Sunday, February 17, 2008
The season started again! Woohoo! And it's an historic season - the COT (car of tomorrow) is now the car of today - it's here, so big changes and new things to adjust to, no matter which make or model vehicle the team is driving. And the addition of Toyota to more teams, bigger name teams could be historic too.
Today marks the 50th running of the Daytona 500 - historic in and of itself.
This season there are 4 racers joining Nascar from open wheel racing. This is new, different, and quite news-worthy. Most interesting to hear about the entry of these drivers into this sport from their own mouths. They remark about how helpful and open and friendly everyone is, even as they are tough competitors. But how cool to have a former Indy 500 winner now competing to win the Daytona 500?
But any of these reasons pale in comparison to the real news this season. Former competitors, and bitter "enemies" of racing, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jeff Gordon, are now team mates. Dale grew dissatisfied with his former car owner and last season annouced that he was going to leave the company. Not long after that, Rick Hendricks Motorsports picked up Jr, adding him to an already impressive line-up!
Rick Hendricks owns Jeff Gordon's car, #24. Jeff Gordon owns Jimmie Johnson's car #48. Mary Hendricks own Casey Mears' car #5. And Rick Hendricks owns Dale Earnhardt Jr's car #88. Now, of course, Jeff and Mary co-own their respective cars with Rick, but Rick lists each of them as the owner, even though Hendrick Motor Sports is the corporation over them all.
Just seeing Jeff and Dale talking and laughing together and getting along, and working together, is a very eerie sight indeed! :) Yes, my tongue is a little in my cheek here - I suspect these men have never actually disliked one another as much as their fans have. And yes, both men have cultivated that among the fans. As they've been heard to remark, any attention is good attention. Whether a fan claims to love you or hate you it all boils down to name recognition. That's the name of the game.
And while I am a team player, and I hope any of the Hendricks cars win, in the end, I really would prefer to have my own car place first. Go Jeffy!! :)
**Post Race add-on: the COT did Jeff in, but that's ok, it was a learning experience and the car will continue to improve. Jimmie and Casey did well but were involved in wrecks or would have done better. Dale actually did the best of the 4, and I'm glad to have him on the team. It was a good race to watch overall with a lot of interest, unlike some of the races in the past where it was over pretty much from the beginning.
Looking onward to next week's race in California!
Go HMS - Go JEFF!!!