I wrote this piece and intended to post it last Wednesday. And then someone went and up and broke their leg and threw that plan out of whack. However, with Kyle Petty’s constant ramblings, and my future intentions for my Denny Hamlin article, I feel it still holds some weight. So onward steeds!
It’s my belief that as a living, breathing human being you have the right to freely express your opinion. I don’t care what your country, race, preference of a sex, religion, soda, or alcohol is. If you are breathing, you have the right to state your opinion in a non-hostel forum to have intellectual conversations.
However, just as you have that right I have the right to disagree with what you say. I also reserve the right that if the growing list of people who disagree with you is more than those who agree, to call you an idiot.
This, my friends brings us to Kyle Petty. Son of “The King” Richard Petty, Kyle is NASCAR royalty. His career is that of a journeyman however, never reaching the successes of his father or grandfather Lee. Accumulating only eight wins over twenty-nine years, Kyle’s opinions are based more off experience of racing back to mid-pack than in the front.
That was the reason when Kyle began his tirades against Danica Patrick in 2010, I simply shrugged them off. As a matter of fact may people did and still have! However, he did have some valid points about Danica being only a special media attraction for NASCAR. That was when she only ran part time between NASCAR and IZOD-Indy. Now that Danica has committed to NASCAR full time I think Kyle’s losing the argument.
“She’s not a race car driver. There’s a difference. The King always had that stupid saying, but it’s true, ‘Lots of drivers can drive real fast, but very few can race.’ Danica is the perfect example of somebody who can qualify better than what she runs. She can go fast, but she can’t race. I think she’s come a long way, but she’s still not a race car driver. And I don’t think she’s ever going to be a race car driver.” – Kyle Petty, NASCAR Race Hub June, 2013.
What stuck out to me from Kyle’s tirade was she qualifies in a better position than where she finishes. Daytona’s pole and eighth place is well documented. But let’s look beyond that to the actual season. Six races of twenty-two Danica has either tied or finished less than her qualifying position. But for sixteen races she has finished better than where she started. She also has a top ten and her fellow Rookie of Year opponents don’t.
While not a Danica apologist, I will point out her flaws just as quick as anyone else, you have to admit she’s showed flashes of amazing potential. Many of attributed the lack of better finishes due to Stewart-Haas Racing not being where they were in previous seasons performance wise. As SHR’s car’s improved, so did Danica’s statistical performance.
The peak of Kyle however, was during the August 5th pre-show on SPEED, Kyle misunderstood Denny Hamlin’s words in a terrible manner.
"He is so far out. You can't compete with teams like Jimmie Johnson and those guys and sit out five or six weeks. I think since that time now, he's started to talk a lot. He's talked about being the face of Joe Gibbs Racing. I think he's got a little bit of the 'BK (Brad Keselowski) syndrome' in him right now. He's not relevant to the sport right now as far as the Chase and what's going on in the Chase and winning the championship.”
Denny Hamlin when he made those remarks it was referencing not to the face of Joe Gibbs Racing, but the face of his 11 team, and he’s right. Denny Hamlin is the face of the 11 team, just like Tony Stewart is the face of the 14 team (who went and broke his leg last Monday). Just like Carl Edwards is the face of the 99 team. Primary sponsors are paying millions of dollars to invest into drivers. When you see Diet Mountain Dew commercials you don’t see Rick Hendrick asking about the last Diet Mountain Dew. You see Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Denny responded using twitter to call Kyle a moron. I agree with him. Kyle is uninformed on so many levels that he’s talking about lately, it’s incredible. Last Monday in an article by the AP on Sports Illustrated Kyle was quoted saying this.
"If you are going to run your mouth, if you are going to dish it out, you gotta take it, and the bone of contention here is that Denny is 100 percent right. I can take it; I can say that I'm wrong and that I misinterpreted what Denny said."
While I appreciate Kyle owning up like a man to his mistake, I’d preferred it all the more if he knew what he was talking about, before he opened his mouth.
