The Frontstretch: Ten Points to Ponder... After Bristol "2" by Tommy Thompson -- Monday August 25, 2008

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Ten Points to Ponder... After Bristol "2"

Tommy Thompson · Monday August 25, 2008


1. A Little Communication – New team owner for 2009 Tony Stewart has had a change of heart on acquiring the No. 4 for next year’s teammate Ryan Newman, and instead Stewart’s fellow Indiana driver will race the No. 39. Though NASCAR agreed to transfer the number, used by Morgan-McClure Motorsports for 25 years, the sanctioning body’s decision was met with disappointment and dismay from co-owners at MMM, Tim Morgan and Larry McClure who have hopes of reestablishing the No. 4 in the Sprint Cup Series. “We’ve been told that [McClure] is going to run some races next year and to us, especially me as a car owner, we know how much car numbers mean to teams and organizations,” Stewart said, explaining his change in plans. “Even though NASCAR has given us that number for next year, if Mr. McClure is going to run a car we’re excited to have him back in the series…so we wanted him to have his number. As a fellow car owner, I know how important that would be to me so we wanted to make sure that he’s got his number back for next year with the word that he’s going to be running some races next year.”

Wouldn’t a simple phone call to MMM by NASCAR before any decision was made have been the smart thing to do?

2. What Would Bob Hope Say? – The Texaco Star is about to disappear from the hood of a NASCAR Sprint Cup car for the first time in about 20 years with the announcement that the Chevron Corporation and owner of the Texaco Havoline brand would end its NASCAR involvement at season’s end. Chevron, a major integrated oil company, bought Texaco in 2001 and has been systematically eliminating the Texaco brand ever since.

Guess things must be tough for oil companies…NOT!

3. Not That Tough – Bristol Motor Speedway boasted of having sold out their scheduled Sprint Cup races for the 53rd consecutive time with the running of the Sharpie 500 Saturday night. The half-mile Tennessee track, an engineering and architectural marvel, also claims to be the hardest ticket to come by on the NASCAR circuit.

Bristol touts its night race as the toughest ticket on the circuit, but apparently it wasn’t too tough to get a ticket if you wanted. Actually, it seemed tougher to sell one you didn’t want.

Points to Ponder knows of at least ten tickets that could not be used due to their owners’ recent financial difficulties and were unable to be sold even at bargain basement prices…what gives?

4. Cats Land On Their Feet…Too – Casey Mears, with just one win to his credit during stints with Ganassi Racing and Hendrick Motorsports, has been selected as the newest driver to the Richard Childress Racing stable of drivers that already includes Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick.

How many lives does a driver have?

5. Cheerio – As part of the big Richard Childress Racing announcement that Casey Mears would in fact join RCR, it was also confirmed by owner Richard Childress that Mears will move into the No. 07 Jack Daniels ride presently driven by Clint Bowyer and that Bowyer would pilot RCR’s new team for 2009 to carry the No. 33 and sponsorship by Cheerios and Hamburger Helper. It was widely reported that Cheerios and Hamburger Helper’s parent company General Mills wasn’t comfortable with Mears, presently driving the Kellogg’s No. 5 for Hendrick Motorsports, representing their product after having represented a rival company.

Apparently hitching their wagon to a whiskey representative for next season is more appealing.

6. It Could Be Worse – An upshot of the switch-a-roo in teams between the new RCR No. 33 and the No. 07 is that Clint Bowyer, who finished seventh at Bristol on Saturday and is in Chase contention may lose his top-35 protection in ‘09. Barring a number purchase or some such nonsense by RCR, Bowyer will be required to qualify on speed for at least the first five races or more until he is able to crack the top-35 for the No. 33 in owners points. However Bowyer seems upbeat and accepting of the situation, saying that it is like he told owner Richard Childress, “Beats beatin’ dents in the body shop,” a humorous reference to Bowyer’s early racing days when he funded his budding racing career by working in a body shop before becoming a fulltime NASCAR driver.

Clint Bowyer obviously knows that it’s important to remember where you came from. Good for him!

