Some quick thoughts as Ford Championship Weekend in Miami comes up over the horizon.
Construction? How can be it “construction” unless something “constructive” is being done?
Nobody in the top 30 in this year’s final Nextel Cup Series driver standings gets any points, driver points or owner points for the car owner, in the first five Busch races next year. After those five races, no one in the current top 30 in the Cup series gets points for racing in Busch races.
Cup drivers can still race all they want to in Busch races. But they’re racing for prize money in races only. They also have to qualify to make the race – no guaranteed spots in Busch fields with no points. Car owners and sponsors decide if they want to run for the Busch championship. If they do, they get a driver who’s on his way up the ladder or who’s decided Cup’s not for him. If they don’t, put anybody in the car you want to and go to town.
Give that system two seasons and the Buschwhacker problem would fix itself.
Now? Not so much. Here it is, in depressing reality for my friends and colleagues who do what I do. It’s Homestead, Thanksgiving, banquet week, Christmas shopping, New Year’s Day and then testing. Where’s the offseason in there?
Now, as the season ends, I am looking at what’s happened to Ford’s racing program with the same degree of confusion. How could Ford let Robert Yates get to a point where he’s even thinking about auctioning off the car owner points for the 88 and trying to field only one team next year?
How could Ford not step in and make damn sure that there were Ford cars and trucks for Mark Martin to drive in any combination of races he wants to run next season?
One year ago today, the two biggest stories in Nextel Cup were that Tony Stewart was in command of the Chase and that Roush had done something incredible by getting five cars into that Chase. Now, there’s a game of crew chief musical chairs going on over there and things appear to be in at least mild disarray.
And people wonder why mechanics and other crewmen might want to look into working with Toyota teams?
I told you it was good.