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Tag:Red Bull
Posted on: February 6, 2009 11:19 am
 

Mikeyfan's Pre-Season Predictions (Toyota)

Last season JGR brought Toyota to the forefront and almost won them the Manufacture Championship.  So how do the Toyota teams do this year?  Here are my thoughts.

Joe Gibbs Racing

Can Kyle Bush repeat last years regular season domination?  Will Denny keep his cool and stay in the chase?  What happens to JGR with Tony no longer in the fold?  Is Joey Lagono the Real deal or a dud?  These are the questions a lot of folks have.  JGR should have another good year.  Both Kyle Bush and Denny Hamlin should make the chase without a problem.  Joey on the other hand is a wild card.  Will he listen to a proven crew chief in Greg Zipadelli or will he figure, as a lot of 18, 19 and 20 year old do, that he already knows everything and starts tearing up equipment?  I guess time will tell

Outlook for Joe Gibbs Racing

You can lock in Kyle Bush and Denny Hamlin into your chase picture.  These two team are solid and should have another solid year.  The question remains the 20 car.  They are a wild card to make the chase, but I think Zippy and the gang should be happy with a solid top 20 run this season and think about the chase at a later time.  The biggest question for Joey is will we see the Joey we saw in the Nationwide series or the one that struggled in the cup series?

Red Bull Racing

Brian Vickers had a great showing for Toyota and for their second year team.  Brian was consistently in the top 20 all year and brought some legitimacy to this race team.  Brian should challenge for a chase spot but I'm not sure he'll make it.  Red Bull also made a driver change this year bringing in Phoenom Scott Speed and releasing AJ Allmendinger.  This upset a lot of people but we will have to see who was right at the end of the season. 

Outlook for Red Bull Racing

I see Brian Vickers as having a chance to sneak into the top 12 and make the chase, The bigger question is can he win a race for Toyota and Red Bull this season.  As for Scott Speed he needs to worry about staying in the top 30 this year, make every race and learn the tracks and drivers.  If he starts pressing to run with the "big dogs" he could find himself in the go or go homers after 5 races.

Michael Waltrip Racing

David Reutimann played the Brian Vickers role at MWR last season.  David was consistent and showed signs at the end of last season that he was going to be a force to reckon with in 2009.  David is also one of the many who could find himself making a run for the chase.  As for Michael Waltrip, well Michael put a lot of pressure on himself this year by stating if he doesn't make some major improvement he will probably step down and turn the car over to a younger driver.  I personnelly don't think that will happen, Michael finally figured out how he like the COT to feel and once he and Bobby Kennedy figured that out Michael ran well.  And even though he has a new crew chief in Bootie Barker, Bobby Kennedy will be their to help Bootie learn what Michael wants in a car.  Last the 47 car of Marcos Ambrose.  Marcos is a young driver and should hopefully put the car in the top 25.  He will contend for a victory on both road courses and could surprise some on the cookie cutter track.

Outlook for Michael Waltrip Racing

I think the outlook is positive for MWR this season.  Look for Both David and Michael to have cars in Victory lane and both viaing for the chase.  I see a top 20 for both the 00 and the 55 and look for the 47 to have a good top 25 season.

Robby Gordon Racing

Robby moves from Dodge to Toyota in 2009.  Robby wants to get back to the top 20 and win another race or too.  I admire him for being on his own for so long but I think its starting to take its toll. 

Outlook for Robby Gordon Racing

Robby should finish somewhere between 22nd and 30th in points.  As always he will be a force on the Road Courses.

Rest of the Toyota Teams and Their Outlook

I'm just going to list the rest of the Toyota teams as they are all new teams.  Don't expect any of these teams to contend for a chase spot.  Most will be battling for the 35th spot to stay out of the go or go homers.

27 Kirk Shelmirdine - Kirk has done well in the past qualifying on the plate tracks but don't expect him to last the season.

34 Tommy Baldwin Racing - Tommy has Scott Riggs as a driver and has a solid chance of making the top 35.  A new team with a craft veteran crew chief as owner.  This team could surprise and end up in the top 30 by seasons end.

41 Jeremy Mayfield - Jeremy is starting his own team and has solid sponsorship with "Big Red" Soft drinks.  Jeremy is a good driver and could end up in the top 35 by seasons end.

64 Todd Bodine - "Cue Ball" is moving up from the trucks to tackle the Cup series once again.  If he has the proper backing and lands sponsorship he could contend for a top 25 spot.

66 Prism Motor Sports - With Terry Labonte and Dave Blaney driving for this team I hope they do well.  I like both drivers but with Phil Parsons just starting out this team will struggle making the top 35.  I hope they end the season in the top 35.

87 Joe Nemechek - After being ousted from Furniture Row, Joe is going to try it on his own.  I don't see him making it through an entire season, unless he can find some major sponsorship.

