Category:Auto Racing
Posted on: March 11, 2008 10:58 am
 

MWR LOSES A VALUED MEMBER THIS WEEK

Well DJ is retiring after this week and he will be missed at MWR.  DJ thought about retiring at the end of last season but he new his past champions provisional had the chance to get the 44 UPS car into the top 35 after 5 races.  He felt that if he left the 44 in the top 35 and in the hands of David Reutimann that UPS would remain in the top 35 for the season. 

It is that type of unselfish attitude that endeared DJ to this sport.  No DJ was not the most talked about racer in NASCAR, He wasn't the most talented driver on the circuit either but he was a consistent driver and when need be he could be hard nosed.  But mainly he was a driver that gave respect to the sport and his fellow drivers and in turn he received the respect of the sport and its drivers.  Dale Jarrett was the driver that brought Joe Gibbs racing to the forefront.  I mean, who didn't root for DJ when his dad was calling the 1993 Daytona 500 and it came down to the Dale and Dale show.  I know a lot of Earnhardt fans wanted Earnhardt to win but I don't think anyone was disappointed that DJ won and his Dad got to call his victory.  Anyone with a son who heard that call knew the pride that Ned had in his son and the accomplishment he just made.  Every dad who was watching had to have fought a off a tear because of the joy they felt with Ned. 

When Dale got the call to join Robert Yates Racing, he almost didn't go,  He felt he owed it to Joe Gibbs to stay around but Joe had so much respect for DJ that he told him to go, that RYR gave him his best chance to win a championship.  And that is what he did.  As I right this I can only think of one other father son combination that has won a championship and that would be Lee and Richard Petty.  Pretty good company if you ask me.

So here's to DJ for an outstand career on the track and I will be looking forward to listening to his call of the race with ESPN this fall. 

DJ its been an honor to watch you in this great sport.  Thanks

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: NASCAR
 
Posted on: March 3, 2008 12:17 pm
 

Tense and Trying 2 Weeks coming up for MWR

Well, Vegas is over and instead of solidifying their top 35 positions in the points, all 3 MWR cars fell into the Danger Zone.  Right now the 00 is 29th, and the 44 and 55 are tied at 32.  In actualality I am going to say the 00 is in 30th and the 44 and 55 are tied for 33rd.  Why because I expect at least 75 points to be given back to Robby Gordon after his appeal this week.  This leaves no room for error coming up at Atlanta or Bristol. 

I was hoping that all 3 cars would be locked into the top 35 going into Bristol.  Because Bristol is a place where you can miss the race by .0001 of a second, it is that close there when qualifying.  David got into trouble right off, he was fighting the flu and allowed his car to drift up on lap 1 and smack he hit the wall tore his car up pretty good in the back and ended up 4 laps down the remainder of the day.  Mikey, was fighting a tight car all day long.  Mikey, was upset that nothing they did was helping the car in fact he claimed on his scanner that everytime they tried to fix the car it just got worse.  And DJ, while having a decent run ended up wrecking the car the latter part of the race. So with no car finishing better than 31st all three cars took a hit in the points.  When the standings can change so quickly this early in the season another bad week like this and 1, 2 or all 3 cars could be on the outside looking in as far as the go or go homers go.  The one redeaming factor is both the 44 and 55 have a 30 point lead over the 36th place car, which is one missed race, and the 00 has a 55 point lead over the current 36th place car.  But if you add the adjustment of Robby Gordon then it is only 18 points for the 44 and 55 and 43 points for the 00.

And unfortunately the cars currently in positions 36 through 40 are all currently in the top 35 from last year and guaranteed to be in the next two races.  So buckle up boys and pull those seatbelts tight, we need 2 solid runs the next 2 weeks then we can relax and concentrate on race setups when we go to the track.

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: MWR, NASCAR
 
Posted on: February 26, 2008 7:39 am
 

GO or GO HOME after 2 races Some Suprises.

Yes everyone, I understand it is only 2 races and the point standings will be crazy the next couple of weeks.  But if the points for the top 35 locked out this week here is who would be locked in and here is who would have to qualify to get into the next race.

In:

2 - Kurt Bush -4th - 299 pts - No real suprise here - Kurt is a solid driver, with good equipment.

83 - Brian Vickers - 11th - 257 pts -  Brian ran very well last season when he made the races, now with a solid engine program he should be top 20 all year.

00 - David Reutimann - 18th -  203 pts - Interesting right now the owners points are staying with the 00 when David goes to the 44.  This means Michaels Rookie Michael McDowel may not have the pressures of the go or go home for a while when he jumps into the ride (subject to change)

44 - Dale Jarrett - 25th - 184 pts - This is the car David will jump into after Martinsville, Hopefully it will be in good shape and David can just race.  Of course DJ's provisionals will help keep him in the lineup.

55 - Michael Waltrip - 29th - 160 pts - Mikey needs a top 20 at Vegas and Phoenix to lock himself into the top 35 before going into Bristol.  Of course he has to qualify first.

Those in the top 35 now that will be on the outside looking in:

28 - Travis Kvpail - 36th - 128 pts - Unless this team finds a sponsor for the season this may be a mute point.

