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Montoya gets busy; no No. 88 news; remembering Davey
Stock car to open wheelSteve from Paris, Ill.: How come NASCAR drivers don't try to drive in F1 or Champ Cars after their contracts are up?
Larry McReynolds: I don't know that there's one reason why NASCAR drivers haven't left NASCAR and gone to F1 or the Champ Car Series. For the most part, all of the drivers that have been in the sport really enjoy NASCAR's schedule and competition. I'm not saying that the F1 drivers don't enjoy their schedule and competition, but unless you are with one of the top two or three teams, you're not even going to be mentioned. Plus, there isn't a lot of racing, which is one reason Juan Pablo Montoya signed with Chip Ganassi to drive the No. 42 Nextel Cup car next year. He said his F1 schedule was just as busy as a NASCAR schedule, but it was all about testing, not racing. He thought, "Heck, if I'm going to spend that much time in my car, I want to race." Testing vs. racing could be part of the reason why more drivers don't leave stock cars for open wheel cars. Montoya has been released by his F1 team, and he is going to be very busy for the next three months. I saw his tentative schedule at Kansas. Besides some ARCA races and three or four Busch races, he may try to qualify for the Nextel Cup race at Homestead. He's not planning on running Martinsville, but during the three days on the calendar for that race weekend (Oct. 20-22), the schedule read in big bold letters: "WATCH MARTINSVILLE RACE."
Provisional has its placeBrian from Eagle River, Alaska: Larry, I've thought for many years that the fastest cars should make the field. PERIOD! Too many times in the past, there have been either struggling drivers/teams or up-and-coming drivers/teams that have qualified faster than a past champion. Yet, they are bumped out of the field due to this silly rule. Larry McReynolds: I'm a firm believer that the champion's provisional doesn't need to go away. At Kansas, Greg Biffle spun out during Busch qualifying. He wouldn't have been in the show because that team doesn't run all of the races so they aren't eligible to be locked in. Biffle deserved to be in that race because he's one of our stars, and that's why the past championship provisional was created. But Biffle won't be able to use it again because a past Busch champion can only use the provisional once every eight attempts. That's what NASCAR is looking to do in Cup, and that's what they should do. I don't blame a team for hiring a driver simply because he has that provisional. It's a great business decision, but it's not the intent of the rule. The rule was intended to be used exactly the way Biffle used it last week.
No 88 newsHoward from Winchester, Calif.: Hi Larry. Any news on sponsorship and a driver for the No. 88 car? There's not much time left in the season. If they are going to run the No. 88 next season, it's got to happen now. Larry McReynolds: At Fontana, Calif., which was a month ago, RYR told me that there would be news soon about the No. 88. As of now, there has been no news about a sponsor or a driver. At Kansas, Dale Jarrett got his first top five of the year, and everybody at Robert Yates Racing needed that kind of finish. Jarrett was one of four cars that didn't pit.
Bow or no?Fred from Waynesville, N.C.: During the late stages of the Kansas Busch race, Wally Dallenbach said Kevin Harvick's hood was bowed down because of the air, but I noticed that Harvick's and Clint Bowyer's cars were the only ones that had that bow. When Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth were out front or behind another car, they did not not have the bow in their hood. Why? Larry McReynolds: I was traveling during the Busch race, but it could all be in the construction of the hood. We used to go to Daytona and Talladega and figure out a certain way to bow down the hood, which actually helped get air into the cowl area. However, it normally disturbs the air going across the car, which I don't think you want today. It simply could be that they had less bracing or no bracing in spots on their hood where Busch and Kenseth did have bracing.
|Speed Mail Larry McReynolds|
Remembering DaveyWayne from Maringouin, La.: I was good friends with Davey Allison at the track, and I worked with his dad, Bobby, when I was with Miller Brewing Company back in the good old days from 1981 through 1985. If Davey were still with us, I would say that he would be a champion and a spokeperson for NASCAR. What do you say? Man, I sure do miss Davey still at every race. Larry McReynolds: I've received a lot of comments lately about Davey Allison. It's very hard to believe that he's been gone over 13 years now. People always want to pin me down and ask where he would be or what he would be doing if he were still around. A lot like his dad, Davey would have been a spokesperson for the sport. How many more races would we have won together? Would we have won any championships together? I don't have those answers. That's playing with a crystal ball. I say "we" because I think that we would have been together until his driving career was over. I would like to think that we would have won a lot of races, and there are probably people that have championships now that wouldn't have them if Davey and I were going strong with the No. 28 team.
FOX race analyst Larry McReynolds has more than 25 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, crew chief and broadcaster. He and his fellow Crew Chief Club members take you behind the wall at www.crewchiefclub.com.
"How to Become a Winning Crew Chief" is on bookstore shelves, or you may order your own autographed copy from www.DWStore.com.