 

Well there you have it the Toyota teams.  Toyota should have 2 in the chase and there are several possiblities for more.  The outlook for Toyota is looking better each year as more teams are moving in their direction.

Posted on: November 10, 2008 2:29 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2008 8:00 pm
 

Mikeyfans End of Year NASCAR Awards

Most of you remember I did a mid year awards blog, so now I'm going to do an end of year awards blog.  Using the same categories and I will even show who my mid season winner was.  Please feel free to comment as usual.

MVP:

Mid Season Winner: Kyle Bush

My how fortunes change - at mid season there was no question who should get this award Kyle Bush had it locked it seemed, but something happened at the start of the chase and well, to the joy of Junior fans everywhere, Kyle hit a rough patch and may not make the banquet table, imagine that. 

So who is this years MVP,  Well the obvious would probably be Jimmie Johnson, he has his 3rd championship virtually locked up, he would win the points battle even it was under the old system so why not JJ.  But no one ever accused me of going with the obvious.  My pick for this years MVP is:

CARL EDWARDS - Carl has been consistent all year, he won races in the begining of the year, mid-year and the end of the year.  And if it wasn't for a 100 point deduction at Vegas this year Carl would be leading under the classic points system by 46 points. 

Most Improved:

Mid Season: BRIAN VICKERS:

At the mid season I toyed with Brian and David Reutimann as the winner of this award, and while both have had great years my winner had a better year, we just didn't really hear about him until  the later part of the season.  So the end of year award goes to:

David Regan -  David looks like he will end up 13th in points and the last half of the season has consistently run in the top 10.

Most Disappointing:

Mid Season: Ryan Newman:

I based my mid season selection on the fact that Ryan did nothing after his 500 win and while he didn't win a race and did not compete for a chase spot, and yes while his season has been somewhat a disappointment I'm giving him a break for having his mind on his move to his new team the latter part of the season.  But the winner, in my opinion has no excuses and that person would be:

Elliott Sadler:  Elliott didn't do a thing this year,  Even when his teammate, Kasey Kane went on a small streak at the end of May, Elliott never threatened for anything.  others considered, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Kyle Bush and Juan Pablo Montoya

Biggest Surprise:

Mid Season - David Regan

And the winner is:

David Regan: Not only was he my Most Improved but he remains my biggest surprise.  It seemed the latter part of the year everytime you looked at the final results David was in the top 10.  So Coodoos to David

Rookie of the Year:

Mid Season -Mike McDowell -

Boy did I get blasted for this pick and as it turned out rightfully so, Mike took a dive starting at Daytona and dove so far that he no longer has a ride.  This year there really wasn't a rookie that stood out like we have had in the past.  So I am going to go with:

Regan Smith: - Regan is currently 34th in points but more importantly he kept the 01 car in the top 35 all year.  Plus one has to consider where would Sam Hornish be if he hadn't had the points from the 2 car to guarantee him being in the first 5 races.

Now for Team Awards:

Most Improved Team:

Mid Season - MWR

Well I got blasted for my pick at mid season, everyone was saying it should have been "Red Bull"  Well guess what? I'm going to get blasted again because my winner is:

MWR: Michael Waltrip has put a lot of effort into this team and has all three cars in the top 35 at this time.  Plus the last half of the season MWR cars have been competitive a lot of the times.  With the 00 moving to the 47 next season and Mikey Bringing in some major engineers from F-1 and other personnel I expect bigger and better things for next season.  Also, one thing that turned me off on Red Bull, is how they handled AJ Allmendinger.  The 83 car is 20th in points but Brian sits 19th in Drivers Points and David 22nd so not a whole lot of differences there. 

Most Disappointing Team:

Mid Season - Ganassi Racing: 

Again I have to stick with my Mid Season Pick here and go with:

Ganassi Racing - Chip lost the 40 car early, Now he lost sponsors for his top driver with Texaco leaving and is looking to merge with another team.  

Most Shocking Event of the Season:

Mid Season - Ryan Newman leaving Penske Racing:

While Ryan leaving Penske was a shock, I think the biggest shock to NASCAR is:

Sponsors leaving by droves: A lot of sponsors have bailed on NASCAR for the upcoming season.  Army leaves DEI, Ganassi loses Texaco, No sponsors for the 43, 22 and others.  It appears NASCAR's Cash Cow is drying up and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Brian France does in the off season.

Best Move by NASCAR:

Mid Season:

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. 

End of Year:

Boy its hard to come up with a Best Move by NASCAR but other than the two above I will have to say the Best Move is:

The changing of the Chase Schecule:  I'm not real crazy about California having a chase race and Atlanta losing it.  What the move did was bring the Labor Day Race back to the south where it belongs but it also pushed Talladega back to the 6th race in the chase.  This could make it very interesting with the 'Big One' lurking at every lap.  Make Contenders from Pretenders and make Contenders,  Pretenders.

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

NASCAR Awards, so far

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:

MVP:

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
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com