Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shake, Rattle And Roll

Well, week 13 and we are finally making some changes. After a dismal fortieth place finish in the Coca-Cola 600, Jr will be getting a new crew chief. I'm not sure this was the proper move, but it was a move and that's better than anything they have done all year. The other 3 Hendrick teams have all posted wins this year, with Mark Martin winning twice. The 24, 48, and 5 are all in the top 12 in points, while Jr rides in a disappointing 19th.
I don't know, maybe this change will shake things up and get Jr that first win this year. And maybe we will get many more also!

Monday, April 6, 2009

I never thought I would say this, but....

Congratulations Jeff Gordon! (Anyone but Kyle Busch, right?) Bad calls, and nearly getting wrecked by the aforementioned Busch, caused Jr to not have a very good day. One day, I hope soon, that team is gonna get it right and they are gonna be hard to beat.
But anyway, in case no one has noticed, the number 24 DuPont/National Guard Chevrolet is pounding the competition. Kinda reminiscent of the Jeff Gordon of old. Looks like the "Drive for Five" is on.
Jimmie finished second, and Mark Martin finished sixth. Brad Keselowski ran a fifth Hendrick car and finished a respectable twenty-third. Tony Stewart came in fourth, proving that no matter how new the team is, if the driver can drive, he can run good.
Anyway, we are off this weekend for Easter, but the next race will be in Phoenix, our first night race of the year. Oh, yeah. I love it!

Friday, March 13, 2009

First Break

Well, we are four races in and this is our first off week. No one is racing this weekend. I'm not sure I like it very much when we don't have any racing.
Anyway, it has been a weird season so far. David Reutimann and Brian Vickers are in the top 12 in points. And up until this past weekend in Atlanta so was Michael Waltrip. Bill Elliot has had the fastest car in practice a couple of times. And Mark Martin won his first pole in over 250 races.
Jimmie Johnson and Dale Jr, (as well as Mark Martin) are on the outside looking in. While I have no doubt all four Hendrick drivers will make the chase, some things are gonna have to get better. Malfunctioning parts are only an excuse for so long. Teams need to work a little better together and get more focused on the task at hand, which is winning.
On a bright note, Jeff Gordon is leading the points and looking like the Jeff Gordon of the 90's. Tony Stewart and his new team are also doing well, despite Ryan Newman's problems.
Oh well, Bristol is in a week and things should get a good shaking up there. It should be fun to watch!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Well, since I am two months behind, I will not attempt to go into more driver profiles.
This week was the first week of the 2009 race season, and it started off with a bang. Kevin Harvick came from nowhere to win the Bud Shootout. Then, of all people Bill Elliot led two practices. Yes you just read that right, "Awesome" Bill was the fastest car on the track....twice!! Go Bill!!
Anyway, truck racing was awesome as usual, I am not a Todd Bodine fan, but anybody winning besides Kyle Busch is good.
Tony Stewart is back in a Chevy. And winning. He held off Kyle Busch on the last lap to take the checkers for the second year in a row.
Tomorrow is the Daytona 500. I won't do this for every race, but I am going to make a little prediction for the race.
1. Mark Martin
2-6. The rest of the Hendrick cars, plus the two Stewart-Haas cars
7-10. Look for Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, and David Ragan to round out the top ten.
My personal belief is that the Toyotas will not be as strong this year as they were last year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kasey Kahne

The next driver in our series is Kasey Kahne. Kasey had an up and down year. He started off fairly strong with three top tens. Then the up and down started. After a twenty-eighth at Atlanta, a seventh at Bristol, then came a string of six races with only one top ten. At the all-star race, Kasey was voted in and then proceeded to go on to win. Then the speculation started that this was the turning point in his season. And it seemed to be true.
The next race was the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race of the year. Kasey survived all the mechanical and physical problems associated with the race to come away with the win. The next week he stumbled to a thirty-first place finish. But then at Pocono he won the pole and the race. He followed this up with a runner up finish at Michigan, where it looked as though he pushed Jr across the finish line.
Over the next eleven races Kasey only managed 4 top tens, and a fortieth at Bristol dropped him out of the top 12 for good.
For the ten chase races, only 2 were even decent. A second at Lowe's and a sixth at Homestead were the only highlights to finish off what looked to be a promising season.

