Bristol A Humbling Experience For Sherman · Jess Nicholas · Thursday March 30, 2006
Q: I’m a BAM Racing fan because of Ken Schrader, but is Brent Sherman really the answer? I would have thought BAM would be more competitive so far this season. midnightride
A: I’ve been a BAM fan ever since they began, too, but I’m beginning to wonder about Beth Ann and Tony Morgenthau’s qualifications to judge talent. Their first driver when they moved to Cup full-time in 2002 was Shawna Robinson, who clearly wasn’t ready. Ken Schrader was hired the year after, and almost immediately made the team competitive for a few years. When Schrader jumped to the Wood Brothers this offseason, though, there were some good drivers out there "" Scott Wimmer, Mike Bliss, and Kenny Wallace, to name three. Instead, BAM went with Sherman.
Perhaps it was at the behest of new sponsor Serta… who knows. What was painfully obvious to all on Saturday was that Sherman didn’t need to be out there. It’s no accident that Jimmy Spencer will drive the car at Martinsville. BAM says it’s because rookies aren’t allowed to test Martinsville; I suspect it has a lot more to do with where this team is in the owner points list. If Spencer can drive the car to a Top 25 finish, which is reasonable, and Scott Riggs and Sterling Marlin continue to struggle, BAM could be locked back in the field for Texas.
Q: This is two straight wins for the Dodge Charger. Does this finally kill the Intrepid? HemiJemi
A: You’d think so, but I’ll bet Ryan Newman runs it through Texas, which is Dodge’s drop-dead date for getting it off the track. Newman’s team seems insistent that the Intrepid can give them an edge. More power to ’em.
Q: I can’t believe what Tony Stewart did to Martin Truex, Jr. at Bristol. I thought he and Dale, Jr. were better friends than that, and Tony goes out and knocks Truex out of the race. Truex had a good run going and Tony doesn’t need to do that. Is he that scared of DEI? Greg873
A: What Tony Stewart did to Martin Truex, Jr. at Bristol was all of Truex’s own doing. Yes, Truex got spun by Jeff Gordon, and Gordon could have avoided doing it had he been more careful. But like Darrell Waltrip said on the broadcast, you take care of those things outside the hauler after the race. You don’t go out there and use your wounded car as a payback machine. Stewart and Gordon were racing for positions inside the Top 10, and Truex was looking for a place to cause a wreck. Stewart sent the rookie a message, and it’s one he apparently needed. Even Truex’s own crew was chastising him over the radio afterwards. This had nothing to do with DEI.
Q: I hope Martin Truex, Jr. runs over Tony Stewart AND Jeff Gordon at Martinsville. What a pair of (deleted). Foxfire40
A: Jeez, again with the Truex issue "" look, Truex has to keep himself better under control. Jeff Gordon causes a lot more accidents than he wants to admit, but Tony Stewart wasn’t so much bumping Truex out of the way as he was clearing the racetrack of a mad, immature and potentially dangerous hazard in the form of the #1.
Q: I was so happy to see Bobby Labonte at the front again Sunday. He’s one of my favorite drivers, and Petty deserves a good break. Do you think he has a chance to win at Martinsville? TheDoctorIsIN!
A: I think he has a very good chance, as does his teammate, Kyle Petty. The short tracks, like the restrictor plate racetracks, are crapshoots. You don’t always have to be the best dog in the kennel to win the race on that particular day. I’m not predicting that either wins, but I bet they both finish inside the Top 25, at worst, barring accidents or equipment failures. They definitely seem to have their act together over there.
Q: So when is Mercury getting back into NASCAR? TheMaskedMarauder
A: They’re in line behind Mitsubishi, Mazda, Jaguar and a couple of guys riding Cub Cadet mowers. Next "¦
Q: Is there any hope for Bristol getting a race in the Chase in the future? Concrete Bullring
A: Maybe. That’s one of the rumors of the week. Right now, the Chase has one plate race (Talladega), five intermediate tracks (Kansas, Charlotte, Atlanta, Homestead and Texas), and three "long short tracks" (Loudon, Dover, Phoenix) to go along with one true short track race (Martinsville). I’d like to see NASCAR delete either the Loudon race or the Texas race and move Bristol into that slot. Loudon seems the most vulnerable, although Martinsville is probably the most vulnerable of them all. There’s also a rumor that Darlington is going to come back into the picture. Whatever happens, Bristol needs to be there. It’s already one of the most exciting and stressful races, and if you hold it during the Chase, you might see people’s heads actually explode on pit row. A good alternative would be to make it the last race before the Chase instead of Richmond, and let Richmond lead off the Chase instead of Loudon.
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