Penalty's Painful Penance:
Tony Eury, Jr, Crew Chief for the DEI #8 Budweiser team, was said to have been parked in the motorcoach lot during NHIS weekend, in spite of still serving a 6-week suspension. While on the top of the motorcoach watching practice, he was said to have removed his shirt due to heat. At the end of the day, he discovered he was sunburned to the point of blistering. Ouch!Grace Under Pressure
That may be the most pain any member of the 8 team felt while Tony was serving his sentence. In fact, that may be the most pain felt by ANY of the Suspended Chiefs. It has been noticed by many that the teams with Probational Crew Chiefs have not failed as much as expected. The truth has come out, that the crew chiefs have been violating the spirit of the suspension, and are still at the track, and participating in team decisions during the weekend.
Look for NASCAR to restrict those shenanigans! Brian France, during a teleconference stated
that NASCAR was looking into it. My personal suggestion is to send those crew chiefs out into Short-Track Land, and have them join the inspection team. Then on Cup day, they should be joining David Hoots in Race Control, unable to use cell phones or any other device to contact their teams. Keep them busy on race weekend, far too busy to get into trouble. After all, it works for many teen-agers that are grounded!
There is a certain cachet to winning races. It is easy to be gracious with fans, media, and other drivers when one is on top of the world. It takes an extra amount of maturity to show grace when your world has turned upside down.Silly Season in Full Swing!
Kasey Kahne? Went from winning 6 races last year, and this year has been struggling to get past his single Top 10. When he is frustrated, he blames the other drivers around the track, complete with cheap shots. (David Gilliland and David Stremme were targets, for example.)
Tony Stewart? Well, I have already been vocal about him. He will occasionaly admit to being in the wrong, rarely. It is sad that he is a two-time champ.
Juan Montoya? The instances of his arrogance are too numerous to mention. Great driver, but lacking in social skills.
Denny Hamlin? Thank heavens he finally got a win! The look on his face was rapidly assuming the same dark thunderous expressions worn by his Two-Time Champ team mate!
Kyle Busch? He leaves the Texas race while his team is still trying to fix his car. At Atlanta. after clashing on track with his brother Kurt, refuses to address the media. Word in the garage is that it was rather 'frosty' in the Busch family for quite awhile. And let us not forget how he dissed his car while standing in Victory Lane.
How many times have we heard bad things about Jeff Burton over-reacting under pressure? Bobby Labonte? Terry Labonte? And for heaven's sake, even Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Jr have not expressed such extreme lack of class. And on the rare occasions they have been wrong, they are the first to acknowledge they were wrong.
Brad Keselowski is this week's winner of Grace under Pressure, How to Be Bigger Than The Situation. After having the race of his life, and being spun out on the final lap, he only expressed disappointment for himself, without casting blame. During radio interviews in the week after, he told us he knows that it does no good to get angry. Good for you, Brad!
So far, we have seen the high-profile driver switch-abouts from the high profile Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kyle Busch. Other rumors abound with David Reutimann and Ryan Newman. The whole set of drivers from Evernham Motorsports have been the subject of rampant rumors. Those rumors persist, even though Ray declared, due to the pending merger with Canadiens owner Gillett Jr., that all of his drivers have committed to EMS. And yet, the rumors persist as the teams continue to struggle.Drivers in Need of Parking?
In addition, Sadler's Team Director has stepped off of the pit box, and Ray has committed to being on the box with his interim TD for the next race.
When I heard that Ted Musgrave had been parked for a race in NCTS, I was astounded, as it seemed so far unreal when compared to past penalties. I especially wondered why the NCTS seemed to have so little trouble with parking a driver, and yet the NEXTEL Cup seemed to be holding back. Then I read the following quote from TMS promoter Eddie Gossage "But the day you park a popular driver is the day I'll be demanding money back from my purse and sanctioning fee from NASCAR because there will be some people not showing up because their favorite driver isn't at the track. It puts NASCAR in a bind. It really does." Enough said! Parking a Cup driver will be one of the last steps that NASCAR will ever take.
We are now approaching the 'crossed-flags' of the 2007 racing season. Look for a report card in the near future!