There apparently is a reason they actually run the races. And whereas we don't always know as much as we think about any particular sport, racing seems to have a special way of shredding the virtual certainties we concoct in our minds.
And so, presenting ...
"Five things about the 2009 Sprint Cup season we got wrong (or are in the process of getting wrong)"
Stewart invests as much pride and worry as any driver/owner, but his cadre of managers has allowed him to focus on racing. And it's worked. Stewart won his first race in the non-points All-Star event and followed with three more that counted to lead the standings by an imposing 220 points with two races left until the Chase for the Championship.
Yes, having half of an already-running (albeit poorly) team is easier financially than starting from a backyard shop as Waltrip did. Yes, possessing the magnetism of a two-time champion helped secure a talented teammate (
Yes, he's been helped by strong mechanical support from mighty Hendrick Motorsports, but Haas CNC Racing had an alliance with the team before owner
Stewart staked his reputation on this one. And the experiences of his predecessors suggested his astute business acumen would be tested by his impatience and volatility when two difficult jobs began overlapping.
So far at least, he's managing more than fine.
Busch entered last Saturday's race at Bristol three places and 71 points out of the 12th and final Chase berth and scuttling to avoid the embarrassment of missing the Chase for the first time since his rookie season in 2005. But maybe his win on Saturday will be a turning point. He seemed genuinely heartened of the state of mankind that
The reasoning: He came within 70 points of stopping Johnson's streak at two consecutive championships last season, winning three of the last five races, and finishing third, and fourth, respectively in the other two. His nine wins led the series.
Edwards can still fulfill this prophecy, but considering Johnson's history in the Chase, Edwards needs a back-flip, and soon.
Bowyer struggled more than expected after he was removed from the No. 07 Chevrolet in which he'd finished third, and fifth, respectively, the previous two seasons and seeded in the new No. 33. Mears faltered despite being dropped into a team that helped make Bowyer one of the series' top new success stories. There were meetings, crew chief swaps without major improvement.