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Friday, April 06, 2007

NASCAR notes during an off-week

-According to SI.com's Tim Tuttle four good races out of six constitutes a comeback. Dale Earnhardt Jr got caught up in a crash at Daytona (which I'm told happens pretty frequently at that track), and then lost an engine at California. Since then he has a driver rating of 104.6 and sits 11th in points. Lots of writers make the same assumptions especially when Earnhardt Jr is involved. Jeff Gordon had 4 DNF's prior to last season's Chase, but it was not really noticed because they occurred during the middle of the summer. Somehow DNF's at the beginning of the season are viewed as crushing blows that no driver can recover from. Every race pays the same amount of points.

-Dr Z puts Chrysler up for sale. That is sure to rekindle rumors of Dodge exiting from NASCAR. Until they are sold it is hard to say exactly what the impact will be, but whatever happens it's not a great sign for Dodge teams in NASCAR. As if they needed more bad news. Through six races Dodge has zero wins, zero top fives and only eight top tens. The highest ranked driver is David Stremme in 13th place. As the old racing cliché goes, “finish 15th on Sunday, up for sale on Monday”

-A field of current Nextel Cup crew chiefs, plus Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds, will compete in a race prior to the All-Star Challenge. It would be even better if drivers would have to set up the cars for their crew chiefs. Imagine Tony Eury Jr screaming at Dale Earnhardt Jr about how tight his car is, or Jimmie Johnson getting banned from the race for an unapproved modification.What might be even more comical would be a 100m foot race among crew chiefs.

-The Lady in Black is getting a makeover. The 10 million dollar project includes a repaved track, a new tunnel and suite renovations. Maybe it is related to ISC's failures in New York and Seattle, but spending $10 million at Darlington is a good sign for the long term stability of the track. A few years ago Dale Jr complained about the track and offered to pay for resurfacing. I wonder if they followed up on this offer?

-Starting next week, I am moving to a new location. I am learning web design so I decided to incorporate my blog into that. The website doesn't have anything right now, but the blog is set up. At the moment I am just using a Wordpress template, but I plan on creating my own images and layout. It is still a work in progress, but I have added quite a few links. Let me know if there are any links or blogs I have left off. Let me know what you think, and be sure to update links and favorites to troubleinturn2.mikemaruska.com.