mid Season: BRIAN VICKERS:

At the mid season I toyed with Brian and David Reutimann as the winner of this award, and while both have had great years my winner had a better year, we just didn't really hear about him until  the later part of the season.  So the end of year award goes to:

David Regan -  David looks like he will end up 13th in points and the last half of the season has consistently run in the top 10.

Most Disappointing:

Mid Season: Ryan Newman:

I based my mid season selection on the fact that Ryan did nothing after his 500 win and while he didn't win a race and did not compete for a chase spot, and yes while his season has been somewhat a disappointment I'm giving him a break for having his mind on his move to his new team the latter part of the season.  But the winner, in my opinion has no excuses and that person would be:

Elliott Sadler:  Elliott didn't do a thing this year,  Even when his teammate, Kasey Kane went on a small streak at the end of May, Elliott never threatened for anything.  others considered, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Kyle Bush and Juan Pablo Montoya

Biggest Surprise:

Mid Season - David Regan

And the winner is:

David Regan: Not only was he my Most Improved but he remains my biggest surprise.  It seemed the latter part of the year everytime you looked at the final results David was in the top 10.  So Coodoos to David

Rookie of the Year:

Mid Season -Mike McDowell -

Boy did I get blasted for this pick and as it turned out rightfully so, Mike took a dive starting at Daytona and dove so far that he no longer has a ride.  This year there really wasn't a rookie that stood out like we have had in the past.  So I am going to go with:

Regan Smith: - Regan is currently 34th in points but more importantly he kept the 01 car in the top 35 all year.  Plus one has to consider where would Sam Hornish be if he hadn't had the points from the 2 car to guarantee him being in the first 5 races.

Now for Team Awards:

Most Improved Team:

Mid Season - MWR

Well I got blasted for my pick at mid season, everyone was saying it should have been "Red Bull"  Well guess what? I'm going to get blasted again because my winner is:

MWR: Michael Waltrip has put a lot of effort into this team and has all three cars in the top 35 at this time.  Plus the last half of the season MWR cars have been competitive a lot of the times.  With the 00 moving to the 47 next season and Mikey Bringing in some major engineers from F-1 and other personnel I expect bigger and better things for next season.  Also, one thing that turned me off on Red Bull, is how they handled AJ Allmendinger.  The 83 car is 20th in points but Brian sits 19th in Drivers Points and David 22nd so not a whole lot of differences there. 

Most Disappointing Team:

Mid Season - Ganassi Racing: 

Again I have to stick with my Mid Season Pick here and go with:

Ganassi Racing - Chip lost the 40 car early, Now he lost sponsors for his top driver with Texaco leaving and is looking to merge with another team.  

Most Shocking Event of the Season:

Mid Season - Ryan Newman leaving Penske Racing:

While Ryan leaving Penske was a shock, I think the biggest shock to NASCAR is:

Sponsors leaving by droves: A lot of sponsors have bailed on NASCAR for the upcoming season.  Army leaves DEI, Ganassi loses Texaco, No sponsors for the 43, 22 and others.  It appears NASCAR's Cash Cow is drying up and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Brian France does in the off season.

Best Move by NASCAR:

Mid Season:

1.  Ryan Newmans 25 Point penalty for being too high.  To me this was consistent to all the past penalties.  Even though it was the COT it was nothing that kept the car from meeting the templates.

2.  The no penalty to the 66 car of JJ Yealy last week.  Initially, it was reported the team had put lead in the water bottle and then when they changed the water bottle the car would weigh about 30 pounds lighter.  Well it turned out that the bags contained Water and when they took the bag out the car was within standards but, the a violation had taken place by placing the bag in the car prior to tech, thereby changing the attitude of the car.  The penalty was a drive through on lap 1 and did not result into a loss of a lap. 

End of Year:

Boy its hard to come up with a Best Move by NASCAR but other than the two above I will have to say the Best Move is:

The changing of the Chase Schecule:  I'm not real crazy about California having a chase race and Atlanta losing it.  What the move did was bring the Labor Day Race back to the south where it belongs but it also pushed Talladega back to the 6th race in the chase.  This could make it very interesting with the 'Big One' lurking at every lap.  Make Contenders from Pretenders and make Contenders,  Pretenders.

