The Frontstretch: Scanner Static : It All Comes Down To This... by Jess Nicholas -- Wednesday September 6, 2006

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Scanner Static : It All Comes Down To This...

NASCAR Fan Q & A · Jess Nicholas · Wednesday September 6, 2006


Q: I was thinking while watching the California race that if Kasey Kahne is close enough to knock Mark Martin out of the points at Richmond, do you think Jack Roush will have Jamie McMurray or Greg Biffle take Kahne out? There's a lot of money at stake here. MadMax

A: I don't think Mark would be comfortable with that, for one thing. I certainly don't think NASCAR would be comfortable with it. But has it crossed my mind? You bet. The difference between making the Chase and not making it is huge: huge for your sponsors, your team, your drivers, your endorsements, everything. You can bet NASCAR will be watching everyone very closely.

Q: Is Jimmie Johnson doing his late season swan song again? He just lost the points lead to Matt Kenseth. I know it's hard to say the guy is struggling when he's second in points, but seriously, why does this team go in the crapper at year's end? Donnie Brasco

A: Some guys perform at their best when everyone else is, too. I've never had that feeling from watching the Knaus-Johnson team. Maybe I'm wrong. But I think Johnson will finish fourth or fifth this year.

Q: As for a Cup ride, they should look at Johnny Sauter. He is much more deserving than Kluever or Wood. JC
Why doesn't anyone mention Johnny Sauter for another shot at Cup? He's matured a great deal since his failed try in the 30. I think he could do a good job with the right crew chief to keep him focused. M.B. Voelker

A: I don't think anyone doubts Sauter’s driving talent, but he has a reputation for being hotheaded and carrying grudges out onto the track. When I ask around about him, I get responses like “sloppy” and “drives like a redneck.” You could make the argument that Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was the same way, but the difference is Earnhardt was a threat to get into Victory Lane every time out and Sauter isn't. He didn't make a lot of friends when he was in the No. 30 for Childress back in 2004, and that's probably holding him back more than anything.

Q: I would like to see Ward Burton get a shot at Yates. He is a proven winner after all. Julia

A: Hard to argue with that, but it's all about the sponsorship. If Burton could attract a sponsor, he'd already have a ride. What I can't understand is why someone in the outdoors/sporting industry hasn't stepped up to sponsor him, or why sponsors lined up for Jeremy Mayfield but not Burton.

Q: I don't understand why anyone cares about who's driving for the Pettys or BAM or Haas or Michael Waltrip or any of those guys. The deal is, if you're not driving for Roush, Hendrick or Childress, you have no chance in this sport. It's been that way for years. NASCAR wants it that way. They want their superstars, and no one else is going to catch a break. So, for everyone who keeps wanting to talk about Robby Gordon or Bobby Labonte or Ken Schrader, quit wasting your breath. Doug 27

A: First off, I wish there was more parity in this sport, that's true. But the reason Robby Gordon, Bobby Labonte, and Ken Schrader don't compete is one simple thing: Money. The teams that have money compete. This is a technology-driven sport, and if you can't afford the technology, you're not going to be as competitive as the ones that can. It's not a NASCAR conspiracy; it's just life.

Q: I know who we can get to drive for Robert Yates: Ricky Bobby! He'd be as effective as David Gilliland has been, and he'd be funnier, too. The Big Boy

A: Help us, Tom Cruise!

Think you have the technology in place to make BAM Motorsports a weekly contender again? Know how to get in touch with Ricky Bobby so he can give Mark Martin his long-awaited retirement by signing with Robert Yates? Write Jess an email at and clue him in on your secrets…or, simply write in with any other NASCAR related question or comment and you might find yourself in this very space next week.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Breaking Down A Sprint Cup Season Eight Races In
Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties
The Frontstretch Five: Flaws Exposed In the New Chase So Far
NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Darlington
NASCAR Mailbox: Past Winners Aren’t Winning …. Yet
Open Wheel Wednesday: How Can IndyCar Stand Out?


©2000 - 2008 Jess Nicholas and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

09/07/2006 07:09 PM

“It’s not a NASCAR conspiracy; it’s just life.”

I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy because that would allude to it happening behind our backs, NASCAR does it right in front of us. You make the point that it takes money correctly but overlook that NASCAR created this issue. By letting car owners own multiple teams throughout various divisions its made some just a powerhouse,(Hendrick/Roush/Childress). Single/two-car teams can’t make the cut at this point..when you hear rumors of Yates or Woods possibly getting out of the business its not a good sign,(even if they are just rumors there still may be a grain of truth in there that got then started). Until NASCAR faces the huge multi-car owner problem you can’t help but to feel for the small teams.


Jess no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can still read all his articles on his archive and bio page.