Friday, July 18, 2008

NASCAR: Sprint Cup Just Past Half Way


What a season 2007 has been so far! Could anyone have imagined the dominance of the punkish, Kyle Busch, in his new ride with Joe Gibbs racing? Perhaps we're beginning to see the power many of us feared Toyota would reveal upon getting involved in the sport though for a Joe Gibbs team to dominate can't surprise anyone. Their dominance is much more pronounced in the Nationwide (Saturday) series.

It's fun to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. re-emerge as a top contender driving for Hendricks. To think, Mark Martin will be his team mate next year along with Jeff Gordon and Jimmy Johnson.

Has anyone noticed that were it not for the Rousch team, Ford racing would be little more than a memory right now? How sad it is to see the Yates teams struggle to find sponsorship and the "legendary" (I say that because that's what everybody else says) Wood Brothers who once were one of the most dominant teams in the sport.

Still, aside from Joe Gibbs racing, one has to give Rousch as good a chance at the championship as Carl Edwards, Matt Kennseth, and Greg Biffle are all solid "chase" contenders.

"Right Minded Fellow" will have more to say about Tony Stewart's announcement for next year and his future with Stewart-Haas racing in a future posting.

2 comments:

Buddy said...

With regards to Toyota's emergence this year, I don't see it as much as Toyota emerging as it is the combination of JGR, the Gibb's teams/drivers and Toyota. Brian Vickers is the only other Toyota driver truly in hunt to make the chase. I suspect that Denny Hamlin will fall out of the top 12 and miss the chase. Tony Stewart, if he loses his focus due to the distraction of his new race team, may slip out of the chase as well. This may leave Kyle Busch to fend off the rest of the chasers.

What is concerning, but not 100% surprising, is the poor showing from Dodge teams this year. Only Kasey Kahne has started to come around as of late. However, I don't think it will last. Ryan Newman, with his announcement that he'll be leaving Penske racing is a lame duck. I don't expect him to have any more success this year.

Ford and Chevy are well represented in the top 12. I suspect that it will come down to Hendrick and Roush drivers chasing Kyle Busch.

Prior to the chase format being instituted, I would make a prediction at mid-season who raise the cup at season’s end. I want to restart that tradition this year. However, I can't bring myself to saying who I really think will win the championship.

For now, I'll just say "Go Junior!!!

Right Minded Fellow said...

Buddy,

Right Minded Fellow appreciates your comments. Truly, at least on the Sprint Cup level, the battle for dominance is more between the super teams, Gibbs, Hendricks, Rousch, and Childress than anything dealing with manufacturers. Though the cars haven't become as identical to each other as what we once saw in IROC, the "Car of Tomorrow" philosophy has all but eliminated any edge one maker can gain on the other.

That might not be so on the Nationwide series level as Toyota clearly has a horsepower advantage.

That Dodge is not much of a player in the chase is not a reflection on Dodge as much as it is a reflection of team strength. Evernham-Gillett has a way to go before being one of the elites.

Keep in mind that since Dale Earnhardt won his last championship in 1994, only one championship, Dale Jarrett with the Yates team, came from an organization other than Gibbs, Hendricks, or Rousch.