Kevin Conway: The Best Rookie Since “Sliced Bread”

David DubczakContributor IFebruary 23, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 04:  Kevin Conway, driver of the #37 ExtenZe Ford, poses during NASCAR media day at Daytona International Speedway on February 4, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

One of the rookies in this year’s class for Raybestos Rookie of the Year is Kevin Conway, driver of the No. 37 ExtenZe Ford for Front Row Motorsports. NASCAR didn’t let him race at Daytona, largely because they didn’t want to overwhelm the field with his awesomeness.

In 2010, Kevin Conway will prove he’s the best thing since “sliced bread.”

Conway is largely unknown to the NASCAR world. When he was announced as the driver of the No. 37, Front Row told the world that Conway is veteran of “numerous” Nationwide Series starts. A quick check tells me he is the veteran of 25 starts.

Why he’s unknown, I’m not really sure. I mean, once you’ve made over 20 nationwide starts, you’re pretty much at the top. Brian Keselowski, Mike Harmon, Kertus Davis, and Chase Miller have all made over 20 Nationwide starts and tell me they’re not household names.

When Rick Hendrick was looking for a driver to fill an opening in the No. 5 a few years ago, I couldn’t believe it when he chose Mark Martin instead of Chase Miller. Sure, Martin has 48 Nationwide series wins, but Miller has over 20 starts.

But, whatever. You can’t always have the best.

What I want to talk about is Conway’s product, ExtenZe. It’s billed as a “male enhancement supplement” but I think it can do more than that.

If Conway was allowed to race in Daytona, he could have gotten up there and beat McMurray. If he was just behind McMurray, he could have kicked in some of that ExtenZe and voila, photo finish, Conway wins.

He would be good for some of the start and park teams too—go up to them and "ExtenZe" their paycheck.

He’s obviously making a statement in NASCAR’s administrative circles, too. NASCAR just announced they will "ExtenZe" the races to three green-white-checkereds if needed.

And, if the race is coming down to fuel mileage? Just "ExtenZe" his fuel cell. Though, he might have a problem getting into his pit stall if he "ExtenZe" his car too much.

The Sprint Cup car is bigger and badder than anything he’s ever driven before. It’s too bad NASCAR barred him from competing in Daytona. But it’s probably a good thing, after being a veteran of 25 Nationwide Series races, he is simply too awesome for the mere NASCAR fan. NASCAR definitely made a good call in keeping him away from us for opening weekend.

Watch Kevin Conway this season. He’s bound to do big things. I can just hear Mike Joy saying it now, “Kevin Conway 'ExtenZe' his lead.”

Other NASCAR Notes

I’m just a lowly blogger, but I’m a lowly blogger who thinks Ford is kicking themselves in the butt by not having at least one driver use the new engine. After having such a great showing at Daytona, at least with the teams using the FR9, the qualifying results for Fontana are dismal. Kasey Kahne qualified fourth, but you have to look all the way back to 29th to find another Ford, with AJ Allmendinger.

Last season was terrible for the Ford cars. I hope this season isn’t another one. Their drivers can drive, their cars can turn, but I no longer think their engines can haul.

I also don’t quite understand what Boris Said is doing. His Latitude 43 team doesn’t seem to have their heart in this whole NASCAR thing. They go to Daytona and try to use one engine the whole week, and they come to California and don’t make a qualifying attempt (they’re in the top 35 in owner points by virtue of buying the Roush No. 26 points from last year, so they’re in the race whether they make an attempt or not), and they barely practice.

All the while, Said is trying to prove himself as a good oval-track racer instead of just a good road racer. Boris, I hate to say it, I don’t think you’re going to be able to do it with this team, and I don’t think this team is going to remain in the top 35 after the fifth race of 2010.

Finally, a bit about Danica (I know, bear with me). She did a respectable job Saturday, and did in fact do better than Dario Franchitti, Sam Hornish, and Juan Pablo Montoya did in their first starts at California.

She's been watching race videos and hanging around NASCAR to try and learn what it is we do here. Now, if I were Tony Eury Jr., I would head over to Indianapolis in May and see what it is she does over there. It would help both of them better to relate to each other if they both knew both sides of each other's racing world.