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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Top 10 Things I Want to Say About the 2009 NASCAR Season

Author’s note: Since the 2009 season was really just a bad re-run of 2008, I simply modified last season’s “end of the year Top 10.” As long as there is a Chase and Jimmie Johnson keeps winning it, this will probably be a yearly tradition.

10. (2008) Brian France could disappear off the face of the earth tomorrow and no one would notice. Well OK, we would notice because someone with some competence would be running the show. However, this guy has been here five years now and still, every time he speaks or appears in public, you are left with a profound sense of waste. This guy is not bright enough to tie the laces on his loafers. Oh, that’s right, loafers don’t have laces!

(2009) Oh yeah! Thank you Brian for never letting us down! You are doing even better than last year! Just goes to prove that “stupid is forever!”

9. (2008) The ban of testing will not save the teams one bit of money. As it has been pointed out on this site before, the teams that could afford testing will spend it some other (possibly more expensive) way. The teams that couldn’t afford massive testing, well, they ain’t got the money to save anyway and are only hurt further.

(2009) The testing ban was simply replaced by “Goodyear tire tests.” One thing that I have figured out, though: Goodyear’s testing of the new “larger tire” is directly linked to NASCAR’s failing “Drive for Diversity.” It’s not so much that the tire is larger, but that the rims are! By developing a short sidewall tire mounted on really big, shiny rims, NASCAR is hoping to attract more minorities into the garage!

8. (2008) Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. This is either the start of something better than either had by themselves or a massive train wreck waiting to happen. DEI was a once proud and formidable contender in the Cup garage that has become nothing more than an also ran. Chip Ganassi Racing, which never really was anything super special in the series, seems to have a super fast revolving door when it comes to personnel. Me, I’m standing aside and betting on the train wreck.

(2009) OK, so I missed the mark with this one! Ol’ “Juablo” had one heck of a season. I can only surmise that, despite the team name, Teresa is not trying to run this show, and her only involvement is to simply have her last name above the door. Good move, Chip!

7. (2008) Sponsors and NASCAR. If NASCAR truly wanted to help the teams, it would put a freeze on any company becoming the “official” anything of NASCAR. They should direct them instead to various teams that need help. Stop stealing the limited dollars that are out there. NASCAR is not losing money. They are just not making as big of a profit.

(2009) As sponsors in record numbers continue to divest themselves of all things NASCAR, ISC is selling the acreage they bought in New York. They paid $110 million for it a few years ago and hope to sell it before the end of the year for $80 million. Meanwhile, the diecast business has gone bankrupt, attendance is way down, and the ratings… well, NASCAR is reportedly happy that now, with the offseason finally here, the downward spiral of the ratings should level off a bit! The state of the sport is marvelous!

6. (2008) Kyle Busch. What a year! All I will say about Kyle is thank God for Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus!

(2009) Had Kyle even made the Chase this year, it would have made JJ’s fourth title even more special. As it was, it was still fun to see the meltdown of Kyle that allowed him to focus on winning his first championship in the minor leagues!

5. (2008) Regan Smith got screwed! I still say Smith was forced below the yellow line by Tony Stewart at Talladega, robbing him of his first victory. If that weren’t enough, Smith is named Rookie of the Year for 2008 and still has no set car to drive in ’09! Here’s hoping his current contract allowed him to keep all the prize monies for the ROTY award. At least he won’t go hungry.

(2009) The drama of ‘Dega didn’t involve yellow lines this year, but rather fences and physics! What goes up must come down, as the “wing” has proven. But not to worry, ISC had stronger, taller fences installed so all should be OK. Does that mean NASCAR plans to increase the size of the wing? Wouldn’t surprise me a bit! As for Smith… he did manage to run 18 races and won just over a million in prize money this year, so he’s doing better than me!

4. (2008) My “Best T-Shirt I’ve Seen at a Race” Award goes out to an unknown fan at the Nationwide race in St. Louis. It simply read “Kyle Busch Sucks!” This guy got more cheers than Kyle gets boos every time he came back to the stands with a beverage!

(2009) While waiting in line to pee at the Vegas race this spring, I did see a guy with “Jeff Gordon Sucks” on the front of his shirt. The back? “Jimmie Johnson Swallows.” I don’t know if that is worthy of any award, but the guy did seem to enjoy being the center of a lot of attention and posed for many a photograph!

3. (2008) Jimmie Johnson is no Cale Yarborough. Yes, JJ and Chad are very good and there is no denying what they have done. However, when a sport has changed the point system as drastically as NASCAR has, it’s like saying the ’07 Patriots were better than the ’72 Dolphins simply because they won more games!

(2009) OK, I still stand by statement, but now that Jimmie has four Cups, I actually feel a bit sorry for him. While NASCAR wants you to believe that his feat is the greatest thing to ever, ever happen in the history of all sports, those that really know anything about racing really do look at it with an asterisk. The playoff format has altered the overall approach to racing so much that we will never know how good Jimmie really is. But we do know that the No. 48 team has this system down pat, and essentially uses the first 26 races as a way to beat the testing ban!

2. (2008) Thank you, Dale Jarrett for being my NASCAR hero for all those years. If you thought Tony Stewart got a bit teary-eyed last Sunday, you should have seen me during the spring Bristol race!

(2009) Of all the folks that do any broadcasting of the races throughout the year over the various networks, I have to say that Jarrett and Andy Petree are by far the least annoying. Neither have a tendency to say foolish things or act goofy. Unfortunately, we did lose the great Bill Weber from the booth halfway through the year. (That is heavy sarcasm, for those of you that are a fan of it!)

1. (2008) The best thing about the whole 2008 season? Meeting a very special and beautiful Canadian nurse whose favorite driver is the same as mine! At least that will cut down on future arguments on Sunday afternoon as to whose driver is best! Thank you, NASCAR!

(2009) That pretty nurse? Yeah, we’re still an item! After attending several races together at various venues, she still seems to like me… except when I snore. Then, she hits! Overall, a small price to pay for a partner that enjoys the same stuff that you do!

Also, a HUGE THANK YOU must go out to all the faithful readers of the Top 10! Whether you agreed with my lists this last year or not, you kept on coming back. I hope it has been entertaining. Thank you very much!