NASCAR team owners might be kicking themselves right now with their decision to allow drivers to compete in other series besides NASCAR. I'm sure Rick Hendrick is questioning his decision at least on some level in the aftermath of Jimmie Johnson's crash during a practice session Thursday.
The crash was not the fault of Johnson but that of a GT car that gave Johnson no alternative when he pulled out in front of him. The No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings car was badly damaged in the accident. The team owners were speculating on the possibility of using a backup car. But it was determined by Riley Chasis Co., the initial builders of the car, that it was fixable.
But after looking over the car a bit closer, the car was deemed unrepairable. Unfortunately, the rules of this race state that once a car is entered and participates in any practice, etc., that said car or its number will not be substituted. The team must enter an entirely different car with a different number. So Team Stallings has chosen to use another car and Johnson's resources to get employees to Dallas, where they will load up and haul the new No. 98 car entry back to Daytona.
Stallings stated with confidence, "Although I'm not happy about this, the good news is we know that car. We won a championship in 2007 with that car."
The difficulties in this particular race, including high speeds, running at night and the slower GT cars driven by somewhat inexperienced drivers, can create a dangerous situation for the NASCAR competitors.
Past years have proven to be negative in its outcome for drivers like Carl Edwards and the 2009 Sprint Cup Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Jr. was involved in a fierce crash several years ago. Edwards actually wrecked his sports car in last year's event.
So for the time being, fans can enjoy seeing their favorite NASCAR drivers in races outside NASCAR, but will these accidents change the minds of the team and car owners in the future? Time will only tell.
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The opinions of the writer are her own.
Friday, January 29, 2010
1/29/2010 02:40:00 PM Lindi Bess No comments