Blog Entry

NASCAR Awards, so far

Posted on: July 15, 2008 9:18 am
Edited on: July 15, 2008 10:33 am

Well, we have a week off so I thought from racing, its all star week in Baseball, so why not do an award blog for what has happened so far this season.  I'll make the categories and who I feel the award should go to, you can blast my pick and make your own pick and explain why.

Here we go:


KYLE BUSH - Without a doubt he wins hands down.  8 wins in 19 races, well lets just say he is out classing the rest of the field by a wide margine.

Most Improved:

This one was tough for me.  Being a homer of sorts I want to say David Reutimann, he has put 2 of MWR's cars solidily into the top 35 but my head tells me that the true choice has to be,

BRIAN VICKERS: Brian has taken his Red Bull car from a go or go homer at the beginning of the season to the brink of the chase.

Most Disappointing:

Again this one was tough but for different reasons, what is a disappointing season,  Well, we have Kyle Petty struggling to make races but really did we expect that much from him?  How 'bout Casey Mears,  Here he has all that good HMS equipment, barely in the top 25 and has lost his ride for next season.  I could go with Jeff Gordon, who has struggled, by his standards, after the year he had last season, no wins, his fans I believe are a little disappointed.  But no I have to go with,

Ryan Newman: After his win at the Daytona 500 he has fallen in the standings like a Rock.  In fact it has gotten so bad at Penske that Ryan is going to leave after this season.

Biggest Surprise:

Now some may say this is the same as the Most Improved but not really, what driver has surprised you the most by how well he has done this season?  I could say Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a real big surprise, why well I think a lot of people thought he would be in the top 12 but how many people really thought he'd be sitting 2nd in the points this time of year?  I think we can all say if we are honest with ourselves we would have to say it is a surprise to where he sits.  But I didn't go thier I went with:

David Regan: Here is an individual that everyone was saying last season would be the one to go at Roush.  That Roush made a big mistake by putting him in the 6 car and that he couldn't handle the pressures of the big show.  Well, I not only think he is handling the pressure I think he has solidified his positions at Roush.  Right now he sits 15th in points with a solid shot at the chase.

Rookie of the Year:

This is really a tough one as no one Rookie has stepped forward.  Sam Hornish is hanging around the go or go homers and all but one of the rest are go or go homers.  So I have to go with

Mike McDowell - I know this looks like a homer pick, and it may be, but the fact that this kid has not had any experience in the Nationwide or Cup series and he has managed to keep the car in the top 35 to me is a great accomplishment.  I know he was given a break by NASCAR not allowing the points swap between the 00 and the 44 but he has maintained his position in the top 35.  This to me is no more of a break than Sam Hornish getting the points at the beginning of the season from the 2 car.  But I will say this.  If Patrick Carpentier can get into the top 35 he may be the best of this lot. But this years Rookie Crop does not show any outstanding drivers at this time.

Now for Team Awards:

Most Improved Team:

Ok, I'm going to let my bias get to me on this award,  I know that Red Bull with Brian is doing well but they still have one in the go or go home category.  So I have to go with:

MWR: Michael Waltrip has put a lot of effort into this team and has all three cars in the top 35.  Although none of the cars are in the top 25 where this organization has come from last season to now is a great accomplishment.

Most Disappointing Team:

To me this is an easy pick.  You have Penske with their troubles but both cars are in the top 20,  You have HAAS who has both cars out of the top 35, one because of a rules violation. but the winner hands down is:

Ganassi Racing:  Here is a team that has folded a team has one team sitting at 32nd in points and his best team has gone through 3 crew chiefs, causing his driver to publicly criticize the owner.

