Forbes Magazine says Hendrick Motorsports is the most valuable team in Nascar, worth $335 million. They also ranked race cars, and the #24 DuPont Chevrolet (Jeff Gordon – $92 million), #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet (Dale Earnhardt, Jr – $79 million), and #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet (Jimmie Johnson – $58 million), all three from Hendrick Motorsports, were ranked 1, 2, and 3.
I am so incredibly excited to say that Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports have gotten back to victory lane in 2008!
Earlier this evening, Chad Knaus, Johnson’s crew chief, make a gutsy call and kept the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet Impala SS out on the racetrack as the laps wound down in Phoenix. This was a gutsy move because Knaus watched every other leader come down pit road and get fuel, while his team’s car slowly ran out of gas.
But in the end, the Lowe’s Chevy had enough gas to cross the finish line, do a burnout on the front-stretch, and complete half of a Polish victory lap before running out of gas.
I watched the entire race and finished the race on my feet, pacing back and forth in front of the TV, yelling at my guys for not bringing the Lowe’s Chevy and getting a splash of gas. I couldn’t watch the last two laps, and I think I screamed, “Oh, no, he’s run out of gas!” about four times during that period.
That’s right, I am a huge Nascar fan.
While you might think Nascar is about rednecks and loud cars going in circles, it is also about people. In one of the nicest news stories I have heard, the pre-race show included an interview of Jeff Gordon. Today Gordon make a 15-year old’s wish come true. This was his 200th wish made true through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Gordon has only started 516 Sprint Cup races, so he has had children quite frequently in his pit box and with him on race day. Absolutely amazing, and it shows the level of compassion and charity drivers have.
How often do you hear nice stories like that with other sports?
Interesting post on FoxSports, and to sum it up: Does Kyle Busch have the Dale Earnhardt Sr. swagger? Judging by the first couple of races from this season, it does appear that Kyle Busch fills the void.
Daytona. The international home of motorsports. Superspeedway. I love it. And you should love it too. It makes for some great racing on those high-banked historical turns.
But Daytona is not easy. Restrictor plates are mankind’s, and racers’, worst nightmares. So they make driving at Daytona and Talladega one dimensional. That one dimension is momentum.
All it takes is one wrong move and you are sent to the back of the pack. And recently we have learned it is all about the guys behind you, and whether or not they stick with you or dive to the top or bottom to pass you.
Also, all it takes is one big wreck to take out 10 or so drivers, and your whole team might be needing tow trucks to leave the track.
It comes down to momentum, and a little luck, at Daytona.
Ok, so I think most of us know how much I love stock car racing and Nascar. Few (if any) know that I used to write articles previewing the race each week on a fantasy sports site. Yep, that was like 3 years ago (my first article is here).
I’ve done fantasy racing for a while, and last year a UGA fantasy league on Yahoo! Sports started from scratch. My old roommate (Paul) and I started a league of 4 people, and at the end of the year he and I were the only participants. This year we expanded and invited quite a few people and we hope to have a good time (if you want to participate in our league, UGA Fantasy Racing, get in touch with me).
Most of the folks in our league haven’t done fantasy racing before, so I’ve decided to crank back up my old fantasy writing skills and provide an overview for the Daytona 500.