Saturday, January 19, 2008

Quick Hits: 01/20

My occasional news wrap-up from items in the last week or so... (if you notice, I won't post testing numbers, since I think they're useless)

Morgan McClure closes operations after 25 years
This shouldn't be a surprise, but it is still unfortunate to see. Gosh, I remember when this was one of the top teams in the sport with Ernie Irvan and Sterling Marlin, then Bobby Hamilton to an extent - then the fall began. Drivers were shuttled in and out of the #4, the team lost long-time sponsor Kodak, then began employing the service of drivers like Scott Wimmer, Mike Wallace, and most recently Ward Burton. The fact that the team remained and made a surprising amount of races is an accomplishment in itself. However, I think most could see the writing on the wall, and it was only a matter of time before the Abingdon, VA team would eventually stop competing.

To add to that...

State Water Heaters to join Scott Riggs in Haas #66 I can think of drivers I'd rather sponsor, but given how underrated the Haas operation is, might not be a bad move. I just wish they had kept Johnny Sauter in the #70, I think he had earned a second year.

Evernham attempts to catch Childress in number of crew chief changes Surprisingly he leaves the #9 alone, he moves Rodney Childers from the #10 to the #19 and Mike Shiplett from the Busch team to the #10 Cup team. We'll see if it pays off, or you can count on another change. Eventually it'll work, or so you'd think.

DEI gets some new sponsors: Principal Financial, Steak-umm, and Cub Cadet
OK, so Principal came with the Ginn merger, but they'll be on the #01 for Regan Smith in a number of races as the primary sponsor. Steak-umm will be on the #8 as a full-time associate sponsor and have one-race primary deals with Martin and on the #01. Cub Cadet moves from Brewco's #37 to become a full-time associate on the #1 with Martin Truex Jr.

Aarons sponsoring David Reutimann in first 5 races of season
Aarons will be the sponsor of the #00 until he departs for the #44, then Michael McDowell will take over. I had heard Dominos and Burger King would be back on the car, I guess we shall see. I still think they're moving him up too early.

Wood Brothers, JTG Racing split operations
In what has to be considered a strange move, the two teams have split their operations, yet continue to work together in every single aspect. Umm, ok. So now, the Wood Bros. have the #21 Cup car and the #21 Truck, while JTG has the #47 and #59 Nationwide cars and the #20 Truck. I think JTG will overtake the Wood Bros. since they'll have Ambrose, Bires, and Scott Lagasse.

Brent Sherman tests Indy Pro Series cars
God good almighty, who decided to let him drive one of those things? He can't crash one of them and come back out 60 laps down and crash again. Then again, he would be one and done... it's a toss-up.

Childress still looking for sponsorship of the #21 Nationwide entry
This worries me, because this is arguably one of the top 3 or top 5 cars in the series. Bobby Labonte will pilot the car for 15 races, but still looking for the rest with driver Tim McCreadie. Hey, McCreadie has some talent, someone put the money behind him.

CitiFinancial doing the "Dish Network plan" with Roush Fenway in Nationwide
Citi (didn't they just writedown billions?) will sponsor the Roush Fenway armada in the #'s 16, 17, and 60 this year. Perhaps Dish is shifting most of their money to Biffle's Cup effort?

Yates Racing: From championship contenders to "please sponsor us"
The Yates cars showed up at Daytona testing with the website on their cars, apparently because they have no sponsorship for the season. What a shame that a team with the storied #28 and two young (one talented) drivers and they can't get anyone to sign the checks. They've already shut down the Busch team, and you have to wonder if they have much time left. I sincerely hope they do.

Richard Johns out of the #60 truck, Terry Cook in
Well, that didn't take long. I think Johns showed that he had little discernible talent while piloting the #25 Busch car to 35th-place finishes. Cook should do well in that truck.

Later in the week, I'll tackle what has become my favorite sports car race of the year, the Rolex 24 at Daytona. To get ready, check out BM for the latest news coming from the event.


Vroom said...

Nice's vrooming time!

Jake said...

Did you see who is sponsoring Milka Duno in the Rolex 24 hour race at daytona?

charlie said...

I think you're wrong about McDowell. He doesn't have much else to prove to me. I hope MWR is good enough to field three cars.

thecatfishshow said...

Charlie, I'm not saying he doesn't have the talent, he surely does. What I mean is that I think coming from ARCA and two Busch races to full-time Cup is quite a jump, and I'd hate to see him get there and lose his confidence. That's why I have reservations about him jumping.