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No Race ~ No Problem
By Chuck Abrams
As you are reading this, the race at Michigan may or may not have been run as I am writing on Monday evening to meet the webmaster deadline for Wednesday.
But there are plenty of topics to discuss even without a race being run. There are plenty of writers to let you know about the race, so let’s get to the fun stuff.
Kyle Busch: Done deal, headed to Joe Gibbs Racing to be teammates with Smoke and Denny Hamlin, the dominating winner of the Busch race at Michigan this weekend. Now, will they all play nice in the same sandbox -- or not? Joe Gibbs seems to be the master of handling odd personnel and he will have his hands full in 2008. The word petulant comes to mind often.
Dale, Jr.: When Dale Jr. announced he was leaving DEI, he was pretty careful to not blame Teresa by name for issues that were going on. He said they had their differences and left it at that -- thus fueling much speculation in the press and elsewhere. After the negotiations for his number 8 ended this week, Dale was unable to hold his tongue much longer and threw Teresa under the bus while he praised DEI president of global operations Max Siegel for all his efforts. Earnhardt said he knew the deal would not happen, but Hendrick tried anyway as Dale wanted to keep the number in the family. While the number 8 has been run by many different drivers over the years, it has been most associated with Dale’s grandfather and of course his Bud team in more recent years.
Dale Jr. claims that Teresa wanted to retain some royalty rights to the number and desired the return of the 8 to DEI after Dale retired.
While he had no problem giving the number back (it would actually be up to Hendrick) Dale Jr. had huge issues with Teresa having control over any part of his identity. Remember, Dale fought with Teresa – and won-- over rights to his name and number not that long ago. You can be danged sure that was as fresh in his mind as a new pile of stink. Can you say “control freak”?
J.J. Yeley: As Kyle Busch comes into JGR, J.J. leaves. He becomes the Casey Mears of last year although Casey has run better in his career than Yeley. But as a relatively young, camera-friendly driver, he will be sought after by DEI, Yates and others. I expected more out of Yeley this year, but the woes of the 18 are not all his doing. Look for some new sponsors on that car next year as well. Everyone loves a winner and Kyle is a winner. ALL ABOARD!!!!
Rooster: Yup, Ricky Rudd retires for good. Saw that one coming after the first race. Rudd sits mired in 29th. His teammate Gilliland is in 28th. Things are not all rosy at Yates Racing – forgive me if I can’t remember the new company name that involves some F1 guys. Rudd did not listen to everyone that told him this was not his Tide Ride NASCAR anymore; he just had to find out for himself. Well he has and now he wants to go home and watch it on TV like the rest of us. Ricky in a 2008 broadcast booth near you soon?
Driver 8: Since it ain’t gonna be an Earnhardt, how do you feel about Mark Martin and Aric Almirola sharing it? Wouldn’t that be a bitter pill to swallow? But it is better than Reutimann or Stremme. If Yeley goes to Yates Blah Blah Blah Racing, then pickings will be slim for the 8 ride with sponsor TBD. But this is Cup Racing and for all we know, Brian Vickers or Greg Biffle could be in that car next year.
Oh what a feeling: Smoke in a Toyota? RCR has signed on with Chevy again and since they have an engine deal with DEI, I expect DEI to sign on with Chevy soon. But rumors are swirling about Joe Gibbs Racing and no one less that Richard Childress has said that he expects Gibbs to leave the bowtie gang. With its program in turmoil, Toyota has got to be looking at big established teams ala Gibbs and Penske. I think that feeling is a pit in my stomach.
Let me know your thoughts on this or any other racing topic.
Drive fast, turn left and keep the shiny side up.
Feel free to send Chuck your thoughts on this and other race topics at Turn Left Racing. The blog at www.turnleftracing.com is down now due to spammers. We will have that back up as soon as we can.
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