Joe Gibbs Racing Announces 2011 Lineup, Yet It Raises Questions
Joe Gibbs Racing made the announcement a couple weeks ago that they'd have three teams next year.
The first team will include Brian Scott running the No. 11 car full-time with crew chief Kevin Kidd.
The second will include Adam Stevens, previously an engineer on the Cup side, as crew chief on the No. 20 with Joey Logano running the majority of the races. Denny Hamlin is also expected to run some of the races.
The last team will include Jason Ratcliff with Kyle Busch driving the majority of the races as they try to defend their Owner's Championship title.
This all looks good on the surface, though it begs questions. Joe Gibbs Racing has drivers in development, including Brad Coleman and Matt DiBenedetto, so why not give them the chance behind the wheel full-time? Both have proved that they are talented and are worthy of being champions if given the equipment.
Why let drivers like Busch, Logano and Hamlin compete in a series and win just to look good? All the fans know they are just winning due to competing against smaller teams and less talented drivers?
By allowing DiBenedetto and Coleman full-time shots, you are allowing the talent pool to expand, which is why the Nationwide Series was built. It was built to give drivers a shot and get them ready for the Sprint Cup Series. Numerous drivers have come through that ladder and it has worked successfully. Why delete that system now and have drivers behind the wheel who have succeeded the ladder?
It's simple—Gibbs wants the publicity and knows the sponsors will pay the big bucks if he goes down this road.
This is something you see with numerous of teams as you saw Penske Racing (Brad Keselowski) and Roush Racing (Carl Edwards) do it last year, just for a start. Though at least they stepped it up and put drivers full-time behind the wheel to give them a chance (Justin Allgaier and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.), but they still add to the problem.
Till somebody, like NASCAR, stands up and puts an end to this, you are going to see the problem grow and the series lose fans. NASCAR has spoken about getting back to their roots and it's about time they start doing it by starting with the Nationwide Series.
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