Surprising driver changes dominate Tuesday's mailbag
Remember that line from
Looks like NASCAR just bumped it over to Tuesday.
Two major driver changes were announced just prior to the mailbag, prompting the equivalent of ripping up your column and having to start from scratch.
Column-shredding aside, I think
File that under the "Things That Make You Go Hmm..." Add in
How do you feel about all this chaos? Time to hit me up and pour your heart out at
Let's get started with some Bires reaction...
These were a few of the tweets received after NASCAR's Most Popular Driver (Earnhardt) announced a rather unpopular firing from his Nationwide program (Bires). For those new to the sport, Nationwide is NASCAR's equivalent to AAA baseball, and there were high hopes for Bires to make a good impression and move into the majors. The last man to wheel the No. 88,
But it's hard to gauge future potential when you don't even give someone a chance. Bires' fate was sealed before he even got behind the wheel. Once Danica Patrick announced that she wanted to run for Earnhardt at Daytona, the driver/owner chose to leave Bires on the bench while he and Patrick drove his two cars instead.
When you miss the first race like that, chances are you'll struggle to get up to speed. Bires still had four top 20s in his first five starts, but it wasn't enough for impatient bosses judging his tenure by trips to Victory Lane.
It's a tough deal that goes from bad to worse: a team that didn't have the patience for a development driver is now giving that seat to a major leaguer.
Where should JRM have gone from here, you ask? I have a suggestion...
Deni's referring to my radio rant where I pointed out just one driver behind the wheel of Earnhardt's cars has scored two top 10s this season: Wimmer. Keeping the No. 7 seat warm while Danica went back to IndyCar, he did everything right in his two-race tryout to keep the job.
It still didn't work. Right now, the 34-year-old's is wading in the unemployment line in favor of 20-year-old
Tom, you make a good point. Several crew chiefs and drivers have disputed that theory, with everyone from
As to your last point, unfortunately the goal of the drivers isn't to slow down JJ until the Chase. Right now, how far he pulls away in the regular season doesn't matter --simply making the 12-car field to challenge him does. It's a disheartening change from the old format of 2003 and earlier, when the bulls-eye would already be on stopping JJ in mid-April. Instead, by the time they try to aim the gun it could be too late.
Dennis, meet John. I think you guys could be friends! I included that second email because hidden amidst the complaints is some enthusiasm for NASCAR's newest design. For those who haven't seen it, take a look at some of the
Not one person has had a look at those pictures and told me it's an awful-looking race car. That's the type of positive move which will get fans intrigued about the sport again. I have even more good news: rumor has it once these cars are introduced at NASCAR's lower levels, they'll be a part of the Cup Series by 2012, 2013 at the latest. So stick it out, guys, you don't have much more time to wait.
Throwing this out there to give an update: Phoenix attendance was 70,000, over 12,000 people higher than what we saw at Martinsville the day of their rainout. So while Phoenix was a long shot to lose their second date, they certainly helped themselves a little bit this weekend, distancing the track from a Martinsville date that remains in jeopardy for 2011.
Angie, let's do it! Where's your $20 million? I've always wanted to own a NASCAR team, but I just don't have the spare cash lying around, so I'm paid to comment on the sport instead. Have you heard of jobs like these? They're called "sports reporters."
"Watching the Masters in the motorhome and @kevinharvick just told me could beat a PGA golfer if they gave him 40 strokes. I am working on it." -