Track Trash – Homestead, Bumstead
Another great race, and an historic conclusion of the ’09 season. Yet the unseen nuances slither amongst the rocks……
Have a great ‘off season’, eat plenty of turkey, and have a fantastic holiday season. Unless there are noteworthy items that perk my interest, I am herewith going into hibernation.
The Feud: Well, DennyHambone and Bradski have not kissed and made up. Denny had been whining about getting no apology from Bradski, and vowed to even the score. So Denny evened the score in the Busch League race on Saturday, by nudging him out of the way. Because Denny had openly voiced his complaints (I call it whining in my book), NA$CAR had no other alternative than to give him a one lap penalty. This still may not be over, and may spill into the 2010 season in Cup. For the fans sake, let’s hope so…..
Adios: Say goodbye to several long standing sponsors. Tip your glasses to Jack Daniels and Jim Beam, and turn off your buzz saw for DeWalt. And even Crown Royal is gonna pull their horns in a tad. Less sponsor dollars means more belt tightening on a team level, which is immediately seen with Roush’s pullout in the truck series. So until the unemployment rate drops to a more normal level, which is a sign the economy is getting back on track, we can expect fewer and fewer big sponsors to belly up to the bar. In the meantime, next year it may be more normal to see a car with different sponsors each weekend (thus making some drivers less noticeable).
Blue Oval: The Ford drivers have by and large been absent from the winners circle in ’09, probably because their engine has been maxed out and the competition is eating their lunch. But once the new Ford engine is proven, next year you might expect to see the Roush drivers re-emerge from their hibernation. It’s too bad they couldn’t have hurried their program this year, cuz they just let JJ (and Hendrick) run away with the Championship. Personally, I’m a Bowtie fan, but there’s got to be parity between manufacturers in order to have a worthwhile race.
Bud Light(er): Sooo, Kasey has indicated he may move on after the 2010 season. No question that he’s seen a turmoil of team management since he signed on with Evernham, and he’s probably sick and tired of it. The Petty organization is still not firing on all 8 cylinders, which has led to poor management decisions. And switching to Ford engines next year may not give them the immediate shot in the arm they need. They may eventually get their act together, but by that time Kasey may be well past his prime.
Da Champ: It’s my yearly thing. I point out that the 2009 Champion technically is only the champion until midnight on Dec 31st, at which time it’s the New Year and thus the race starts all over again. So the 2009 Champ has roughly 5 weeks to enjoy his fame. Bummer dude.
Raymondo: Evernham is between a rock and a hard place. He is a minority stockholder of the now Petty Enterprises, has an ‘exclusive consulting agreement’ with them, and worse yet…..has a non-compete clause in his contract. However, this agreement was drawn up with Gillett, and precedes the mergers with Petty and Yates. Raymondo wants to sever this agreement and become a free agent, and allowed to work with another team. Sounds to me like another situation where the lawyers get rich……
Da race: Actually, it was a good race. Ever since they reworked the track, and now that it’s worn in, the racing is 2, 3 and sometimes 4 wide. Unlike some of the recent boring races, this one had flare. We initially thought JJ could win the race and win the Championship (something that’s never been done at Homestead), but then we had countless lead changes. All the while, JJ was immersed in the quagmire of racing in the midst or near the lead.
Marcos-ly: Poor Marcos. He had such panache at the beginning, only to have the fickle finger of fate repeatedly jab him in the groin. Nonetheless, this guy’s got talent, and a PERSONALITY, so 2010 should be a good year for his team.
New Feud: Just past half way in the race, we witnessed some beatin’ and bangin’. Had it not been the last race of the year, the scenario of Smoke and Fire (Pablo), could foretell a really great feud. First it was the 42 into the rear end of the 14, then the 14 knocked the valve stem out of the 42, and ignited the Fire. Fire lost some 30 laps in the garage, and when he emerged, he had Smoke in his eyes. It didn’t take many laps for him to catch up with the Tonester, and he then administered his retribution. A small nudge on the rear bumper, and Smoke was careening in the infield. Pablo was summarily black flagged and given a 2 lap penalty, but hey….what difference does this make when you’re 30 laps down???
SirMark: A day late and a dollar short. Knowing that he had to push it to the limits, he apparently wasn’t riding the right stallion. He kept trying, but with was unable to make up any ground on JJ. A great year, but just a tad short. Looking back on the year, perhaps he woulda done better if he had the killer instinct of a MonsterMark. 2010 would be an excellent year for him to change his personality……and his driving style.
Das Kurt: He tried to break the 1-2-3 ranking of the Hendrick empire, but failed. In a post race interview, he threw his crew chief under the bus. I mean, he told everyone he was throwing him under the bus. What an inglorious bast**d.
Das Knaus: This is the backbone of the 48 team. JJ may indeed be an excellent driver, but without the guidance of das Knaus, he would be a shell of his present stature. Make no mistake; Chad is the grand wizard of crew chiefs, and if they get a five-peat, it will certainly be of his doing.
Das Gordo: I save the best for last. Here is a driver destined to be one of the better ones in NA$CAR. He selects and mentors a new driver that eventually puts Gordo in his shadow. Envy?? Hidden animosity?? I say yes. When JJ was being idolized in the Champion ceremonies, a number of drivers paid their homage. But not Gordo. Not one sign of him near the Champ. When interviewed after the race, he’s been freshly showered and into street clothes. Yep, I think he’s slinking away like a dog with his tail between his legs. By the way, Gordo, if you want to do better in 2010, GET A NEW CREW CHIEF.
Heaps of 3’s all over Mr. Personality,
Racing Maniac #3
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