This Week in NASCAR

This Week in NASCAR
by Virginia Vroom of

Another weekend, another win for Jimmie Johnson. So what’s the deal here?
Four wins in a row don’t seem to be enough for this overly-dominant team.
With the Championship on the line, it’s more about defending his title, than
proving he’s the best. I think that weall get the point, Jimmie. Like him
or hate him, Johnson can drive. Chad Knaus and the rest of that team has
something in sync that the other driver’s haven’t gotten privy too yet evidently.
Even his car owner and teammate Jeff Gordon said in his interview last week
that “it’s over” in reference to the Championship. Gordon is left scratching his
head as Johnson sails to Hendrick and Nextel domination. What was supposed
to be Gordon’s team has turned into Jimmie’s team and no onecan figure it

But hey, all smells like roses in the Hendrick camp. Wherever they are and wherever they go, Jimmie and Jeff are all smiles. So I have to ask, what’s their secret? I mean, it’s like Hendrick has secret meetings on how to keep his drivers from quarreling in public. But then again, there’s Kyle Busch. Oh! That’s right. Not for long. He’s joining the other social deviant known as Tony Stewart over at Gibbs. It seems that Hamlin, another Gibbs driver, is also getting a little high on his horse. So we’re going to have Hamlin, Stewart, and Busch next year. That should be interesting to say the least. We’ve seen Hamlin and Stewart have their own mini-battles on the track and in their interviews. It almost makes ya wonder…is there room for maybe another driver to join this team next year?

I ask because it seems like Carl Edwards is TRYING to lose his gig at Roush.
With his witty comments and not-so-friendly battles with his own teammate,
Matt Kenseth, you have to wonder if Roush is the right teamfor an undeniably
talented driver. Roush has a cookie-cutter mold of polite drivers with both
Biffle and Kenseth, and it seems like Edwards is trying to test the waters
and stretch the boundaries a little bit, something that Roush is not too
fond of from recent reports. Perhaps hewould do better with the social deviants,
the ones who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is and create a little fire
on and off the track. Afterall, isn’t that part of the fun?

Even though we have drivers like Jimmie and Jeff who are, by nature, polite
and relatively quiet people, there will always be drivers like Stewart who
need a team to race for. Their driving talent can’t be questioned, but their
social etiquette can. NASCAR is NASCAR though. It wasn’t meant to fall within
the boundaries of high-society etiquette. NASCAR always has been and (hopefully)
always will be down and dirty, southern roots, beatin’ and bangin’ fun, although
we’ve seen a lot of that beatin’ and bangin’ disappear to the delight of
corporate owners like NEXTEL.

So if anything, I think that Busch moving to Gibbs will be a much better fit
for his personality and his chances at winning a title for once. The talent
is there, but the environment is just not his style. Perhaps Edwards should
consider shopping the teams as well for a more suitable team to meet his
social differences that Roush will only put up with for so long.

Team changes aren’t always for the money. Some are for peace of mindand sanity, both for drivers and owners.