Most Shocking Event of the Season:

This one, I don't believe, is as cut and dried as most people will think.  Yes Tony Stewart is leaving JGR, but this has been rumored since JGR announced that they were going to Toyota.  Tony has severed a long relationship with Joe Gibbs and It may be a long hard road for him to get back to the top. But the one thing that I never saw coming at the beginning of the season was:

Ryan Newman leaving Penske Racing: Ryan started the season winning the Super Bowl of Racing the Daytona 500.  All was well but suddenly things went sour, and really haven't heard what really has happened, and now all of a sudden Ryan is out of Penske without a ride for next season.  Will he get a ride, you bet, he is too talented, but this was not foreseen by anyone that I know of. 

Best Move by NASCAR:

Well this is a category that people may say WHAT?  When has NASCAR made a good move recently?  Well I have 2 for this category?

1.  Ryan Newmans 25 Point penalty for being too high.  To me this was consistent to all the past penalties.  Even though it was the COT it was nothing that kept the car from meeting the templates.

2.  The no penalty to the 66 car of JJ Yealy last week.  Initially, it was reported the team had put lead in the water bottle and then when they changed the water bottle the car would weigh about 30 pounds lighter.  Well it turned out that the bags contained Water and when they took the bag out the car was within standards but, the a violation had taken place by placing the bag in the car prior to tech, thereby changing the attitude of the car.  The penalty was a drive through on lap 1 and did not result into a loss of a lap. 

Honorable mention to the no calls to the Mikey incident at Richmond except to sit him out the last 50 laps, the no call to Hamlin at Richmond for stopping on the track and the no calls to the crews of Junior and Bush after Richmond. 

Well there you have it.  Agree, Disagree,, but remember if you disagree let everyone know why and who you would pick for that category.  After all your opinion counts too.

Category: Auto Racing

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: July 19, 2008 3:13 pm

NASCAR Awards, so far

that is what I love about who should get what award because very seldom does everyone agree. Well everyone agrees with your MVP

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: July 19, 2008 3:09 pm

NASCAR Awards, so far

wow! Jeff wins (if this is true) If this isn't true though, by far the most surprising thing that happened was that Mark Martin left DEI (they wanted him to race full-time, so there is no surprise there) but then to join Hendrick to run a full-time season, he left a team for a reason to join another which wanted the same thing... WOW! I am still perplexed by this one, and nobody thought that Martin would run for full- time again!

Since: Jun 26, 2008
Posted on: July 18, 2008 3:12 pm

NASCAR Awards, so far

I am always so forgetfull..... Please include RED BULL Racing to my list of Teams on the rise/improving. They have really come a long way since last season.

Since: Jun 26, 2008
Posted on: July 18, 2008 3:06 pm

NASCAR Awards, so far

I believe that Yates Racing should be the Most Improved Team this year.   They are doing extremely well considering that they have little to no sponsorship.

Disappointing teams would be:
Hall of Fame Racing

Teams that need to fold their lawn chairs and go home:
Robby Gordon Motorsports  (unless he and Boris Said get together and form a two car team)

Teams on the rise/improving
GEM (Gillett/Evernham Motorsports)
Petty Enterprises (Once Kyle Petty retires and they find a suitable replacement) (Bobby Labonte)

Bring NASCAR drivers into the sport the way they normally came up, not these Indy/F1 types. 

NASCAR needs to go back to its roots.  Start the races (on Sunday) at 1pm Eastern.  I don't care if its 10am Pacific.  No Saturday night racing!  Save that for the Saturday  night racers/racetracks.  Don't steal the thunder from them.  Don't race on Mothers Day Weekend!  Don't race on Father's Day weekend!  Let the drivers have some family time.

Sorry if I jumped off topic there at the end......
Thanks for the blog, MikeyFan!

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: July 18, 2008 8:59 am

NASCAR Awards, so far

Green, while it is indeed disappointing that BAM Racing shut down for a time, I don't think anyone really looked at them as doing very much in cup this year.  Would I like for them to succeed?  Sure, I would, but in no way were they expected to really contend for anything. Ganassi, on the other hand brought in these open wheel drivers, dropped Stremme, and basically stated with Juan and Dario, I'll show NASCAR what real talent is.  Well, Dario's operation has shut down, and Juan is not in contention for the chase.  So to me, anyway, they are the most disappointing.

