Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

March 10, 2008

NASCAR: Who Made Out Better?

After last season, Hendrick unceremoniously got rid of Kyle Busch and put Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in that spot. Gibbs got rid of JJ Yeley, who went to Hall of Fame Racing. DEI replaces Earnhardt with Mark Martin (and gets Regan Smith too) by buying the team Martin was with.

So, who got the best deal?

Let’s see… Hendrick, now instead of having two top drivers, has three they have to outfit. Of those three, only Earnhardt is in the top ten in points. Gordon and Johnson are just barely inside the top 15.

DEI has Martin Truex in 11th place. Martin is in 18th after Atlanta. He’s not running a full season, but you’d expect him to do better than 1 top 10 in 4 races. Smith is still at the back of the pack, and Menard is in the middle of the pack.

Hall of Fame Racing won’t have to worry about any racing halls of fame. They got rid of, who was it, Tony Raines? for Yeley. Raines finished in the top 30 last year; Yeley’s 25th so far. These guys need to step up if they’re going to run with the big dogs.

Who does that leave? Oh yeah, Joe Gibbs. Not only did they get Kyle Busch in the off season, they switched to Toyota to boot. What better way to have a successful team than to let others knock the rough edges off a new manufacturer and a driver? By far they’ve gotten the best deal of this year. Busch is winning everything he’s entered in, and when he’s not winning, he’s dominating until mechanical failures put him out of the race. Tony Stewart is sitting pretty in the 8th spot.

So, early in the 2008 season, I’d have to say that Gibbs is the big winner, and DEI and Hendrick are the big losers so far.

Speaking of big winners, I keep hearing that Toyota’s win Sunday in Atlanta was the “first time a foreign manufacturer has won a Cup race since Al Keller won in a Jaguar on June 13, 1954.” Maybe it’s me, but when Mercedes Benz bought out Crysler a few years ago, to me that made Dodge a foreign manufacturer. Seems to me that some of their wins while under Mercedes ownership ought to be counted as wins by a foreign manufacturer.

Bristol is next week. Watch for more wrecks and carnage at Bristol than ever happen at a restrictor plate track. But watch for everyone (fans, competitors, team owners) tell you how “great” Bristol is. Fact is, the cars are too fast for Bristol. Maybe the new car will slow down things a little; if they were running 20 seconds a lap, that might make the race watchable. I know I won’t be watching it; I’ll be in the Caribbean somewhere on a boat.

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