7. Physics? – The top-10 finishing positions in Saturday night’s Sharpie 500: 1) Carl Edwards, 2) Kyle Busch, 3) Denny Hamlin, 4) Kevin Harvick, 5) Jeff Gordon,
6) Ryan Newman, 7) Clint Bowyer, 8) Tony Stewart, 9) Matt Kenseth, 10) David Ragan. With the exception of Newman, the other nine drivers are in contention for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Notice how the cream always rises to the top?

8. Knowing Your Competition – Carl Edward used his No. 99 Roush Fenway Ford front bumper to execute a “bump and run” pass on the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Kyle Busch on lap 470 of the 500 lap Sharpie 500, a maneuver that proved to be the winning move of the race. “It’s one of those deals where I couldn’t get by him, I couldn’t get by him, and I just had to ask myself, ‘Would he do that to me?’ And he has before, so that’s the way it goes.” Kyle Busch, before hearing Edwards’ explanation of the aggressive driving, predicted that Edwards would say, “He didn’t mean to do it and is sorry.”

Apparently Carl felt no need to be apologetic…Kyle.

9. All A Matter Of Style – Carl Edwards second win in a row and sixth of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday has him only two wins behind Kyle Busch for the year in the Sprint Cup Series.

But have you noticed how Edwards multiple wins and back flips never seem to elicit the negative reaction from race fans at the track that Kyle Busch’s numerous victories and bow do?

10. Get It On – On the obvious bad feelings that Carl Edwards’ late race pass on Kyle Busch, a race that Busch was dominating, has stirred, “They [fans and media] keep talking about rivalries…we might have one now.”

Ohhhh yeahhhhh! Bring it on guys!

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08/25/2008 10:29 AM

I find it strange that Jack Daniels is content to have a maybe 2 time chase driver and now switch over to Casey Mears, who has not proven anything.

Ford Man
08/25/2008 10:56 AM

it’s such a shame that the #07 will become a mid-pack staple … if not a backmarker. Bowyer will drive the #33 up to the front of the pack almost immediately … poor way to reward such a decent driver.

also, how come the announcers and some media outlets try to insult our intelligence by saying that KyBusch’s boos are lessening with each week?! nice pass at Kansas gets applause, but nothing of him makes me want to stop booing. i just think it’s such a shame that people wasted beer can throwing at Gordon last year and created such a controversy … this turd looks like a nice target!

Kevin in SoCal
08/25/2008 12:17 PM

I hope I’m not the only one that doesnt understand number 3, but I’ll be the first to admit it. What does point number 3 mean??

08/25/2008 12:44 PM

it’s simple actually! see, “not too tough” refers to the fact that getting some of those “sold out” tickets was not difficult; hence, “not too tough”! i hope that was not too tough for the other coast to comprehend!

08/25/2008 12:57 PM

Concerning #1 – It makes ya wonder what Nascar is waiting for in regards to car number 3. Why don’t they just take it and give it to someone else? Oh yea, that one guy used to use it. It just proves drivers and car owners are not created (or treated) equal.

Concerning #4 – Big mistake! Should’ve went with Wimmer. Mears will drop off to Benson-ville or Mayfield-land in a few seasons.

Concerning #8 – Just so its documented somewhere…Kyle ran a clean race. Even past that field filler Montoya.

Kevin in SoCal
08/25/2008 04:16 PM

Fordman, no I dont think that’s it. He specifically mentioned 10 special tickets were not being used but were also not able to be sold. I’m guessing he meant the 10 crewmen from JGR that were suspended?

Kevin in SoCal
08/25/2008 04:18 PM

Oh, and watch the hate, Fordman. If my driver didnt also drive a Ford, I might think all Ford drivers acted like you.

08/25/2008 04:23 PM

hank z ….kyle ALWAYS runs a clean race …until the last few laps and hes trying to win …has done it several times in the trucks , several times in nationwide and several in sprint cup ALL this year !! the line he always uses is hey man im sorry but i was faster !! did you see kyle catch carl after the bump n run ? NO cause carl was faster !!!

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