Monday, August 31, 2009

Sorry Bobby Labonte Fans, But Your Guy Can't Get The Job Done Anymore

The news today that Erik Darnell would be replacing Bobby Labonte in 7 races this season didn't come as a complete shocker, but it looks like race fans are reacting pretty negatively to the news. I hate to tell the Bobby fans this, but like the title says... your guy can't get it done anymore.

Believe me, I've thought a lot of Bobby Labonte over the years. I thought he could have saved Petty Enterprises. That didn't work out so well. I thought the deal to Earnhardt Ganassi would have been good. That didn't pan out in the end. On paper, it seemed that the Hall of Fame/Yates deal would be an attractive ride. Sponsorship came from Ask.com and they were a new sponsor that had really committed to NASCAR. The results, though, just haven't been there. I'm sure you'll hear people bitch and complain about the equipment, but this is where HoF was running last year and the year before.

As for Bobby himself, he has one top 5 finish in the last 3 years. That was this year at Las Vegas in a fuel mileage gamble. His last win came in 2003. If you're looking at those numbers objectively, is that a guy you want driving your cars? I didn't think so. There comes a time when a driver just can't compete at the highest level anymore. The only exception seems to be Mark Martin these days. People said the CoT would be benefit drivers like Labonte. That hasn't proven to be the case. I understand Bobby's pride in staying in Cup. He won the championship in 2000. It's just time for him to look at moving down if he wants to keep racing. He could retire today and be a hall of famer down the road. His career speaks for itself.

This is a good opportunity for Erik Darnell to get some Cup experience. I think since Jamie McMurray appears headed to the #1 of EGR Darnell might inherit the #26 team when parts of it move to Yates. Darnell and Paul Menard will likely be the drivers of the Yates cars in 2010. HoF is supposedly looking to move on from Yates.

4 comments:

2001Mugrad said...

You sir are a jackass.

What about Paul Mendard?

He didn't save Petty, well look at how the team performed the couple of years prior to him getting there. Other than Kahne, whats RPM done this year?

Not saying Bobby would be running great in Jimmie Johnson's car, but you can't win in a 30th place car. See what happens with Kyle Busch when he doesn't have a car capable on a top 5, he wrecks it.

Matt Mercer said...

Can't say I didn't see that one coming from someone...

Paul Menard's talent is certainly questionable, but his dad writing checks for millions every year will ensure has a job as long as he wants to race. Menard's talent level probably tops out as a top 10 Nationwide driver.

RPM has two guys that can get the job done but they're stretching resources by running 4 teams. I wish they had stuck to their guns and released Elliott Sadler and put AJ in the 19, I think you'd see a much better outfit if that had happened. Or fire Sorenson... either way.

It's true you can't win in a 30th place car, but Bobby didn't win in his last 3 years in the #18 either.

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Anonymous said...

Matt....
Obviously your head is up your ass! Bobby is a proven driver, And I argue... Ij he had the equiptment that Jimmy, Jeff, and Mark had he'd be right there in the hunt for the win!!

(You shouldn't speak so stupidly about thing you obviously don't know about!!)