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Monday, December 21, 2009

Bring Back # 3

Bring Back #3

Paul Denton

Monday, December 21, 2009

I do agree with Darrell Waltrip on his article about bringing back the late Dale Earnhardt's number three race car ;But we are on a different page as to why.I didn’t like Earnhardt but I give him ton’s of credit for the records he made in racing.And in that capacity he should be honored.Junior drive the 3 ?Why? Do the fans think there will be a miracle and he’ll turn into his father ,It’s just a car.And Junior is not his dad .Jr is a decent man that is a middle of the pack driver and there is no shame in that. Not everyone can be a Petty ,Johnson Or Earnhardt `[except in name.] I say put the car up for grabs ,which by the rule book Nascar should have already done and stop Worshiping the car The Man drove .Let Junior live his life and the fans give him some room to enjoy his life where as it looks he hasn’t been of late.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Actually, Danica Might Do Better Than Most People Think

We all know Danica Patrick brings attention to herself. Whether it be good or bad, she will be under the microscope, with a high profile personality behind the wheel, and a high profile personality for the owner. However, some people are already spectacle of her and she hasn't even turned a lap in an actual race.

Here's the thing, she might surprise us all. Now I'm not saying she will win the first race of her Nationwide career(at whatever track that may be)but she can certainly start out strong.

So far, things seem optamistic.

“The car moves around quite a bit,” Patrick said. “The car was definitely getting some action in the rear over the bumps. It was getting a little bit loose. But I kept my foot in it, and I tried not to chase it too much with the steering.

“I didn’t want to have an accident. But I felt all right. It was fun. I trusted the car. I trusted the preparation of it. I trust [crew chief] Tony [Eury Jr.] putting a setup on there that is not going to do anything horrendous. It didn’t. It was fine. But it definitely is a lot more movement than I am used to in the corners. I’ll have to get used to that.”

It's going to be a challange, but these last few days have made me convinced, that things will work out very well. Danica, and all the people surronding her, have noted the hard work and talent that has been showed from her. She impressed Tony Eury Jr. at a test at Walt Disney Speedway, and although it was a rain shortened test in th ARCA test, she still ranked 12th on the speed charts.

So overall, watch out for Danica. She may not be perfect, but she won't completely fail. She's going to surprise some folks, and she's going to have a good time doing it. Mark it, this is my prediction, and I have a pretty good feeling that I am going to be right. Then we'll see what people say about her.

Friday, December 11, 2009

2009 full of surprises

The season that was NASCAR 2009 wasn’t only a historic one, it also provided a lot of surprises -- both good and bad.

While Jimmie Johnson winning a Sprint Cup title is no surprise, he did claim a fourth-straight in 2009, something that has never been done.

While Johnson as Sprint Cup champion lost its shock value years ago, there were some surprises from the Hendrick Motorsports camp.

For one, the resurgence of veteran driver Mark Martin. It’s no secret that Mark Martin can drive a race car, but 2009 was his first full-time season in a few years, and he was racing with a new team, making the move the HMS from DEI following the 2008 campaign.

A new home and a little rust didn’t slow Martin down. As a matter-of-fact, they may have sped him up.

Not only did Martin claim his first Cup win since 2006, he went on to make four additional visits to victory lane. His five-win total was second only to Johnson, the only driver to finish ahead of him in the championship points standings. Martin also won the most poles in 2009 with seven.

Also history making, thus at least somewhat surprising, was Hendrick’s dominance of the championship hunt. Hendrick drivers claimed the first three positions in the points standings, with Jeff Gordon finished third behind Johnson and Martin, marking the first time and single owner has placed cars in the first three spots.

While three out of the four HMS cars thrived, one, surprisingly, struggled.

As he watched his teammates succeed, Dale Earnhardt Jr. struggled miserably.

After two Nationwide Series (then-Busch Series) championship seasons and a Cup stint for the family owned DEI that produced several wins, Earnhardt Jr. found himself at Hendrick Motorsports at the start of the 2008 season.

His tenure with HMS got off to a good start with Earnhardt Jr. winning the Budweiser Shootout and his Daytona 500 qualifying in his first two runs with HMS.

At least he did get a points win and made the Chase with HMS a year ago.

In 2009, though, Earnhardt Jr. endured a separation from long-time crew chief and cousin Tony Eury Jr. in a season that produced no wins, only two top-fives, and five top-10s through 36 races.

To add insult to injury, Earnhardt Jr. wound up in 25th spot on the season.
Also suffering in 2009 was Richard Childress Racing.

RCR expanded to four teams for the 2009 campaign, up from three.

