NASCAR stars seeking stability in future

BY Larry McReynolds • November 9, 2011

As it should be, the full focus is on the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup championship battle between Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart.

If you set that off to the side, there are guys out there with only two races left who are still trying to win their first race of the season, plus there are guys out there who are hoping to secure a ride for next year.

These next two races are just as important to them as they are to Edwards and Stewart.

The three names that come to the top of my head as far as having an uncertain future for 2012 are David Reutimann, David Ragan and Brian Vickers. Where are they going to be? There seem to be more drivers than available rides.

Ragan has had a great year. Vickers has won races and even made the Chase for the Sprint Cup one year. Reutimann has won races and won the pole as recently as at the Richmond race in September.

Two of these three guys could win the next two races, and, for the life of me, I don’t know where they will go in 2012.

When that checkered flag falls at Homestead-Miami Speedway and our 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship is over, there are a lot of unknowns. Drivers such as Vickers, Reutimann and Ragan don’t know where they are going to be. You’ve got crew chiefs with uncertain futures.

What’s even worse, with the potential closing of Red Bull and the changes at Kevin Harvick Inc., there are going to be a lot of crew members and shop workers who will be out of a job.

I don’t think people are panicking just yet, but, golly, it is getting close.

Across the board, there are just more people available than there are opportunities. These guys, whether a driver, a crew chief or even a tire changer, simply have to make the next two weeks go the best they can.

They have to hope that people who are in a hiring position will view their whole body of work.

The three guys I mentioned earlier might have to take a step back and look at the Nationwide series as an option or even possibly the Truck series. The problem with the Truck series is you have championship-winning, racing-winning, pole-winning Ron Hornaday, who has absolutely no idea what he is going to be doing next year. That says a lot right there about how tough things are.

So these next two weeks are critical for a lot of folks. There are so many storylines to follow other than who is going to win the races and who our 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion will be.

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