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Archive for September, 2012

The Earnhardt Family Saga

September 19th, 2012

A friend gave me the link to this story. It says pretty much everything I have to say about the subject, but does so in a more pleasant manner than I would in my current mood. I’ll post a couple excerpts and a link below. Good read!

I’ll just say that I wish both Eury’s the best. Pops is old enough to retire, but hope Tony Jr. finds something. Fish suggested a job as Menard’s CC. That would be fantastic for Tony Jr. I’m not sure there’s an opening coming up, but working for an underrated, low key, drama free, stand up guy like Menard would be the best thing that could happen for him. And we all know that family is more important to Richard Childress than Tony Jr.’s previous employer, and I know Dale’s best friend would treat his family right.

The article is by Thomas Bowles at FrontStretch.com Click here for the story.

Here’s a couple excerpts:

“And therein lies JR Motorsports’ problem: the family itself really isn’t calling the shots on their own. Sure, they’ll sit there and tell you this decision is all about preserving the future, kicking a team in the pants that hasn’t won a race since 2010. That’s a load of horse… you know. Earnhardt’s autonomy disappeared the second his team “merged” with Hendrick Motorsports’ operation to begin the 2008 season. Suddenly, the organization became more than a mom ‘n’ pop organization Junior craved, the DEI alternative where family members could keep jobs while trying to keep pace in NASCAR’s second-tier organization as best they could. Instead, they were commissioned as the “farm team” for future HMS drivers….”

“Those numbers apparently weren’t enough to please Earnhardt’s sister, Kelley who “runs” the day-to-day operations while Junior focuses on driving. Of course, the problem here is that in any other situation, the driver would be the one to go and not the crew chief. Kelley knows that all too well; after all, she fired Kelly Bires from the No. 88 car, back in 2010 after collecting just one top-10 result in five races. Whoops; if you’re doing the math at home, that means he was on pace for double the results Danica’s accomplished with just over ten times the patience. ”

 

Happy Birthday Junebug!  :88:

 

leftturns190

Tony Stewart Describes Blocking.

September 8th, 2012

Aside from the obvious blocking that we’re seeing more and more of in recent years, there’s the more subtle form of blocking that’s just as annoying. To explain the more subtle version, we’ll quote the Blocking Hater in Chief, Tony Stewart:

“When somebody runs a different line than what they would run by themselves to keep somebody from passing them, that’s blocking. That’s easy for everybody to see.” Well, I suspect not to everyone Tony, but please go on.  “So if a guy changes lanes halfway down the straightaway, he’s not doing it because it’s a faster line to get him into the corner,  he’s doing it because he’s blocking.”

How does Tony feel we should deal with this blocking?

“If anybody wants to block all year, that’s what I’m gonna keep doing (punt ’em) If they wanna block, that’s what’s gonna happen to ’em every time, for the rest of my career… I’m not gonna tolerate it. I don’t race guys that way, and I’m not gonna let anybody race me that way, so if they (block), they get dumped.”

Now if the race is on the line, I’d say do whatever you have to, but it’s very annoying when drivers do it in the middle of the race – especially when they’re lapper cars.  The last race at Bristol took the cake when it came to blocking – in both Nationwide and Cup. The lappers were especially bad – taking the preferred middle line and holding up faster cars lap after lap. A certain green colored car was the master of the art – most certainly because of a confidence by the driver that no one will dare punt that car due to the drama they’ll have to deal with if they do. That green machine was even aggressively blocking the leaders! I was shocked more didn’t get dumped as LOTS of drivers were asking for it!

So, if some of your drivers seem to get dumped a lot for no obvious reason, there’s a good chance that it’s perhaps due to other drivers feeling as Tony does:

“So (I’m just going to go) where I (am) going to go. Pretty much from now on, if anyone blocks me, they’re not going to like the consequences of it.”

When the race is on the line, you gotta do what you gotta do – within reason of course. And sometimes a driver will lose some momentum, temporarily, and will block for a corner or two to hold his position. I also don’t think it’s bad to make it difficult for a guy to pass you for a lap or two. Where are the limits? I’m sure the guy behind you will let you know. Better hope it’s not Tony! ;)

Tony Eury Senior

I was going to write a rant about Junior dumping his Uncle from JRM as cover for Whanica’s lack of ability in stock cars, but it’s just too pathetic to even talk about. People can, and I’m sure will, make various excuses for Junior (and Whanica), but to me there’s no excuse for doing that to the one man, aside from his father, who is most responsible for Junior’s success. Actually, a lot of fans would probably argue that Tony Senior was the man MOST responsible for Junior success, as it was Tony Sr. who talked his dad into giving him a ride in the first place. If it was performance Junior was worried about, there’s far from a shortage of willing drivers who have 10 times the talent as Whanica and who would shine in a car of that caliber.  I saw this coming when I FIRST heard Whanica was coming to JRM: that  she’d be an embarrassment and someone’s head would have to roll to cover for her  – though I thought Tony Jr. would be the first victim – just like he was the sacrificial lamb in Cup covering for Rick giving Junior’s engineering team to Jimmie and dooming the #88 team in ’08 -and for years afterward. I knew the end was coming soon for Tony Jr., but nope! It’s Pops turn this time!

Yeah, I know, “engineering means nothing” to some. Of course engineering was the VERY reason Junior himself gave for dumping Pops, so some Rick Hendrick apologists of the last few years will now have to rethink their position on the importance of engineering before making their excuses for Dale Junior firing Pops.   ;-)

All I can say is shame on you Junior. You get farther and farther from the great grassroots racer,  straight talking, down to earth guy I became a huge fan of from your first starts back in the Busch series days. This marketing machine mentality, where symbolism and marketing is put ahead of racing is NOT what the Earnhardt name used to represent to me and a lot of other fans. First you throw Tony Junior under the bus on your Cup team, now Pops. Very sad!

I hope his sister isn’t next!

Ironic that Junior wouldn’t leave HMS  for their lack of engineering support for his team, which left him to drive around in embarrassing mediocrity for the previous 4 years – but now he’s using an engineering excuse to fire Pops!

Well, as usual, even when I try not to, I rant a little anyway.  :roll:

Richmond NW race:

I  wanted to say I really enjoyed the race today – especially the racing between Ricky Stenhouse and Kevin Harvick. Happy was all over Ricky, giving him frequent nudges and trying to get him freaked out. It didn’t work: Ricky kept his cool and kept racing. He hung in there tough with none of that lame blocking discussed above. He just raced Harvick hard. After the race, Happy sung Ricky’s praises, and I was glad to see that Ricky was just as pumped up and as happy as Kevin. It was a taste of the good ‘ol days that we rarely see anymore! Too many whine at the slightest nudge or cry when they get punted for blocking!  :roll:

The jury’s still out on Ricky for me, but at the very least it looks like he won’t be an embarrassment to the :17: and is proving to be the man to beat for the NW Championship.

Leftturns190

 

 

Happy Birthday USMC88!  (G)

leftturns190, Randy's Rants