Tight in Turn Two and Headin’ for the Flag

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Tight in Turn Two and Headin’ for the Flag

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It’s late in the race. The last round of pit stops is done. As always, regardless of where you are in the standings actually, you need every possible place. The car is far from perfect. In fact it’s real tight in turn two. Now what?

The best of the best will make it work. Winning drivers, championship capable winners find the lines that others don’t try. They get the most out of it, and keep the thing off the wall, and other cars. Top crew chiefs will have a tactic to suggest, part of an overall strategy that merely mortal box-toppers fail to find. Elite team owners are like master painters in that they find the perfect mix of disparate hues and blend them into a work of mechanical-performance art. But which part of the masterpiece is the key?

That question is the theme of the Bench Racing blog’s Tight in Turn Two post this week.

Looking at all three major series and picking one individual from all of the drivers, owners, sponsors or crew chiefs, who is your NASCAR Most Valuable Player?

Charlie: Pick one and just one of the above to start your 2009 NASCAR team. How’s that for tough? I’ll take Rick Hendrick. It’s about leadership. He brings the best of the best together, makes sure that they have whatever it takes to be at the top of the NASCAR game. He keeps his teams relatively happy all the while never settling for mediocrity from any of them. And then he’ll gamble to make it all better. Dumping Kyle Busch for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Changing Jeff Gordon’s crew chief. Bringing in Mark Martin and convincing him to return to full-time driving. The best owner in NASCAR is the MVP.

Bruce: I hate second round draft picks. All the good players get snatched up! But let’s play it in your court and I am going to stick with a car owner.. they do make the calls, put the teams together, pull the money in, and support the processes they’ve developed.

So who would I go with? Man, that’s tough. I’ve looked at the top 10 in owners points across the three series, Trucks, Nationwide and Cup. I came up with the inevitable 2nd stable for my choice of the Cat in the Hat, Jack Roush. It’s a pure numbers game, but across all three series, he’s got the breadth of performance. Across all three series his shop has 117 top 10’s, 73 top 5’s, 17 wins. I thought maybe these numbers were skewed because of the number of starts his teams had across all three series, but it broke down to a win every 12 starts, a top 5 every 3 starts and a top 10 every 2 starts. He’s got the edge and focus to see a broader picture and he’s almost got a Cup under his belt this year - but that’s OK if it doesn’t happen this year… I think as they actually come up to speed in the COT, next year will be their year… if Johnson or Ky Busch don’t break out next year and have a better year!!

That’s what we think. What do you think? Let us know in the comment section of this post.

Then head over to - if you haven’t already been there - to Bruce’s NASCAR Bits for Bruce’s topic of the week, which is more of a rant this time. All the better. Bruce isn’t happy about ABC’s decision to preempt  the Phoenix Cup race and move the end to cable. That just get’s him started though. Check it out.

With that said, just what informational outlets do we have that don’t inundate us with online ads, or focus on what we really want in the world of NASCAR? Are we being diluted to the point of over-saturation?

Photo credit: Icon Sports Media, Inc.

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