Friday, November 28, 2008


OK, now that Thanksgiving is over, I thought I would do a little year in review. Each week(hopefully) I will take one driver and review his entire year. That should take us all the way to Daytona in February.

First up, who else but Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Jr's year started off as good as it could. In his new ride with Hendrick Motor Sports, everyone expected him to come out of the box winning. Well, he did. He won the Bud Shoot out and then turned around and won his Gatorade Duel 150. And with that folks started making predictions about how many wins Jr would have during the year. Darrell Waltrip said Jr would win at least 6 races. That's a pretty tough number for anyone, but for a new team? Sometimes I think people expect TOO much from Jr. But if anyone could do it Jr could, right?
Wrong. For the first half of the year, Jr was the carrier of the Hendrick banner. He finished ninth in the Daytona 500, then had a miserable fortieth place finish at the rain soaked California Speedway. But he rallied to a second at Vegas, third at Atlanta, fifth at Bristol, and sixth at Martinsville.
Then we get to Texas. After winning the pole, everyone thought this would be where the winless streak ended. Nope. Twelfth, one lap down. After a seventh at Phoenix and a decent tenth at Talladega, it was on to Richmond, the site of Jr's last win 2 years ago. Fans were on their feet with just a few laps to go and Jr leading the race. Then the unthinkable happened. Denny Hamlin, who is a moron by the way, decides not to pit even though he has a flat tire. Well, said tire blows out and causes a caution to come out. That erases the huge lead Jr had on Kyle Busch. When the green came out, Jr takes off with Busch in tow, and I knew it was gonna be bad. Busch tried to pass Jr but couldn't hold his car and slid up the track, wrecking Jr in the process. Jr ended up fifteenth, in a race that should have been his. Oh well, that's just good hard racing.
Then a fourth at Darlington, fifth in the Coke 600, and a wrecked car and thirty-fifth at Dover. After a fourth at Pocono, we headed to Michigan. Dale Jr wins the 400 with no fuel in the tank. The crew had to push him to victory lane, but they didn't care. The winless streak was finally over.
But the abysmalness was about to begin. The only bright spots for the rest of the year were few and far between. As a matter of fact there were four, yes four, over the next twenty-one weeks. Fourth at Richmond, fifth at New Hampshire, a wonderful second at Martinsville, and sixth at Phoenix. Now, that doesn't mean he didn't run well. He led laps, and a lot of them, The team just could not finish off races. They would start off blistering the field, then somewhere around the half-way point, things would fall apart. An adjustment would take the car the wrong way, or a set of tires would be bad, or even a call to pit(or not) at all.
My point is, as a team they are not ready to win a championship. They will be, but as a whole they are gonna have to work on communication to make sure the problems get fixed. Maybe this off season they can get better.
Who knows, next year at this time I may be saying "Dale Jr is the new Sprint Cup Series Champion!"

We can all hope!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Well, its official. What everyone knew would happen has finally come about. Jimmie Johnson is the 2008 Sprint Cup Series Champion. Carl did everything he could do, short of using Jedi mind tricks to make Jimmie's car blow up. He led laps, he led the most laps, and he even squeezed every last drop of fuel out of the tank to win the race. But it wasn't enough. Not when Johnson has been on the top of his game the last half of the season. Even with more wins, more top five and top tens, Edwards just didn't have enough. Jimmie has just been too consistent for everyone. Chad Knaus is the best crew chief in the business right now. He kinda reminds me of a fella by the name of Ray Evernham who was the amazing crew chief for some kid named Gordon back in the 90s. Maybe that's because Evernham hired Knaus back then and trained him. At any rate no one is better right now. Can Johnson come back next year and win a fourth title? Time will only tell. But you better watch out for Edwards next year. And Earnhardt. And Gordon. And Stewart. And on and on.
I cant wait for Daytona!!