22 - Dave Blaney - 37th - 127 pts - The most consistent of the Toyotas last year this guy can't win for losing.  He appears to have a black cloud hanging over his head.

01 - Ragan Smith - 38th - 122 pts - Struggles of a young driver.  DEI haters will love this but you have to remember he still has 3 races to pull himself up

45 - Kyle Petty - 39th - 110 pts - Could we be seeing Bobby Labonte in the 45 for his past champions to keep this car in the race?  Is it time for Kyle to hang it up?  Lot going on at Petty Enterprise, IMO it would be a shame for him to miss the top 35.

5 - Casey Mears - 42nd - 95 pts - Could a HMS car have to qualify his way in?  If he keeps running into things he just might.  Maybe Rick let the wrong driver go.

Those on the bubble, 6, 11,7, 77 and 40. 

The next 3 races could get very interesting.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 19, 2008 7:51 am
 

MWR and the Upcoming California Race

Daytona is over and MWR faired well, Both the 44 and 00 finished in the top 20 and the 55 finished in 29th.  This is a lot better than the start the 3 teams had last year after the 500.  Although there are still 4 races to go before teams lock into the top 35, top 20's is what a team needs to make things comfortable.  It looked like all three cars would get top 20 finishes but the 55 got caught up in someone elses mess and tore up the right front of the car and lost the aero package and handling of the car.  But still this is better than last year where Mikey finished I believe somewhere around 40th.  As long as he make races and ends up in the top 30 he should be able to lock in for the season.

Speaking of making race California is up next.  The way I see it you will have, based on the entry list, 13 teams viaing for 6, maybe 5 slots.  I believe Kurt Bush will qualify leaving either DJ or Bill with the past champions.  If both make the race either by qualifying or with the past champions then you have 13 cars viaing for 5 slots.  So a strong qualifying run from the 55 and 00 is needed.  Two things these cars have going for them.  1.  All the go or go homers will qualify at the end of the qualifying session. So no going out early when the tracks hot and someone coming later and beating you out because the track cooled off.  (Mikey lost his bid last year because of this, he missed the race by about .003 seconds I believe last year.).  2.  MWR had a great practice at California.  Mikey was the fastest of the go or go homers in practice and David I believe was 3rd. 

So can the team keep the momentum going that they started at Daytona.  Lets hope so.  It would be nice to see all three teams have top 35's locked up going into Bristol.  That way if the made the race or missed it they would still be in Martinsville and beyond.

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: NASCAR
 
Posted on: February 9, 2008 10:30 pm
 

Mikey's team needs a lot of work

I listened to Michael's radio during the Shootout.  At time it got almost comical.  Once again Michael is telling Paul Andrews how to fix his car insead of just tell the crew chief what is wrong and letting him fix it.  But that wasn't a bid deal because when you listened to Paul he was very calm and told Michael they would get the car fixed during the break.  Well, after the break, there was caution 3 laps in and Michael comes down and misses this pit.  Paul took the blame but Mikey admitted he messed up.  Then comes the caution with just after the 25th lap of the second segment.  Mikey's car is very loose and mikey suggest they make a track bar adjustment and air in the left.  Paul puts the adjustments in and then after the restart Mikey is complaining that his car is really messed up.  so with 6 laps remaing in the race we have another caution.  Mikey comes in and his crew changes 4 tires, and is going to take the changes out.  Here is where the comedy really begins.  First Paul tells Mikey do not move after they change the tires. He then tell his crew member he went the wrong way on the adjustments.  the guy starts to adjust the wedge and Paul has to say no that is not right the other hole,  then he has to take 4 round out of the track bar because he went the wrong way to begin with.   So thank goodness this is under caution because his pit stop takes about 45 seconds.  At the end of the race mikey wasn't happy because his spotter didn't tell him he was coming to the white flag. 

Well it is a good thing they got this race under thier belt.  Hopefully, there will be no mistakes when it counts the most and that is for the twin 150's.  The race that will put mikey in the 500.  (unless his qualifying time is good enough to get him in.

The shootout also provided them with valuable information on how the COT runs at Daytona,  Something they didn't have and also something that practice alone cannot give to them.  So for that I'd say Mikey has a leg up on the Go or Go homers that did not race.

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: MWR
 
Posted on: February 4, 2008 4:30 pm
 

Big week coming up for MWR and Toytoa

This is a big weekend upcoming for Toyota and MWR.  Last year I don't believe Toyota had an entry in the Shootout.  But this year they will have 6 cars in the Shootout lead by JGR with 2 and MWR with 2. This is a real test to see how far Toyota has come and also to see how far MWR has come.  It will also be a test to see how well JGR has transitioned to Toyota. 

If Toyota can come out of the gate strong wtih a good showing, or even a win in the shootout then watch out for the Yota's this year.  If they struggle to keep up with the pack or do not draft well then it will probably take a coupe of months for Toytoa to be competitive.  This race is probably the most important Shootout of all the shootout just because it will let the New Manufacture know where they stand with their rivials.

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: Bud Shootout
 
 
 
 
 
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