Smoke and Mirrors: Who's on First?

Heather L. RuelleCorrespondent IAugust 11, 2009

For the longest season, a lot of racing fans and myself have been trying to figure out what the devil has been wrong with team 88.  A lot of them thought it was his then crew chief, and cousin Tony Eury Jr. It might not have been the case or it was. Now we have Lance McGrew sitting atop the pit box, and we're still having the same problems. Yes the cars have improved some, but not by much.  Dale Earnhardt Jr is 24th in points, and it isn't looking good. Here's a possible reason: Tony Stewart.

It would seem that Stewart is getting the great equipment, being that he is sitting first in points. Is Rick Hendrick playing favorites? It could very well be the case. It's business. Maybe. Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson aren't being served properly either. Maybe they're getting the bad oats in the stable too.

However, why did it take so long for Driver 88 to get a new car? His first new ride was christened at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but we still had a part fail. According to reports, Dale over-revved the engine, but that wasn't the case. Chad Knauss heard the engine missing down pit road, when Dale was in for a pit stop. Lance reported that there were so many parts broken on the Hendrick engine, and they couldn't figure out what was wrong. All of the other Hendrick engines survived. Something hasn't been right with Jimmie's cars either, even under the precise tuning of super crew chief Chad Knauss.

One with a suspect mind would think that Rick Hendrick is playing favorites with Tony Stewart. It would also be deep suspect that this is the case, otherwise the 88 team would have had newer cars before Indianapolis. Some would say it's luck, or a dark cloud over him, when it's not the case at all.  He is getting the left overs, with the shoddy downforce, bad chassis, and even worse engines. How does a brake line break in a car that is supposed to be the best? It was a truly scary moment for Mr. Earnhardt, being that he's never had his brakes fail his entire career. Can you imagine sailing into a tire barrier like he did, and thankful you're not injured?  It might be the last of it, but yet, maybe not. 

Stewart was grateful to Hendrick for all his generosity with equipment, getting him to run up front, and become points leader and championiship contender. Shouldn't the rest of the Hendrick drivers be getting the same treatment? One would think so.