A team cannot win without a good driver and a good driver cannot win without a good team. Richard Childress Racing has come a long ways since 2001. They worked through all the hardships and troubles after losing Dale and have worked their way back towards the top of the NASCAR ranks. They are around the top but not on the top. They still have some work that needs to be done to get there. It takes lots of feedback and lots of testing to catch Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Racing, and Joe Gibbs Racing. Another team with a good driver could help that. It has been no secret for many years now that Richard Childress has desired to start a 4th team in NASCAR's top series. Now he has secured one of the most important elements of this team.
A little over a month ago, it was announced that General Mills brands would be the sponsor of RC's 4th car next season, the car number will be 33, and the driver will be........ we don't know yet. Martin Truex Jr. is the first available driver that I think of when I think of a driver that could fill that seat and jump start this team. Then we learn that Ryan Newman could be available. This is also a good choice. Either driver will do but we haven't heard much about the two of them leaving lately. Martin is the top driver at DEI and as of right now Ryan is the top driver at Penske with Kurt Busch's troubles this season. If these two drivers decide to do other things what is Richard going to do?
I can't think of one other available driver that I would even want to put in this new car. Sure anyone could jump start this team but lets keep in mind about the top 35 in owner points. This team has a big name sponsor to answer to. The only driver I would think about putting in this car other than Ryan or Martin is Reed Sorenson and Reed's career hasn't started out as well I expected. Jamie McMurray's career didn't ever hit the high road and he is losing it fast. Jason Leffler and Johnny Sauter have both had their shots and killed them. The best they could ever do in the Sprint Cup series will be a 30th place finish in the points and I can't ever see either of them winning a race. There certainly aren't any Nationwide series drivers worthy of this ride. Scott Wimmer had his shot and did almost nothing with it other than his 3rd place finish in the 2004 Daytona 500. Ken Schrader would give great feedback but how in the world could Richard Childress tell General Mills that he is putting a 50 year old man that can barely get a car into a race is going to be their driver? I wouldn't see him doing that.
Personally I think the best thing for him to do could have been to wait and sign the driver first. A 15 race schedule with Ken Schrader and Scott Wimmer testing and giving feedback would have been the best deal without any good drivers out there. This team needs a good driver in this car if they are ever going to surpass the best teams in the sport and a "so so driver" will only be a burdon for the entire organisation. I hope this deal turns out the right way.
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