Q: Everybody seems to be ragging on David Ragan. NASCAR has created the situation with the driver shortage so why don’t we blame the organization? The last several races of the season have been used to break a team’s new driver in for the coming season. Ragan has been Roush’s choice of drivers for 2007. Given the limited options that Jack had, he chose David over drivers like Todd Kluever and Erik Darnell. Did he have other choices? I’m not too sure given the state of developing drivers. With the Busch Series teams and sponsors demanding Cup drivers fill the seats, we are losing out on a true development series. Ragan in a Cup car is an example of that.
If something isn’t done by NASCAR to open up the Busch and Truck Series as development series, I’m afraid what we saw at Martinsville may become the norm at all races. I don’t put the blame on Ragan because NASCAR has created the situation. – Bill
A: I agree to a point, but someone at some point has to stand up to the advertisers and tell them that if they hire a young guy that can’t drive, it doesn’t do anything for their product. Perfect example is Ganassi’s No. 40 car. David Stremme is borderline as a Cup talent right now. Getting rid of Sterling Marlin and bringing on Stremme hasn’t netted them a thing. Stremme isn’t pictured in the “Love Train” ads. Did Coors Light force Ganassi’s hand just to have a handsome guy at corporate functions?
Q: The problem is absolutely that the Busch Series is Cup Lite and testing for Cup. There were consistently 15 to 20 Cup drivers in Cup Lite every companion race. NASCAR has to lose the greed and fix Cup Lite. Until then every driver that comes up to Cup better be a phenom and make the Chase right out of the box. Even Dale Earnhardt Jr. did his time in Busch. His Dad was smart enough to see to that. NASCAR is not smart! NASCAR is GREED. NASCAR also needs to mandate at least a year or two in the Busch Series before a driver can move up to Cup and demolish all that great equipment. If NASCAR fixed Cup Lite they might even fix the ratings problem that is developing. – Paul A. Echols
A: It’s starting to sound like everyone but NASCAR can see the right solution. I would like to see more emphasis placed on basic driver skills testing, but there’s no doubt the Busch Series isn’t serving the purpose for which it was created.
Q: Ragan = Daddy’s Money – That’s why he got the seat. My pick would have been Darnell, but he wanted to stay in trucks for a couple more years. He’s going to be a good one! But it is sad to see all these money-fed pretty boys now down south. They sure don’t grow ’em like they use to. Few have talent, but they sure look and talk good. Old race fans are getting sick of all what’s going on… that’s why the ratings are down and will continue to do so. Bring back the talent that the ’70s and ’80s had. – grrully
A: That goes back to my answer to the first letter: NASCAR hasn’t done us any favors in this regard, but it’s also on the owners. There’s no reason it should have taken Mike Bliss this long to get back into a Cup car, or Ward Burton. Kenny Wallace is out there making laps in third-rate equipment. Scott Wimmer can’t get a decent Cup ride. Johnny Benson is forced to run trucks. There’s no reason any of those guys should be where they are, while guys like Ragan and Kluever – who are truthfully three or four years away from being ready, not three or four races – are getting the spots.
Q: What did Robby Gordon throw out the window of his car, and why? – Sheryl
A: Roll-bar padding, apparently, and the only thing I can think of is Michael Waltrip got too close and Gordon acted out of reflex.
Q: What was Kasey Kahne thinking when he took out Stremme? That’s a rookie move! – Karl Voray
A: I don’t know what Kahne was thinking, but I bet Stremme was thinking, “Man, it sure would be nice to have Gordon’s spare roll-bar padding covering my door right about now!”