As for Yates and the most improved award you have a good argument and that is why I encouraged everyone to comment and give me thier choices.  But here is some of my homer thinking.

Last season the 88 (now the 28) and the 38 competed in all the races and finished 30th and 32nd respectively in owner points. (I use owner points as this decides the go or go homers)  Currently they sit 22nd and 26th in owner points.

Last year the 44 finished in 40th place and competed in 24 races this year they have made every race and sits in 28th position. 

The 00 finished in 39th place and competed in 29 races. Currently the 00 is in 35th place and has competed in all the races

The 55 finished in 41st place and competed in 17 race and currelty sits 31st and has competed in all the races.

So based on these stats that is the reason I chose MWR. over everyone else.  I mentioned Red Bull because they have a driver competing for a chase spot, but they also have a car that is still in the go or go home spot, (37th in points) and has missed some races.

But your arguement(s) are just as good as mine, that is what I love about who should get what award because very seldom does everyone agree. 

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: July 18, 2008 12:56 am

NASCAR Awards, so far

Great point with Yates. Honestly, I forgot all about them, and I think most people have. It's unfair, but I think their great performance this year has fallen through the cracks, probably because of the sponsorship troubles and the fact that Toyota is running better as a whole this year.

Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: July 17, 2008 11:24 pm

NASCAR Awards, so far

Great blog Mikey, but.........

I gotta disagree with the "most disappointing team" choice Mikey, the BAM team has dropped off the face of the earth after having good runs (not finishes, but runs) earlier in the season. I applaud their choice to get the bugs worked out of the switch to Toyota before coming back, but now they are in sponsor trouble (like before) and not being at the track isnt helping. I also understand that they are a small budget team, but dont they employ any accountants or research and development people? How about market research or publicity people? I dont see how they dig their way out of this grave, as they are not within 150 miles of the same zip code of the top 35 in points anymore. Back to the drawing board for 2009 I guess.

Sorry to rant on your blog Mikey, but being a long time Schrader fan I am very disappointed to not see him race in Cup. I have to give the BAM team the black flag.

Since: Feb 22, 2007
Posted on: July 17, 2008 5:13 pm

NASCAR Awards, so far

I like your Award show but for one item I have to mention my homer as the Most Improved Team.

At the start of the year Yates Racing had lost the most of any team both sponsor and personnel wise and yet they have made a great showing.   With two relatively new drivers they have been steadily improving week to week.  Many of the so called Experts had virtually written off the team.  Yes there is the help from Roush and the combined engine program probably kept the team alive.  However you could make similar comparisons to the current Haas teams and look how bad they have done even though they have Hendrick help and motors.

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: July 16, 2008 9:03 am

NASCAR Awards, so far

I agree with almost everything but 1 thing.... you gave Ryan Newman as the most dissapointing for the fact that he won Daytona but has dropped, that i agree with. But, (there is always a but) I think if you are going to use that reasoning, Penske ought to be the most dissapointing team because they had a 1-2 finish with their top drivers, and the 3 team had a sold showing as well. However, Both Newman and Busch have taken a huge plumet and that 3rd team with Hornish that showed promise at Daytona is struggling to stay in the top 35.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: July 15, 2008 9:15 pm

NASCAR Awards, so far

For owners points Sam has the 77 34th while McDowell has the 00 35th. Driver points are different since McDowell started later in the year and drivers like Regan Smith and Reed Sorenson sat out the road course. For drivers points, Hornish would be 32nd or 33rd, while McDowell would be around 40th.

In fact, if we're going by points, then the rookie of the year should probably be Regan Smith. But I still hold to what my current belief that it's Hornish 1 McDowell 2. Sam has had some good runs and some bad luck, resulting in finishing in the mid to lower 30s when he would have otherwise run top 25. McDowell I think has surprised us all by keeping the car in the top 35. For those reasons along, I put them 1 and 2.

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