Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Just a few thoughts after Texas

Looking ahead toward Phoenix. I notice that the Gene Haas organization has kicked Jeremy Mayfield out of the 70 Chevrolet, in order to bring back Johnny Sauter. I'm thinking that Mayfield probably deserved more of a chance, but that's just me. Jeremy has actually been to Victory Lane in the Cup series, not lately, but he's been there.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn't get a top 10 finish this week, but after finishing 12th at the Samsung 500 at Texas, Jr. remains in 4th place in points. Jeff Gordon had a terrible weekend, spinning early and basically using the rest of the race as a test session. Jeff's day didn't get any better, even after trying a lot of different setups. When a 4 time champion and 81 race winner is having problems getting a handle on the new car, I take notice. Something is happening here, and whatever it is, it's not very pretty. Jimmie Johnson finally got a good finish with 2nd place in the race, but only Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson are in the top 12 in points after last weeks race for Rick Hendrick Motorsports.

Petty's situation seems to be up in the air still, but at least the rumors have subsided a little. I think Petty is playing to keep Bobby Labonte as the driver in the 43 for not just 2009, but the rest of his driving career. Kyle Petty's name is on the entry list for Phoenix, so I assume that unless some last changes are made, Chad McCumbee is out of the 45 for now. I wish Kyle luck.

2008 bodes not so well for great racing so far. The new car just doesn't seem to competitive, at least in some teams' hands at some track. Better competition has not been a goal that Nascar has realized so far with the new car. So far, Nascar doesn't seem very inclined to change the rules to allow the car to be more competitive. So much for racing, but I guess this is just part of the politics of Nascar.

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