Saturday, August 23, 2008

Childress likely has a big points play up his sleeve

BRISTOL, Tenn. - We had us an interesting little news conference here at Bristol a little while ago, with Richard Childress announcing that Casey Mears will join his team as a driver in 2009.

The twist, which had been rumored in the past 10 days or so, is that Mears will NOT be driving the No. 33 car that will be added to the Richard Childress Racing fleet next season. Mears, instead, will go into the No. 07 car sponsored by Jack Daniels.

Clint Bowyer, who got that car and that team into the Chase last year and is trying to make it back there this year, will be moving to the new car sponsored by General Mills, which is moving to RCR from Petty Enterprises next year.

What's more, the points that Bowyer earns this year will stay with the 07 next year and that means it's Mears who'll be protected for the first five races of 2009 - inside the top 35 in points and therefore not in danger of missing a race.

Childress, though, hinted that Bowyer might not have to run without a net. He said the team has been looking into some things and is "working on some stuff" that might keep Bowyer from being exposed to miss a race if he crashes on a qualifying lap or rain interferes in the season's first five weeks.

Don't ask me what that means. The way NASCAR has allowed people to play fast and loose with owner points in the past few years I suppose anything is possible.

I know this much. RCR has four primary sponsors - Caterpillar for Jeff Burton, Shell for Kevin Harvick, General Mills for Bowyer and Jack Daniel's for Mears. Is there another Chevrolet team that has more teams than it has sponsors right now, perhaps a team with which Childress is already sharing an engine-building venture?

Dale Earnhardt Inc. has four cars right now, but I am not sure even DEI's officials could make the case they've got four full sponorships lined up for 2009.

Could Childress "buy" one of the DEI teams and harvest the owner points for the team Bowyer will be with next year?

And you thought this stuff was almost over with.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Busting up Bowyer and his team is stupid. What a waste to put a great driver with a startup team and risk the chemistry that they have grown. Casey cant do the deal...even with the Rainbow warriors. Childress must be senile.

Anonymous said...

Busting up Bowyer and his team is stupid. What a waste to put a great driver with a startup team and risk the chemistry that they have grown. Casey cant do the deal...even with the Rainbow warriors. Childress must be senile.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but Mears is a waste of time! I would much rather take the money spent on the extra team and dump it in the already existing three cars. Or, when Tony was toying with another team, at least Richard could have put his hand out.

Aven said...

With the problems teams are having with sponsors, the top 35 might not be a problem next year. Several races this year have only had one go or go homer. We may start seeing field fillers again that start and park.

nh_nascarfan said...

Aven said...
With the problems teams are having with sponsors, the top 35 might not be a problem next year. Several races this year have only had one go or go homer. We may start seeing field fillers again that start and park.

Aven, you may be right... but simple math suggests something more ominous. It seems as though every major team is adding or talking about adding cars... RCR, JGR (not this season), Penske, etc. What will more likely happen is that the smaller teams, such as Bill Davis Racing, will lose decent sponsors (like Catepillar) to larger teams (RCR #31). Of course, General Mills left Petty to go to RCR as well... bottom line is that for every 4th car that is added by a larger team, a smaller team may shrivel up and die when the current or potential sponsor decides that they can get more bang for their marketing buck with the larger team. I wouldnt be surprised to see the end of the Wood Brothers, Bill Davis Racing, HOF Racing and others due to lack of sponsorship. As it stands now, even Yates Racing is only alive because of the help from Rousch Racing.

I do agree that breaking up Boyer and his team will hurt Clint; better to move the entire team to the new 33. As of now, Bowyer will have to adjust to a brand new team while trying to race his way in to the first five races; if he misses just one, his season - and chase hopes - are all but gone. Not a great position to be in...

Mike Hutton said...

2009 will make or break Casey Mears' career. By then, he will have driven for Ganassi, Hendrick and Childress. To date, he's won once and has only 12 top five finishes. Time to get it done, son.

Richard in N.C. said...

The last time I checked, RC has been pretty successful as a car owner. One of the drivers will have to be with a newly assembled team in 2009, and it probably makes sense to pair the strongest driver with the newer team.

nh_nascarfan said...

richard, you are correct... however one has to wonder the amount of damage it will do in the process to Clint Bowyer.

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