Despite the extra car, RCR failed to make it to a Sprint Cup victory lane in 2009 and had no representation in the Chase for the first time since the Chase’s inception.

Roush Fenway Racing also had a difficult 2009. Things looked good to start off the season, as Matt Kenseth won two-straight to open the year, including Kenseth and Roush’s first Daytona 500 victory.

That was the end of the celebrating for Kenseth in 2009, though. Those two races were his only two of the year, and he failed to make the Chase for the first time in his career.

Things were a little better for the Roush Fenway organization as a whole, but not much.
After Kenseth’s wins in the first two races of the year, it looked as if Roush would be shut out of victory lane. Another of the team’s drivers, Jamie McMurray, did pull out a win at Talladega Superspeedway in the fall, to finally give the five-car team it’s third and last win of the season.

Fellow-Roush Fenway driver Carl Edwards was one of the other three Roush drivers who didn’t make a trip to victory lane in 2009 -- and that follows a 2008 season during which Edwards was the series’ win leader with nine.

Unlike Kenseth, though, Edwards did manage to make it into the Chase, along with fellow Roush Fenway 2009 winless driver Greg Biffle.

While a few teams were probably glad to see the 2009 season draw to a close, at least a few others had reason to celebrate.

While it’s not necessarily a surprise to see Kasey Kahne in victory lane, it had been awhile since fans have seen Richard Petty’s trademark cowboy hat there.

With Petty Enterprises’ merger with the former Evernham Motorsports prior to the start of 2009, Kahne became a Richard Petty Motorsports driver.

With his first-career road course win, Kahne was able to bring the King to his first victory lane since 1999. Kahne would go on to bring Petty to victory lane a second time before the end of 2009.

Also relishing in the success of 2009 was the newly-formed Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, especially with the success of its Colombian import -- Juan Pablo Montoya.

In only his third full-time season of competition, Montoya rode a long wave of consistency to the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup to become the first-ever foreign-born Chase driver.

Montoya didn’t post a win in 2009, but he did, by far, put together his most successful season in NASCAR, with seven top-fives and 18 top-10 finishes on his way to an eighth-place finish in the points standings.

The 2009 season was so full of surprises that race fans should have plenty to talk and speculate about in the next two months leading up to the 2010 Daytona 500 coming up on Feb. 14, 2010.

To read more from this author, visit Louisville NASCAR Examiner.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

According to Busch, 2009 title run wasn't easy

On the surface, Kyle Busch's run to the 2009 Nationwide Series championship may have looked easy, but Busch himself admits that staking his claim on the 2009 champion's trophy was no easy task.

"It wasn't a cake walk this year," Busch said at the Camping World Truck Series/Nationwide Series awards banquet in Miami on Monday.

Sure, he accumulated 5682 points over the course of the 35 races that made up the 2009 campaign -- the most ever earned by any driver in the series in a single season. But even on the strength of a season that included nine wins and 11 second-place finishes, the 2009 Nationwide Series title came down to the last race of the season.

"We went all the way to the last race before we won the championship, Busch said. "Just shows you how hard this is."

His road to his first NASCAR title may not have been easy, but Busch made it look like a breeze. Even though the championship outcome wasn't decided until the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway about a week and a half ago, Busch did pretty much have his title in the bag prior to the season finale. After all, all he had to do was start the Ford 300 season-closer to stake his claim on the trophy.

"Carl (Edwards) and Brad (Keselowski) both kept it really close," Busch said.

Maybe that depends on a person's perspective. The 2009 Nationwide Series title may have come down to the final event of the year, but Busch ended up claiming his title with a cushion of more than a race worth of points over second-place Edwards.

Busch's season was so dominant that Keselowski's performance that would have been title-worth in past seasons -- with four wins, 22 top-fives, and 28 top-10s -- was only good enough for third.

According to Keselowski, the 2009 season he turned in would have produced a series title in six of the last seven seasons.

Whether or not Busch's title was an easy one to obtain, the 2009 champion contends that he doesn't have plans to defend his title in 2010. His story now is that he's going to scale back his Nationwide schedule to only companion events to focus more on his Sprint Cup Series efforts.

Whether Busch sticks to that plan remains to be seen, but the 2010 Nationwide Series points race may come down once again to a pair of Sprint Cup regulars. But instead of the two drivers being Busch and Edwards, it'll be Edwards and Keselowski. All indications point to Edwards once again competing in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series full-time next season, and Keselowski will continue to race in the Nationwide Series full-time in addition to becoming a full-time Sprint Cup Series driver for Penske Racing.

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