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Kenseth signs extension; McMurray a lame duck?

Posted on: November 20, 2008 5:24 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2008 5:27 pm

According to a team press release, Roush Fenway Racing has signed Matt Kenseth to a multi-year extension. Kenseth was set to become a free agent after the 2009 season along with Jamie McMurray.

With Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle also signing multi-year extensions during the 2008 season, it would appear McMurray is the odd man out when Roush Fenway must get down to the four-car limit after the 2009 season.

Why not David Ragan? Well, with UPS signing on, it's believed they're looking for a little stability so they can build a long-term program with their driver. While it's unknown if Ragan is signed beyond 2009, unless he takes a big step backward from his much improved 2008 performance, it's doubtful UPS would be agreeable to a driver change.


Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2008 11:54 am

Kenseth signs extension; McMurray a lame duck?

I don't see Home Depot dropping from Cup to the Nationwide Series.  It may be expensive at the Cup level but I see very little value in advertising in Nationwide.  Home Depot's NASCAR related commercials need a Cup presence to be effective.  They may be hurting but I can't see them bargain shopping after so many successful years.  Besides, advertising is perception and Joey is perceived as the next greaat Cup driver.

Brian, if you do a blog on the Big 3 please don't bring up all of the R&D benefits received from their NASCAR investment without listing some of these benefits.  I suppose David Pearson and his experience racing Fords gave us the Pinto and the Maverick.  Maybe Chrysler's R&D strategy is to determine everything that won't work before producing a reliable car.  OK, I'll shut up now.

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2008 11:11 am

Kenseth signs extension; McMurray a lame duck?

Mopar340, a lot of people say JGR threw JJ Yealy into the fire too fast and did not let him develope in the lower series.  Now i do understand that JJ was an open wheel driver and Joey grew up with stock cars, but Joey has always had the best equipment on the track,  When given a chance to show what he had with equal equipment against him, he has not faired very well.  The pressure this young man will be under may be too much for an 18 year old in a sports arena.  I mean we see it all the time, in the other major sports, 18 year old great HS baseball players have to grow up in the minors, Football have to grow up at College, Basketball, at least 1 year in college and most that come out early are gone within months, Even in Hockey you don't see very many 18 year olds breaking into the sport.  Yes there are exceptions, but from what I have seen with Joey, he is not the exception.  He has the ability to be a great but IMO he needs some seasoning.

Brian, If JGR could secure sponsorship for Jamie, I believe they would consider dropping Joey down to the Nationwide with Home Depot as sponsor and put Jamie in the 19 or another car, allow Joey to run some Cup races during the season and then bring him up next year.  This would also benefit Home Depot as it would cut thier sponsorship cost for a year and since the store is hurting financially right now that could be a boost. 

Since: Sep 20, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2008 10:35 am

Kenseth signs extension; McMurray a lame duck?

 If he is as good as they say he is Logano should be fine although the testing ban could throw a curve in his development.  Gibbs organizations strongest suit IMO is their ability to spot and sign top notch talent.

Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: November 21, 2008 1:10 pm

Kenseth signs extension; McMurray a lame duck?

OK, you guys brought up a couple of points.

Let's start with McMurray first. Mikeyfan asked whether Roush would give McMurray an early release if he found a ride elsewhere?

Though I can't definitively say its out of the realm of possibility, I don't see it happening, expecially after Roush just hired Donnie Wingo as McMurray's crew chief for 2009. And if I were McMurray, after the high note which which his season ended, I rather stay where right where I'm at and see how things play out in 2009, rather than jump some middling team, like say, Hall of Fame Racing. I'd rather stay where I have a chance to win, if only for a season, and maybe impress another top tier team.

What's more, until Ragan does get that long-term deal, McMurray remains in the mix. We speculate that UPS wouldn't want to switch drivers, but if McMurray wins a couple races and Ragan doesn't and fails to make another significant step forward, the thinking may change.

As for maybe filling in the No. 20 until Logano is ready? That ship has pretty much sailed. At this point, JGR and Home Depot have invested too much in the Logano campaign to turn around and change course now. For better or worse, , Logano will be thrown into the fire in 2009.

For Hawks, I think I'll post a separate blog on the Big 3 mess. If not today, then definitely next week.

Since: Jun 14, 2008
Posted on: November 21, 2008 10:04 am

Kenseth signs extension; McMurray a lame duck?

I agree it looks very much like Jamie is the odd man out. His best bet would be to start getting a sponsor and then sell himself and the sponsor to an owner. With $$$ tightening that maybe the best way to select a ride.

I agree to a point that the Big 3 do gain R&D information from racing, however with the COT it may be hard for the public to see since the exterior of the cars is basically identical. Most can not even tell who is driving what without the manufacturers logos.

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: November 20, 2008 6:56 pm

Kenseth signs extension; McMurray a lame duck?

Brian, I agree that Jamie will be the odd man out.  Now the Question is would Roush give Jamie an early release if he found a ride elsewhere?  I.E.  JGR putting Jamie in the 20 for a couple of years while Lagono learns his craft in the Nationwide series. Or Say DEI if sponsorship is based on him getting the ride.  Or even MWR replacing the McDowell in the 00/66? if sponsorship could be found.

As far as Hawks question, I don't think the public would be that upset because of the R&D that the manufactures get out of racing.  Even today they are learning things that improve the cars we drive tomorrow.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: November 20, 2008 6:30 pm

Kenseth signs extension; McMurray a lame duck?

It seems like a good move for Rousch Fenway.  Everyone believes Ragan is a solid up and coming driver while Jamie has had his chances and performs just adequately.  Someone had to go and Jamie would be my pick.  2009 could see a lot of good drivers looking for a ride as I expect sponsorship problems will cause some significant problems.

Brian, unless I missed it, I'm looking forward to your take on the Big 3 and what would happen during a reorganization whether it is through bankruptcy of federal oversight.  If you think everone is going nuts about the execs arriving on their personal luxury jets, wait until the taxpayers find out the millions being sent to NASCAR and other racing series.

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