Scottvoight's NASCAR Blog

February 7, 2011

The 2009 NASCAR Season Begins

Filed under: NASCAR Articles — Scott Voight @ 2:57 pm

February 7, begins the 2009 NASCAR Series with the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, Daytona International Speedway. This year ushers in new challenges for the drivers and the sport itself. The economic crunch is taking a toll everywhere in the sport. The sport itself is monitoring the situation with the car manufactures, teams are scrambling to get sponsors, teams are closing and merging, and series sponsors are changing.

            This is not the last time NASCAR has fallen on hard economic times. Five years ago the sport weathered out this same scenario and in the end NASCAR came out stronger than ever. The big losers are going to be the small independent teams who do not have sponsorship of the 2009 season. Without that influx of capitol several team have folded or sold their teams to other people.

            There have been approximately 641 layoffs since the end of last season. Some will move to other teams and others will be hired as in the example of The Bill Davis Racing Truck Series Division (Owner of last-seasons championship team) who sold the team to Marty Gaunt and Mike Held. Some will be rehired when teams are restructured. Others will try to ride out the storm and return when things return to normal. Many teams have merged like Gillette Everham and Petty Enterprises. Robert Yates Racing has also merged with Hall of Fame Racing.

            There were 20 crew chief changes some of the most notable are; Ryan Pemberton left to crew chief Brian Vickers for 2009, Donnie Wingo, leaves Gannasi to take the crew chief gig for McMurray, Tommy Baldwin will act as crew chief of his own team, Bootie Barker heads to MWR, Larry Carter comes over from Roush/McMurray to take over for Paul Menard and this new team, and Some crew chiefs looking for work include: Walter Giles, James Ince, Brad Parrott, Doug Richert. 

As the silly season comes to an end we can reflect on some of the positives from last season Jimmy Johnson winning the third Sprint Cup title in a row, this is only the second time this feat was done in NASCAR history. Kyle Busch aka  “wild thing” dominating the first half of the season in all three racing divisions, and coming one race short of beating Sam Ard’s record of 10 victories in a single season in the Nationwide Series a record that has held since 1983.

The new car of today as I call it had some minor tweaks to improve the racing for this season and the Nationwide Series tested their version of the car to be raced in 2110.  This year’s season promises to be as exciting and record breaking as ever before. Can Jimmy win 4, will Gordon get his act together, can Earnhardt Jr. live up to the hype, can Stewart win with his new team in the first year, will the Toyotas dominate again this year, will we see a first time rookie winner, will Mark martin finally win a championship and is Joey lagoon really as good as everyone says he is? Together we will explore these things together.

If any readers have any questions about the terminology or how things are done send a question to the street and I will include it in up-coming columns. Ladies and gentlemen start your engines!

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