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Five Points To Ponder

Five Points to Ponder: Shootout Aftermath Edition

Five Points to Ponder: Shootout Aftermath Edition

*ONE: Was Jamie McMurray the right signing for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing?* Well if the Budweiser Shootout is any indication, the answer would seem to be a resounding *_YES_*. Wheeling a race car that was loose and nearly an out of control, McMurray stole the show even from race winner Kevin Harvick, scoring an impressive third place finish in his debut race in the EGR No. 1 car. But how much can be gleaned from McMurray's run? It's already well known that Jamie Mac knows how to get around the plate tracks; two of his three career Cup wins have come in restrictor plate races. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: On the Cusp of the 2010 Season

Five Points to Ponder: On the Cusp of the 2010 Season

*ONE: Does Joe Gibbs Racing have a title contender in its stable?* It's a fairly safe assumption that Joe Gibbs Racing will place at least two cars in the Chase this year, if not all three. Denny Hamlin's No. 11 car was on fire from the summer on last season (when he wasn't shooting himself in the foot), Kyle Busch is Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano has gotten the growing pains out of the way. Read More »

Ten Points to Ponder: Shelby 427

Ten Points to Ponder: Shelby 427

*Kyle Busch Still the Driver to Beat* Daytona was just a minor hiccup: the No. 18 team is back with a vengeance in 2009. Las Vegas native Kyle Busch won the pole this weekend, only to have to start at the back after an engine change. Nonetheless, Busch methodically made his way back to the front to score his first career win at his hometown track, a win that he likened to being as big to him as the Daytona 500. Read More »

Five Points to Ponder: 2009 Preview Edition

Five Points to Ponder: 2009 Preview Edition

NASCAR's top national series hits the track this week -- which means that finally, _finally_ fans will be able to hear more about on track news and the upcoming year rather than an offseason full of layoffs, mergers, and utter confusion. Instead, when the green flag waves next weekend for the Budweiser Shootout -- and again on February 15th -- the sport's basic concept will return, remaining the same as it always has...race to the checkered flag. And so it will go on through November. As bad as the economy may get and as much as it may cripple the sport we love, for four hours every Sunday afternoon drivers will drive, crew chiefs will lead their crews, and fans will enjoy their favorite form of entertainment. Read More »

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 »