1. No Way, Daddy-0h! – The legendary Wood Brothers No. 21 Ford did not qualify for the UAW-Dodge 400 on speed last Friday. Instead, their chances hit a wall — literally — when Johnny Sauter wrecked the car coming out of turn 2. The single-car team, outside the Top 35 in owner points, has now failed to make the starting lineup for two of the first three NASCAR Sprint Cup races. Jon Wood, who is the grandson of legendary Wood Brothers Racing founder Glen Wood and the son of Wood Brothers Racing co-Owner Eddie Wood, had been scheduled to take the wheel at Las Vegas, but backed out at the last minute, stating that he “wasn’t ready.”
Mark Martin, chasing down the leaders with five laps to go, got into the back of Carl Edwards, taking out both Edwards and then-race leader Brad Keselowski to win the Sam’s Town 300, his 48th career Nationwide Series race.
With the old adage that the “bookies never lose” notwithstanding, and NASCAR’s annual date with Sin City just a couple days away, now seems as good a time as ever to put up some odds you might (or might not) see throughout the 2008 NASCAR season…
With the 2008 season right around the corner at this point here, in no particular order, are my top 10 wishes for NASCAR this year. You won’t agree with all of them, I’m sure, so feel free to write me with your own 10.
1. Bad Karma For Robby. Robby Gordon seems to have been bit with some bad karma as of late. Last month, he lost approximately $4.5 million when the Dakar Rally was canceled due to the threat of terrorism in Mauritania, an unforeseen bill which prompted him to admit that the loss hit the Robby Gordon Motorsports “slush fund” pretty hard. Now, he may be looking at a fine from NASCAR for a situation not of his making. It seems that Gillett Evernham Motorsports, RGM’s new partner, sent an unapproved nose for his recently converted Ford-to-Dodge racecar, one that officials wasted no time in confiscating from the No. 7 Jim Beam Dodge. A couple of pondering points here, though; will GEM reimburse Gordon for any fine that comes from the illegal part… and how cool would it be to have a $4.5 million slush fund?
Much has been made this season about whether or not Martin would renege on his initial wish to not compete full-time in 2007. After all, it was 2005 that was supposed to be Martin’s last go round in Cup in the first place. Two years later, the veteran’s stronger now than he was then; following a controversial finish at Daytona that had him winning the 500 but losing the Daytona 505, a string of four top-10 finishes has him leading the points this early in the year for the first time since 2000. During the last month, Martin’s faced renewed pressure from the media, fans, and his fellow competitors to keep those good times rolling, giving him the opportunity to perhaps cash in on a long-awaited chance at a championship. This time, however, Martin appears to be making good on a plan he had set in motion way back in 2003.
Mark Martin wasn’t shy with his comments about single-car runs following the first day of Winter Testing in Daytona, going as far as to call the session a “waste of his time” and “idiotic.” Well, Martin and each of the 26 drivers on hand for Session 1 got their wish Tuesday afternoon, when NASCAR allowed the teams to participate in drafting practice one day earlier than expected.
Kasey Kahne is getting sued for an incident in which he pushed a 62-year-old security officer to the ground. Is this another get-rich-quick scheme for private citizen versus NASCAR celebrity, or a troubling sign of a young driver’s immaturity?
Choosing family and fatherhood over ingratitude, deafening racecars, and a gaudy-looking trophy, Mark Martin still managed to get off to the best start of his storied career after signing with Ginn Racing, leading the points after the first four races of the season with an average finish of 5.5.
Did You Notice? That no matter what Race of Champions event you set up, it’s impossible to leave it biased towards a particular breed of drivers? The knock on IROC was always that the cars there were too NASCAR-focused, therefore providing an advantage to those drivers with a stock car racing background.