Monday, January 08, 2007

Actually being at the track can have its advantages, Junior notes

  • You could write stories for a week off what Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in his press conference Monday at Daytona. When asked specifically about his stepmother’s comments about him needing to choose between being a driver and a public figure, Earnhardt Jr. got his point across. “You guys that are here every weekend, you know what the sport is like because you're here every weekend,” he said. For the record, Teresa Earnhardt is not. “You know what it's about. I think it's probably on advantage to have a decent personality as a race car driver. …I think it is important to be well liked and be marketable. I think it's any owner's dream to have a driver that's succeeded” at that.
  • Some of the teams driving Toyotas are going to struggle this year, there’s no doubt about that. But people are underestimating Dave Blaney’s team at Bill Davis Racing, and that was the case before he turned the third fastest lap at 183.756 mph in Monday’s rain-shortened testing. Blaney finished fourth at Richmond and ninth at New Hampshire last year with a team getting ZERO help from the manufacturer of the cars he was driving. Toyota is going to give him as much support as he can handle this year. Blaney will be better than you think.
  • Boris Said, who was a big story here in July when he finished fourth in the Pepsi 400, is back to try to make the Daytona 500 in the No. 60 Ford. “This year it’s going to be so hard to make these races,” said Said, who has sponsorship to try at least seven Cup races in 2007. Said will be among those not guaranteed a starting spot in the 500 based on last year’s points. “There will probably be 30 people going for eight spots – really seven spots because Dale Jarrett will be here – so it’s going to be a nerve-wracking week for sure,” he said. Jarrett would be in line for a former champion’s provision in his new No. 44 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing.
  • Kasey Kahne went to Australia and raced in a pair of sprint car races over the Christmas holiday. While he had fun in the cars and traveling abroad for the first time, he said he wasn’t too fond of not being home for Christmas. “I thought it would be a good idea just to go and do something different over the holidays,” Kahne said. “But once I got there I realized I was wrong. It’s not the right thing to do. From now on if I go to Australia or anywhere else, maybe I’ll go on the 26th instead of the 20th.”
  • Robbie Loomis was crew chief for Bobby Hamilton at Petty Enterprises for three seasons and has some fond memories of the driver who passed away on Sunday. “Hamilton was a unique guy,” Loomis said. “He was special. He did his deal, and I think if you look at the way his cancer went it was just like the way he lived his life. He did it quietly and nobody knew a lot about what was going on. He just did his deal. Now he’s up there in heaven probably thinking he’s glad it’s over with.”
  • Kevin Harvick’s perspective on potential changes to the Chase for the Nextel Cup format is a little different, and it makes a lot of sense. “The guy who had the best year won the championship last year,” Harvick said, speaking of Jimmie Johnson. “So if we’d had the old points system, he would have won the championship. If we had the new points system, he'd win the championship still. To me the best car usually is going to come out on top in the end.”


    Anonymous said...

    I can know see Dale Jr. in the #3 Bud Chevy by RCR!

    Anonymous said...

    Getting this insight into Dale jr's relationship with Teresa makes it even more unbelievable what he has had to deal with and has accomplished in the last 6 years.

    Anonymous said...

    JR is the man