For my first post & "official" induction into S&S as a contributor, I'll keep it short.
It's been out there for awhile now, the merger that would happen as soon as the last hauler left Homestead in November. Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates--making RPM a Ford team instead of Dodge being the primary manufacturer. Not only will this pair up the boys of RPM with Yates sole-driver, Menard, it will also team up in the engine department. If you're a fan of the sport you've heard on several occasions about the Roush-Yates engines and how fantastic they are, but what about Richard Petty's engine department? They have had their fair-share of failures in 2009--most notably from Kahne who was usually running up front at the time. Impeccable timing, right?
I suppose what I'm getting at is simply whether or not this will affect Roush's performance? I do realize Ford motors are certainly not Dodge engines and vice-versa, but it is something to think about. Every team, no matter how stout the engine department, will have their woes mechanically. It's not always on the engine department itself, but on the company that manufactures the parts put into the engine. But it seems as though some engine departments have it together above others. Hendrick Motorsports is known for having the best of the best in their engine dept. RCR & Roush don't have too many engine failures, although there are the few that creep up on them that are inevitable, and then of course RPM motors that haven't been quite up to par with the other big teams in the sport.
To keep this short:
I believe that the engine department as a whole will benefit from the merger of these dynasty teams. RPM/Roush-Yates Engines will be on-par with Hendrick, or so I believe--meaning closer competition and (hopefully!) an exciting Chase in 2010. I'm personally not a fan of Jimmie Johnson, so I am hoping for Roush and RPM drivers to stick their nose into it come November '10. I would love to see under-dogs such as Menard, Allmendinger, and Sadler benefit tremendously and run up front next season. RPM/Roush-Yates Engine Dept will hopefully figure out what Toyota is doing specifically to create more horsepower & match that in the Ford motors. Chevy has obviously been able to pull out overall seasonally against Toyota the past few years (Johnson's back-to-back-to-back-to-back championships cover that span), and I'm hoping for an upset from Ford. It's been 5 years since Ford has won a championship & that was with former Roush driver Kurt Busch in the inaugural year of the Chase when only 10 drivers were permitted. I'm not a fan of Toyota so I'm thankful that they have yet to win a championship in the Cup series and that we can keep American Manufacturers on top, especially in this economy. Looking forward to 2010!
Only 2.5 more months until Daytona! I'm hoping we'll all be in for a surprise.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the individual writer and may not reflect those of other contributors.