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Five Points To Ponder

Ten Points To Ponder After … Homestead-Miami

Ten Points To Ponder After … Homestead-Miami

*1. It's Still The Thought That Counts* - NASCAR drivers Geoffrey Bodine and Scott Wimmer will join the National Hot Rod Association's Hillary Will and Arie Luyendyk, Jr. of the Indy Racing League in a tour of U.S. military bases in Iraq and Kuwait. Billed as “The Racing Heroes 2008 Goodwill Tour,” the four race car drivers will tour for eleven days, bringing some much-needed relief to our military personnel stationed so far from home. The foursome will visit hospital patients as well as interface with our troops in “meet and greets” and autograph sessions. Kudos to these men and women for taking time to thank the troops! But wouldn’t it be nice if some of the higher-profile drivers -- some of whom have benefited from military sponsorships -- took time during the offseason to also lift soldier's spirits where they are most needed? Read More »

Ten Points To Ponder After … Phoenix

Ten Points To Ponder After … Phoenix

*War Buddies* - Curiously, the Hornaday team received much needed assistance in repairing their KHI Chevrolet Silverado from a contingent of Roush Fenway crewmen. Of course, head honcho at Roush Fenway Racing and a Ford Motor Company front man declared war on Toyota following their entry into the Sprint Cup Series last year. Team owner Bill Davis observed after the race that, “I didn’t see anyone helping us,” referring to driver Johnny Benson’s behind the wall repairs to his Toyota. However, Jack Roush explained his decision to help the KHI organization. “... he [Hornaday] definitely was the lesser of the evils that I was confronted with," Roush said. "You need to pick your friends as carefully as you need to pick your enemies, and I had a chance to define some space there. I think I made the right call.” Perhaps President-elect Obama ought to consider Jack Roush for Secretary of State or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should he ever decide to declare war against Japan. Read More »

Ten Points To Ponder After … Texas

Ten Points To Ponder After … Texas

*Bailout Needed* - According to CBS Sports, sources have said that anywhere from 750-1,000 jobs in NASCAR shops may be lost in the Sprint, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series as a result of the nation's slumping economy. The report specifically mentions Dale Earnhardt, Inc. as a prime example of teams poised to see drastic cutbacks in manpower as the high profile four-car organization at present only has one signed primary sponsor for 2009. Remember about a year and a half ago when Tony Stewart, who will become a team owner / driver in 2009 said, “DEI without Dale, Jr. is a museum?” Or is DEI’s, as well as other team's financial woes, reminiscent of the 1992 Bill Clinton presidential campaign credo... “It’s the economy, stupid.” Read More »

Ten Points to Ponder … After Atlanta

Ten Points to Ponder … After Atlanta

*Eating Sushi* - Expectations of a takeover of Chrysler by General Motors is gaining credibility as both companies fortunes continue to spiral downward as the world economy continues to slump. However, the buzz in the NASCAR garage is that it is doubtful that Chevy, Ford and Toyota will be willing, as a result of the continued souring of the business climate to absorb many, if any of the Dodge teams that may be left out in the cold with a GM / Chrysler alliance. Remember when NASCAR thumbed their noses at foreign automakers? They need to hope that Honda executives are a forgiving lot. Read More »

Ten Points To Ponder After … Martinsville

Ten Points To Ponder After … Martinsville

*Racing Economics* - In the face of the current economic downturn that is making it problematic for team owners to find the financial backing they need to survive -- one that includes possible takeovers or mergers involving three of NASCAR’s four participating auto manufacturers -- it was reported that NASCAR is considering reducing the number of cars in the starting lineup for each race. However, NASCAR president Mike Helton denies that there is any consideration by the sanctioning body to cut Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series fields to 28 and Sprint Cup Series lineups to 36. “First of all, it wasn’t a report, it was somebody’s opinion from the garage area and it was not a NASCAR opinion. We’re not looking at reducing the fields,” responded Helton on the issue. But should the economic slump continue to worsen, will reduced starting lineups even be NASCAR’s decision? Read More »

Ten Points to Ponder … After Charlotte

Ten Points to Ponder … After Charlotte

*Under The Radar* - Running amongst the leaders from the drop of the green, Jeff Burton, the veteran Richard Childress Racing racer, won the Bank of America 500 to score his second win of the season. A “splash-and-go” pit stop put Burton in the lead that he never relinquished, even after a dicey battle with points leader Jimmie Johnson. Burton has now moved into second in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings and only 69 points out of first with five races remaining. Could it be that after all the hoopla, the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion might be a guy that virtually no one bet on, has not had a physical altercation with anyone this year, is universally respected by fans and peers, rarely criticizes other drivers...and is never jeered by race fans? Read More »

Ten Points To Ponder After … Talladega

Ten Points To Ponder After … Talladega

*1. Change In Direction* - Joey Logano, heir to the No. 20 Toyota presently driven by Sunday’s race winner Tony Stewart, will not compete in any further races this season in the No. 96 Hall of Fame Toyota. The 18-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing phenom had been scheduled to fill the driver's seat in the HoF ride for three of the final six races of the Sprint Cup Season. "We talked to Gibbs and both decided that, for [Logano's] development and for our team, this the best thing for all of us. The best thing for all of us is for them to focus on Joey's development, and for us to focus on our team," said the co-owner of HoF, Tom Garfinkel. Is that kind of like being fired? Read More »

Ten Points To Ponder After … Kansas

Ten Points To Ponder After … Kansas

*1. Naturally Good* - The Chase for the Sprint Cup point format initiated in 2004 is designed to narrow the point gap amongst the Top 12 drivers and aid in creating a more exciting and suspenseful ten race climax to the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Following Sunday’s Camping World RV 400 from Kansas Jimmie Johnson leads Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle by 10 and 30 points respectfully, with seven races remaining before the Sprint Cup Champion is crowned. Interesting? Well, in the Craftsman Truck Series, scheduled to compete next weekend at the high-banks of the Talladega Superspeedway there is one whale of a battle for the CTS championship brewing between former Cup drivers Johnny Benson and Ron Hornaday. Benson holds a *ONE* point lead over Hornaday with just six races remaining. Who needs artificially induced drama, anyways? Read More »

Ten Points To Ponder After … Dover

Ten Points To Ponder After … Dover

*Every Man For Himself!* - Roush drivers Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, and Carl Edwards put on one heck of a good show Sunday over the last 20 or so laps of the Camping World RV 400 from Dover, Delaware. The three Roush Fenway stablemates battled one another for the win like three drivers intent on winning the 2008 Sprint Cup -- but not so much like teammates. As a result, the Ford drivers provided some of the best racing for the win we've seen all season, bumping, banging, and rubbing one another before sweeping the Top 3 spots. No "team orders" rock! Read More »

Ten Points To Ponder … After Loudon

Ten Points To Ponder … After Loudon

*Oh... Godfather* - Almost apologetically, mega-team owner Jack Roush blamed the move towards expansion on Hendrick Motorsports, citing the assistance / collaboration between HMS and Joe Gibbs Racing when JGR entered NASCAR in 1991. Roush also explained that the bigger a team is, the better it is because of what he terms “economics of scale.” "And as owners want to retire from this sport, it's not straightforward how you get out of this business -- it's like the mafia in a way," Roush said. "The only way you can get out is in a pine box. So, for us to have affiliations that allow us to have economics of scale, once Hendrick started it, he put the rest of us in a reactionary mode." Read More »