Well there you have it.  Agree, Disagree,, but remember if you disagree let everyone know why and who you would pick for that category.  After all your opinion counts too.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: September 2, 2008 10:01 am
 

Contender or Pretender as we head into the Chase

I know we still have a week to go prior to the chase starting but I figured I'd give everyone a head start on their thoughts as to who was the real contenders for the cup and who were just in the chase and along for the ride.  Oh, I realize my thought will probably piss some off but then I wouldn't be Mikeyfan if I didn't upset some.

 

Kyle Bush - Contender - Kyle will start the chase off in the points lead.  Kyle has been strong all season and there is no reason to expect that he will slow down during the chase.  Of course there are those from a certain "NATION" that are hoping he falls on his face but with JGR equipment and his momentum I just don't see it happening.

Carl Edwards - Contender - Carl like Kyle has a lot of momentum coming into the chase and with 3 of the races being on the cookie cutter tracks that he seems to excel at he has a very good chance to win this. 

Jimmy Johnson - Contender - Current Sprint Cup Champion,  started this season on the slow side but his team has picked it up since Daytona in July.  Look for Jimmy to have some very Strong Runs and be a contender all they way through Miami.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Pretender - Since Dales win at Michigan his highest finish has been 11th and in these races he really hasn't been a contender the latter part of the race.  Rick Hendrick gave the "Nation" what he promised.  A win for Junior, now its time to concentrate on his Champions and push for another title.

Jeff Burton - Pretender - Jeff is Mr. Consistency but when it comes to crunch time I just don't think he has it in him to go all out for it and the heck with the other drivers.   Jeff reminds me a lot of Mark Martin, good driver but just can't make himself move that driver in front of hime to get those extra points need to win a championship.

Greg Biffle - Pretender - Jack Roush will be putting all of his efforts behind his best chance to win a championship and that will be Carl Edwards.  Greg just will do what he can to make a good showing but I don't believe the support, outside of his team, will be there.

Kevin Harvick - Wild Card - Kevin is a driver that could be a Pretender or a Contender.  The first couple of races will tell it all for Kevin.  However, he has the best chance of the RCR cars to win it all this year.

Tony Stewart - Wild Card - Tony is my second and last Wild Card in the chase - It will all depend on where his head is at,  Will it be on this season or next years new team.  It will also depend on JGR,  Will they give him equipment to win?  Tony has the fire and like Kevin I believe the first couple of races will decide if he is a Contender or Pretender.

Matt Kenseth - Contender - Although Matt is behind Gregg Biffle, this will be Jack's second choice to push for another championship.  A couple of reasons for this.  One Matt is a better overall driver and Two, Jack is going to want to show Matt that he is a major force in his shop.  Matt will be a free agent after next season and rumor has it Matt is not happy and will leave after next season.  So Jack is going to give it his all to try to keep Matt after next season.

Jeff Gordon - Contender - This may shock a lot of folks, Those who know me on the auto boards know I'm not a big Jeff Gordon Fan,  However, I have learned that you don't count Jeff out.  Sure he has had a subpar season for Jeff and a lot of his fans are jumping ship or questioning his desire or Crew Chief, but to count him out in the chase would be saying you don't know anything about NASCAR.  Jeff is a champion with a Champions heart and until he is totally out of it, he will have a chance to win it all, if you know what I mean.

Denny Hamlin - Contender - This is a hot head who has the talent to catch fire.  He has the driving ability to take off like Kyle did earlier this year and have a run of 10 top 7 runs and win this thing.

Clint Bowyer - Pretender - Clint will be satisfied with making the chase.  He got his only win last year in the chase and could get another this year, but it will be too little too late.

David Regan - Pretender - Yes he has been driving well the last few weeks, and yes he is looking good, but he has a couple of things going against him.  One - he will be satisfied that he made the chase, this is more than this team expected, Two - Jack will be concentrating on his top 2 drivers, Carl and Matt

Kasey Kane - Pretender - If Kasey makes the chase, I think he will end up around 7th or 8th in the final standings but I don't believe he will be a contender.  Too inconsistent. 

 

 

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: GEM, HMS, JGR, NASCAR, RCR, RR
 
Posted on: July 15, 2008 9:18 am
Edited on: July 15, 2008 10:33 am
 

NASCAR Awards, so far

Well, we have a week off so I thought from racing, its all star week in Baseball, so why not do an award blog for what has happened so far this season.  I'll make the categories and who I feel the award should go to, you can blast my pick and make your own pick and explain why.

