The Frontstretch: Scanner Static : Vickers Gets In A Parting Shot by Jess Nicholas -- Wednesday October 11, 2006

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Scanner Static : Vickers Gets In A Parting Shot

NASCAR Fan Q & A · Jess Nicholas · Wednesday October 11, 2006

 

Q: I'm no fan of Jimmie Johnson or Dale Earnhardt, Jr. - I pull for the Roush cars on race day - but I had to get a laugh out of the way Talladega ended. Hendrick shuts Brian Vickers out of his team meetings after years of making him run races with crappy stuff and rookies in the pits. Then, Vickers finally wins a race on his way out, giving ol' Rick the finger in the process and putting Jimmie Johnson out of the Chase picture. I think Vickers is a helluva talent, and I'm glad to see him develop some stones. Blue Oval

A: I'm happy for Brian Vickers from the standpoint that I do think he's been running without quite the level of support the other Hendrick drivers get, and it was clearly important for him to win before he left the No. 25 to honor the memory of best friend Ricky Hendrick. However, this incident brings back to mind the same issues raised when Vickers took out Mike Bliss last year in the Nextel Open to win the event: he's fast, but can be sloppy, and I don't think he understands yet that he'll lose a lot of fans if he keeps driving this way. I thought Johnson's team took a cheap shot at him after the race, but it wasn't necessarily incorrect from a factual standpoint. As you might have been able to tell from that reaction, I think this whole issue has become a major distraction for Hendrick in the Chase.

Q: I've never been a Jimmie Johnson fan, but he got jobbed by his own teammate. And don't even get me started on what happened to Junior. Great8

A: I just want to say I was surprised by Junior's take on things. I wouldn't have been nearly so calm.

Q: Is Mark Martin really a threat to win this thing now? I can't decide whether I want him or Jeff Burton to win it more. I kind of hoped Mark would retire after this season if he won it, but it looks like he's going to go drive the No. 01 next year. I just don't want to get up any false hope for him if he's going to struggle down the stretch. Gayle K.

A: Hard to say, Gayle, but he's certainly in the best position he's ever been in. Getting through Talladega with no damage was huge for that team. I think he'll be fine on the races that are coming up; the question I have is whether Kenseth or Harvick is going to pass him and Burton from behind.

Q: You called it on Scott Wimmer; I see he's got a plum Busch ride next year with Childress. Do you think we'll see him in Cup again? Artie Calendula

A: I think we will, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's not with Childress. I think Wimmer showed enough maturity and competence this year to get another look in the near future. There are about 5-10 guys next year that are going to have Cup rides that aren't even close to being ready to handle this level of racing yet.

Q: I know who's doing well, but who are the biggest disappointments of the year in your opinion? I'd have to say Tony Stewart, for not making the Chase, or Greg Biffle. Daisey

A: While it was a disappointment to a lot of people that Stewart and Biffle missed the Chase, in all honesty there are 15 or more cars that are Chase-worthy, and some capable drivers are going to miss it every year that could have made it if they had just a little more luck. My personal list of disappointments includes Ken Schrader, Sterling Marlin, Jeff Green, the entire BAM operation for going with Brent Sherman to start the year, Kyle Petty, and Michael Waltrip. Of those, Schrader and Petty started to get better recently when they replaced crew chiefs, but they never should have been that bad to start with. All those names pale in comparison with what I think is the biggest disappointment of the year, though; Jamie McMurray and Roush Racing. I would list David Stremme, too…but I was kind of expecting Stremme to finish low in the rankings anyway.

Think drivers like Schrader and Petty are actually living up to their expectations? Feel like it was Johnson, not Vickers, who was sloppy on the track – and paid the price? Email jess@frontstretch.com and let him know how you feel – or email another NASCAR-related comment or question, and you can be in this very space next week!

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Ron Schlaeger
10/12/2006 11:09 AM
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Jimmie Johnson said something to the effect of, “Brian Vickers would have at least finished second if he had stayed put”. Good advice for Johnson to follow himself. Vickers almost seemed embarrassed in Victory Lane, Earnhardt was matter-of-fact in his post race interview and compare that with the stuff that has been coming out of the mouths of Johnson and Knaus. 48 “team” = NO CLASS.

jackie jones
10/12/2006 12:45 PM
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why doesnt anyone mention that earlier in the race the 48 ran into the back of edwards meaning jimmie johnson caused another big wreck at a plate race. johnson has caused more big ones than vickers or any other driver. Johnson is a whining loser who folds every yeal late like A-Rod in the playoffs

333
10/12/2006 02:04 PM
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Last time I checked JJ has wrecked about 40 cars now at Talladega. Guess he finally got what was coming to him. What Vickers did wasn’t intentional, and I suppose the same could be said for Johnson’s past transgressions, but Vickers handled his situation a hell of a lot better than Jimmie ever did. Remember after he wrecked half the field hitting the 38 and whined /lied about being hit first? All I can say about it Jimmie’s lucky that sponsorship has buttoned down NASCAR or he would’ve gotten a couple of ass whoopings by now. What a no class punk. Hey, I guess he learned from the best though, his car owner, ha ha. Another case of a guy who would’ve/should’ve gotten some ass whoopings by now. Congratulations to Brian Vickers, who has represented the Hendrick organization with class and deserved a better deal than to be shunned from team meetings and getting the short end of the stick on organization resources and equipment.

Rick Bourdon
10/12/2006 06:23 PM
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I gotta blame Rick Hendricks for the turn 3 escapades at Talladega. He if had not allowed the 25 team to become the step-child, maybe there would have been some desperately needed communication between the 25 and the 48 in those closing laps. Given the same situation, the lion’s share of the other 42 drivers probably would have done the same thing. Hey, it was Talladega, feces occurs.

*Edited by The Frontstretch

 

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