Also affecting JGR is a report by Sports Business Journal that Home Depot will leave the sport when its contract expires at the end of 2014. To me that seems to raise some doubt about the ability of JGR to add a fourth team to its stable, which some believe would be Edwards. As always, time will tell-it might be September or later before JGR makes a final decision on expansion.
As I mentioned in a previous post, if Jimmy Fennig isn’t part of the deal-and I can’t see where he would be-I don’t think it would be in the best interests of Edwards to switch to a new team. The veteran crew chief seems to have almost magical powers putting Edwards in Victory Lane on days when his car isn’t close to being the best on the track. I don’t see him getting that with another team. Maybe he could get more money from Gibbs, but at the end of the day, all top drivers make a fortune, and as important if not more important to them is winning races.
I am not sure if anyone would agree, but I think traveling on a NASCAR driver’s plane to a race would make for an interesting story. Is it rest and relaxation or a constantly ringing phone meaning all business? I suspect drivers would be reluctant to let a writer tag along on such a journey-almost every minute of their time at a track is under media scrutiny, and the trip is a last few hours of privacy. I suppose most people would want to fly with Dale Earnhardt Jr., but I think flying from North Carolina to Phoenix or Los Angeles or San Francisco or Las Vegas with Jeff Gordon would be quite the trip and a helluva story.
A driver I would not want to fly anywhere with? Kurt Busch. Any of the Roush Fenway drivers. Another one I would like to fly with though would be Tony Stewart. Since my blog The Rest of the Dirt is about dirt track racing, and dirt track racing is Stewart’s passion, I am sure time would “fly by” talking with Stewart, even on a trip across the country.
Speaking of Stewart and dirt track racing, did any of you watch the Prelude to the Dream in past years? The last one was held in 2012, before Stewart’s Eldora Speedway track started hosting the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last year. I enjoyed watching NASCAR stars race dirt late models in the Prelude, and most of the drivers seemed to have a great time too. I know that Stewart feels his Eldora personnel cannot handle this type of race and the truck race too. I wish another promoter would figure out a way to host the race at another track, though not many dirt tracks would be able to host such an event. The track would have to have the capability of hosting the drivers in a fashion they would demand-think rock stars and their contract demands, but also have the capacity to host a big crowd.
It would also take a promoter with credibility with drivers-not necessarily another Sprint Cup driver, but someone they know will back up what he says. The driver would also need credibility with dirt late model drivers who would lend or rent the cars for this event. There aren’t many such creatures around. It would take a big money sponsor to come up with the charity bucks necessary to entice name drivers to participate. Probably more than one such sponsor. There are so many details in producing such an event it boggles the mind. Maybe if I ever win a big, big, big Powerball drawing I could find someone to make it happen.
Since many NASCAR fans know little about dirt track racing, but do know that Tony Stewart broke his leg last year in a sprint car accident, I will point out that late models are not quite as fast as sprint cars. They are heavier and safer to race, though convincing Sprint Car owners to allow their drivers to race these cars became much more difficult after Stewart’s accident.
Anyway, such a race is a nice thought. I hope it will be a real event in the future, not just a crazy dream of a blogger.
Next up for the Sprint Cup series is Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night. I will have a pre-race blog later in the week. Thanks for stopping by.