With No Testing in NASCAR, Look for 2009 To Be a Rerun of 2008
NASCAR finally got it right.
In order to help the teams financially for 2009, NASCAR announced during its championship weekend that it will ban all testing at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks beginning next season.
Testing has often been blamed as the biggest financial burden an organization faces each year because of all the extra traveling it puts on the crews and just the test in general.
With no testing comes really no way to improve, especially with so many drivers struggling with the COT.
In a press conference, after NASCAR's decision Denny Hamlin said "we get three hours every weekend to practice at the track. If we can't figure it out in that amount of time, then we shouldn't be racing in the Cup Series."
Well by that statement, there would have been at most three drivers on track this season, and not necessarily at the same time.
Carl Edwards was consistently fast on the intermediate tracks all season long, and Kyle Busch was strong early, and Johnson was strong when it mattered most.
Hamlin might want to choose his words more carefully because if his comment were true, he'd most likely be out of a job.
NASCAR went to the COT in order to level the playing field between top tier teams and the single car operations that don't have the resources. The new car helped, but with no ways to go to the track during the week and learn the nuances of the car, the parity might come to a screeching end.
Just think about Tony Stewart for a second. He's basically rebuilding a team form the floor up, and he probably wanted to do some serious testing and get his team running at a much higher level. This ban just made it that much harder for Stewart Hass to come out of the box strong.
With essentially no way other than weekend practice to learn about the car in race conditions, expect the same guys to win the bulk of the races in 2009.
Johnson, Edwards, and Busch combined for 24 of the 36 victories, and only five drivers visited victory lane from the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona to the end of the season.
Biffle showed flashes to start the chase, but couldn't keep up late in the season as Johnson pulled away.
The thing that surprised me the most about the No. 48 team during their celebration is that they called 2008 a comeback.
They struggled at the beginning of the season, but if they weren't at their best for all of 2008, then you can bet their ready to come out extremely strong in Daytona, testing or no testing.
2008 was a fantastic ending, and 2009 will look eerily similar to the competition.
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