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Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas

I thought today was a good time to take a break from the driver previews and see what else is going on. Ricky Rudd and Ward Burton will be waiting here Tuesday.

-Plenty of good blogs have covered Teresa Earnhardt calling out Dale Jr. I agree with the general thought that DEI may be the problem and not Junior. Since she is the boss at DEI however, it's her business if she doesn't think Junior is the right driver for their plans. The puzzling thing is why would she say this? It's very puzzling. At the very worst, Junior is a top fifteen driver, and that's very conservative. Realistically he's in a group of four or five that are right behind Stewart and Gordon. It would be hard to lure another driver with as much talent to DEI. That's not even considering the unmatched marketing potential, popularity, merchandise sales, and virtually unlimited sponsorships. Budweiser would follow Junior if he decided to drive Go-Karts. It's not simpy a top-ten driver that leaves, but the whole package leaves too. I think Junior will eventually re-sign with DEI, but the comments don't help.

-Kenny Wallace got a new crew chief this week. Jay Guy (not to be confused with former Raiders punter Ray Guy) takes over for Joe Garone. Here's hoping Guy has a great qualfiying setup.

-Annheuser Busch ends sponsorship with the Grand National Series after 2007. Nascar should be able to find another sponsor that will pay more money. People will still refer to it as the Busch series, although I thinkPoulan Weedeater should come aboard. Then all the Cup drivers could be Weedwhacker-whackers. Or would Cupsters be the weeds? Poulan Weedeater should have extra sponsorship money considering they no longer sponsor the Poulan-Weedeater Independence Bowl. That was always my favorite bowl name, along with the Weiser-Lock Copper Bowl.

-Marcos Ambrose will drive up to 10 Cup races next year. Right now the two road courses are certain, and the other eight races are dependent on funding and his success. Ambrose is an interesting prospect to me. He raced stock cars on Australia and figured out the trucks pretty quickly in 2006. He will drive a full Busch schedule next year and I think if he gets good cars he can surprise. If the Wood Brothers expand to two cars in 2008, Ambrose is in good shape for one of the rides.

-It's the last work day before Christmas and it might be the most stress-free Christmas I've had in a long time. This year we didn't do any gift exchanges or buy a lot of presents. Instead we took the money we'd normally spend on Christmas and donated it to charity. It was an idea our church had for this year's advent season. It's not that gifts are bad, but it can get so out of control. Plus, when you realize that many people in the US and the world can't afford rent, groceries, new clothes or even have safe drinking water it gives a little more perspective. Merry Christmas to everyone and be safe.

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