Here we go:

MVP:

KYLE BUSH - Without a doubt he wins hands down.  8 wins in 19 races, well lets just say he is out classing the rest of the field by a wide margine.

Most Improved:

This one was tough for me.  Being a homer of sorts I want to say David Reutimann, he has put 2 of MWR's cars solidily into the top 35 but my head tells me that the true choice has to be,

BRIAN VICKERS: Brian has taken his Red Bull car from a go or go homer at the beginning of the season to the brink of the chase.

Most Disappointing:

Again this one was tough but for different reasons, what is a disappointing season,  Well, we have Kyle Petty struggling to make races but really did we expect that much from him?  How 'bout Casey Mears,  Here he has all that good HMS equipment, barely in the top 25 and has lost his ride for next season.  I could go with Jeff Gordon, who has struggled, by his standards, after the year he had last season, no wins, his fans I believe are a little disappointed.  But no I have to go with,

Ryan Newman: After his win at the Daytona 500 he has fallen in the standings like a Rock.  In fact it has gotten so bad at Penske that Ryan is going to leave after this season.

Biggest Surprise:

Now some may say this is the same as the Most Improved but not really, what driver has surprised you the most by how well he has done this season?  I could say Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a real big surprise, why well I think a lot of people thought he would be in the top 12 but how many people really thought he'd be sitting 2nd in the points this time of year?  I think we can all say if we are honest with ourselves we would have to say it is a surprise to where he sits.  But I didn't go thier I went with:

David Regan: Here is an individual that everyone was saying last season would be the one to go at Roush.  That Roush made a big mistake by putting him in the 6 car and that he couldn't handle the pressures of the big show.  Well, I not only think he is handling the pressure I think he has solidified his positions at Roush.  Right now he sits 15th in points with a solid shot at the chase.

Rookie of the Year:

This is really a tough one as no one Rookie has stepped forward.  Sam Hornish is hanging around the go or go homers and all but one of the rest are go or go homers.  So I have to go with

Mike McDowell - I know this looks like a homer pick, and it may be, but the fact that this kid has not had any experience in the Nationwide or Cup series and he has managed to keep the car in the top 35 to me is a great accomplishment.  I know he was given a break by NASCAR not allowing the points swap between the 00 and the 44 but he has maintained his position in the top 35.  This to me is no more of a break than Sam Hornish getting the points at the beginning of the season from the 2 car.  But I will say this.  If Patrick Carpentier can get into the top 35 he may be the best of this lot. But this years Rookie Crop does not show any outstanding drivers at this time.

Now for Team Awards:

Most Improved Team:

Ok, I'm going to let my bias get to me on this award,  I know that Red Bull with Brian is doing well but they still have one in the go or go home category.  So I have to go with:

MWR: Michael Waltrip has put a lot of effort into this team and has all three cars in the top 35.  Although none of the cars are in the top 25 where this organization has come from last season to now is a great accomplishment.

Most Disappointing Team:

To me this is an easy pick.  You have Penske with their troubles but both cars are in the top 20,  You have HAAS who has both cars out of the top 35, one because of a rules violation. but the winner hands down is:

Ganassi Racing:  Here is a team that has folded a team has one team sitting at 32nd in points and his best team has gone through 3 crew chiefs, causing his driver to publicly criticize the owner.

Most Shocking Event of the Season:

This one, I don't believe, is as cut and dried as most people will think.  Yes Tony Stewart is leaving JGR, but this has been rumored since JGR announced that they were going to Toyota.  Tony has severed a long relationship with Joe Gibbs and It may be a long hard road for him to get back to the top. But the one thing that I never saw coming at the beginning of the season was:

Ryan Newman leaving Penske Racing: Ryan started the season winning the Super Bowl of Racing the Daytona 500.  All was well but suddenly things went sour, and really haven't heard what really has happened, and now all of a sudden Ryan is out of Penske without a ride for next season.  Will he get a ride, you bet, he is too talented, but this was not foreseen by anyone that I know of. 

Best Move by NASCAR:

Well this is a category that people may say WHAT?  When has NASCAR made a good move recently?  Well I have 2 for this category?

