The track conditions at New Hampshire were downright horrible. But one thing the race at Loudon did was put the focus back on the racing. Since Elliott Sadler's release request at California, the Winston Cup garage has heard more than its annual...
The track conditions at New Hampshire were downright horrible. But one thing the race at Loudon did was put the focus back on the racing. Since Elliott Sadler's release request at California, the Winston Cup garage has heard more than its annual speculation talk as to which driver will end up where. This year, it's a whole new whirlwind of hype.
Years prior to this somewhat surprising season of 2002, we've seen the small budget teams and non-winning drivers be the victims to the behind-the-back whispers every driver hopes isn't true. But this season isn't a usual season.
Last year's Bristol winner, Sadler, is looking to leave a team, the Wood Brothers, backed by one of the sports top hitters, Roush Racing. Every other day we hear about a different deal going on between him and Robert Yates Racing, where supposedly Sadler would take over the No. 28 Ford. Now there's a rumor a driver can smile at. Problem is the NASCAR community is still waiting on Ricky Rudd's official retirement announcement. Now here's where it begins to get beyond the usual "silly.
Rudd may stay in the No. 28, he may move to a third Yates team. Or, he could always go to the new Andy Petree-Jerry Jones team. The option remains, he could turn away all the glitz and glamour and flashiness of Jones, the Dallas Cowboys team owner and sit back in the recliner and watch this strange phenom we call silly season play out.
Steve Park may be leaving DEI. Than again, so was Michael Waltrip before the rumor talk got to him and he stepped up his game. Since his name was first thrown into the blunder of whispers, Waltrip has picked up numerous spots in the points and knocked out his second career win at Daytona.
Johnny Benson and Ken Schrader are both leaving MB2/MBV. Joe Nemecheck is out at Hendrick next year. PPI is adding a second team. But don't mark my words, nothing is signed yet.
Getting into the Winston Cup scene is a hard thing to do. Whether you're a driver, mechanic, or you hold the underestimated position of a writer, take my word for it, it's just as hard. Sponsors, owners, the media, all aspects of the sports look to one place to measure your success, victory lane.
The driver changes, sponsor jumpers and manufacture switches have given fans of the sport enough to occupy their time long before the ink even dries on the anticipated deals. Not always kind to the people involved, silly season sure is entertaining. While all this speculation and wonderment is happening, don't forget there's racing going on.