Monday, January 25, 2010

Roger Penske May Be The Captain, But This Plan Is More Like General Custer's

Penske says he sees advantages in being lone factory-supported program. May I point to the Ford fall off in this strategy, Mr. Penske. Roush has had varying degrees of success since the Yates engine merger and since Yates fell off the map, culminating in the RPM/Yates merger.

See, Roush had the advantage of being the only Ford program and some years it worked, but in just as many years it obviously hasn't. In the meantime, Chevrolet has run away with the manufacturer's title time after time. It isn't just because of Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick has had to work hard to stay above Joe Gibbs (before their defection to Toyota), Richard Childress Racing, DEI (and now EGR), just to name a few. Now, it's Stewart-Haas Racing added to the list.

All of Penske's quote sound suspiciously like the Roush quotes when they became unquestioned top dog at Ford. I'm still a Roush fan (although that has declined in recent years) and I remember it very well. I think most see now that plan isn't the one to go with. Regardless of the relationship, you need a competitor to make your cars better. Roush will have that now with Richard Petty Motorsports and at minimum 2 capable drivers to compare and compete with (the drivers being Kasey Kahne and A.J. Allmendinger, obviously).

Penske is fully capable of competing around the level of anyone else for stretches of the year. Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski are certainly capable of making the Chase this year. Will both of them? Doubtful. One of them could very well make it in and make some noise. Busch did as much last year. Still, the strategy of thinking you can do it all by yourself is flawed at best and a recipe for mediocrity at worst. Having the access to all the resources doesn't guarantee you'll take full advantage of them. For Penske, it's a plan that could work as he intends or just as easily blow up in his face. If I'm betting, I'm taking the latter.

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