Four races into this young season, and what do we 'know'?
* Toyota needs better 'rice burners'
Well maybe not really if one takes a good look at the new manufacturer entering other race series. It took four years for Toyota to win it's first CART race. Even after spending over 2 billion dollars since 2001, Toyota has yet to earn a Formula 1 race victory. In their CTS debut season, it was not till August before Toyota scored their first win. And just for comparisons sake, When Dodge re-entered Cup, it took 23 races before the manufacturer entered victory lane.
* 'We are getting the band back together'
Both 'true' and 'newbie' Ricky Rudd fans are calling for a Crew Chief change for the 88 team. Of course, topping the short list is stealing Fatback away from the Wood Brothers and his cushy gig. Note to some of the Rudd fans, the problems are not the crew Crew Chief, not the driver, not the owner, it is not the pit crew, or the shop personnel. The problem is 4 or so years of mediocre performance, and that takes time to fix.
* Kenseth a litter bug?
Did anyone else catch the 17 throw a water bottle onto the apron while under caution yesterday? I'm thinking with all the space inside the car, that there might be a better place to 'get rid' of a water bottle than throwing it on the track surface.
* Will Mark Martin really not race this week?
Considering that Martin has said for the past couple of years that he is 'retiring', I'll believe it when I see him 'no show' Friday morning for first Cup practice.
* For Sale?
Like some Rudd fans, it seems that the natives are also getting restless at the "Southern Gentleman's" camp, and pointing fingers at the 19 car director. Sadly what some of these Plaid Clad fans don't seem to realize is that this 'communication' problem has followed Sadler for 8 some odd years now, and close to a dozen or so Crew Chiefs. The 'take one step forward, then two steps back' theory of making in-race chassis changes is not limited to the current 19 CC. But there is one common theme here, and that is the lack of communication and specificity from the person actually behing the wheel and who has a first person feel of what the car is doing, or not doing. This problem is not something new.
* Move over D.W.
As now Dale Jarrett has taken over your position as the past champion to abuse the provisional offered by the governing body. The year that D.W. drove the Tabasco car to lap down finishes in the 40s may not hold a candle to what the 44 team may do this season. Maybe Dale really should race the truck, it couldn't be much worse.
* It is going to happen someday
With the apparent conflicts Nascar is having with 'title sponsorship' rights, and other competitors signing up with teams, there is a firestorm on the horizon. But this firestorm may not be solely a Nascar problem. 'Naming' rights are common place in sports these days, and frankly are a necessity. It is just a matter of time before the NFL allows 'sponsorship' logos on their team's uniforms. When that happens, just what is going to happen when the Dallas Cowboys (lets say they are sponsored by UPS) play a game against the Washington Redskins at 'Fedex Field'? I am thinking Fred Smith in Memphis would not think highly of spending all that money only to have a UPS logo plastered all over 'his' field.