1.  Ryan Newmans 25 Point penalty for being too high.  To me this was consistent to all the past penalties.  Even though it was the COT it was nothing that kept the car from meeting the templates.

2.  The no penalty to the 66 car of JJ Yealy last week.  Initially, it was reported the team had put lead in the water bottle and then when they changed the water bottle the car would weigh about 30 pounds lighter.  Well it turned out that the bags contained Water and when they took the bag out the car was within standards but, the a violation had taken place by placing the bag in the car prior to tech, thereby changing the attitude of the car.  The penalty was a drive through on lap 1 and did not result into a loss of a lap. 

Honorable mention to the no calls to the Mikey incident at Richmond except to sit him out the last 50 laps, the no call to Hamlin at Richmond for stopping on the track and the no calls to the crews of Junior and Bush after Richmond. 

Well there you have it.  Agree, Disagree,, but remember if you disagree let everyone know why and who you would pick for that category.  After all your opinion counts too.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: July 10, 2008 8:42 am
Edited on: July 10, 2008 9:20 am
 

Tony Stewart and his new team

Well once again Mikeyfan is going to bring controversy to the Blogs.  Before I get into this let me explain I am a Tony Stewart Fan.  He is my number 2 driver behind Michael Waltrip so I do wish him all the luck but I have to ask everyone...........................
......

WHAT MAKES EVERYONE THINK THAT RICK HENDRICKS WILL PROVIDE TONY STEWART WINNING EQUIPMENT?

I hope I can convey an intelligent argument for everyone to think about. 

  1. Tony is not a teammate of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Mark Martin.  Rich Hendricks will not receive any money from the sale of Tony's merchandise, he will not receive any of the winnings that Tony earns on the track.  So for those who say Rick will sell him  top equipment I for one don't see it.
  2. Why would Rick take a chance on Tony making the chase and one of his drivers miss the chase?  Has anyone looked at the difference in the points money for being in the top 12 vs 13 to 25?  That is a lot of money and Rick loves his money.  Besides this is a business and in business the goal is to make money
  3. What would Ricks own drivers think if all of a sudden Tony is winning and they are not?  Who has been the biggest threat to Jeff and JJ for the championship over the past 8 years?  It's been Tony.  This was ok when he was using someone elses equipment but it won't be ok if he beats them with their own equipment.
  4. Rick Hendricks has been providing engines to teams since DW left in 1991.  The last time someone other than a HMS car won with a Hendricks motor was..........1992 and Darrell Waltrip.  No one else has won a race since then. Right now the 66 and 70 cars are having a hard time qualifying with HMS motors and chassises outside of drivers talent what will be different?
  5. Will Rick share testing and Wind Tunnel data with Tony?  Not a chance, he will not give Tony anything that he could use against his team for the win.  This sport is all about winning and Rick will not give another team anything that could keep him out of the winners circle.

When you think about all the top teams they all have their own engine department,  HMS, RCR/ECR, Roush/Yates, Everham(with Dodges help), JGR teaming with TRD.  In fact Roush couldn't beat Yates for a long time so he bought Yates.  The bottom line is championship teams do not rely on someone else to provide them "winning" equipment because they know they  won't get it. 

Also think about this, Daytona 2009, Tony is behind Dale Junior and has a chance to go with someone else, say Kyle Bush, that will give him a better chance to win.  Will he show loyalty?  Heck no.  But then everyone will say this is the Daytona 500.  Ok I'll give you that, now fast forward to Bristol or Richmond,  Do you think Tony would hesitate for a second to bump and HMS car for a win?  Rick cannot tell him that is a teammate up ahead and race them clean,  Tony only has one teammate and that appears to be Newman. 

I know there are a lot of people happy that Tony is back in a chevy. Most have an attitude, that Tony will show Toyota that chevy is better.  Well has anyone seen what the selling price of GM stock is lately?  Less than $10.00 share, the lowest it's been since 1954.  What will Tony do if GM tells him that they cannot support his team?  Can he survive without factory sponsorship? 

I look for Tony to have a long and frustrating season next year.  But I also know that Tony is smart enough to realize that the only way he can win will be to start his own engine department.  When he does this then I would look for Tony to do well in 2010 but I doubt he makes the chase or top 15 in fact next season running HMS equipment.  I hope I'm proven wrong, but I have seen the deception that Rick uses with his dealerships and I just don't see anything real good coming out of this.

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com