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.
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.
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.
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.