Kyle did say one thing on Speed that I did agree with though about Denny.
"He can win the next four or five races, but it's not going to change the championship this year, and it's not going to change the Chase. It is what it is, and he needs to focus on next year, get his body back together and come back and have a shot at winning next year."
Denny does need to take the time to heal his back. I’ll be discussing that an article after the drivers who make the Chase is officially decided as I mentioned earlier. And my reasons, from personal experience have nothing to do with winning next year. They have everything to do with playing with his children and future grandchildren over the next twenty-five years.
Back to the main topic of Kyle Petty, I do feel he’s a misinformed fool. So why did I end an opinion piece agreeing with him? Well, even a broken clock is right twice a day.
In random News:
Brian Vickers is officially driving the 55 Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing with Aaron’s coming on board as the full season sponsor. Everyone saw that coming.
The sale of Phoenix Racing appears to be finalized. An announcement is tentatively expected for close to or during the race weekend in Atlanta at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Austin Dillon will be starting last at Mid-Ohio on Saturday, due to him driving the 14 this week at Michigan. Indications are that this may very well be the fit until Tony Stewart is cleared to race again. While it’s officially listed as indefinite, to allow the miracle Stewart does come back before season’s end. I don’t look to see “Smoke” back until Speed Weeks 2014 in February in Daytona.
Okay now for the huge news coming out of yesterday. Juan Pablo Montoya is out of Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing at the end of the season. This came as a complete shock to me as I fully expected JPM to be at EGR until he decided to leave.
This finally is the interesting news NASCAR usually has for free agency. The 42 is a major opening as far as team and sponsorship with Target. The equipment is literally just now starting to finally show consistence. With flashes of brilliance in their NASCAR existence for EGR, they’ve never been able to put together full or even half season runs.
The two questions now are number one who takes over the 42 and what becomes of Montoya?
For question one, I had a series of great exchanges on twitter on this topic (visit there to find out with whom! He is rumored to be the last man of truth). One thing we both agreed is Kurt Busch has a 100% better deal staying with Furniture Row Racing. Even if the thin rumor of a move to Toyota is true, I’d take him at FRR any day than EGR.
Kyle Larson, who is the development driver for EGR would be an obvious choice. But I live in fear of the Joey Logano syndrome. Which for the uninformed, is a bright shining star comes in, and due to finishes gets an undeserved reputation. Just imagine how good Joey would have been if he’d been left alone in the Nationwide Series for a couple of years.
For Joey, it wasn’t the equipment, or lack of talent. He was simply to inexperience. The exact thing RCR with the potential hiring of Ryan Newman, may be trying to avoid with Austin Dillon.
As I was thinking this over I had a thought. It sounded crazy at first. Mark Martin’s out of a job with Brian Vickers officially in the 55. Why not take over the 42 and split the ride with Larson?
And when you think about it, it’s not such a bad idea. As a matter of fact it makes perfect sense. When Mark came in, his experience made MWR better. Every driver who has been in MWR’s stable has raved how much he helped the team.
Mark also loves to teach and build. He can help build EGR into a better team. He also has the chance to teach Larson, while Larson doesn’t have to deal with the pressures of a thirty-six race season in Sprint Cup. If Mark’s services would allow him to be available to EGR, they’d be foolish to not bring him in. It will build the team; it will help teach Larson everything he needs from one of the best drivers in the last fifty years. And it keeps Mark around who I’ve got a soft spot for.
What about Juan? TJR Sport’s own Dan Mount, who just wrote a great article about Dallas Stars foreword Tyler Seguin that you should read, asked about the potential to return to open wheel racing. It’s certainly possibly and may be the best thing for Juan. Here is the thing with Juan though. EGR’s equipment as I said has shown flashes of brilliance. But they are not on the level of a Hendrick, Roush, or Gibbs. They are also not on the level of a RCR, FRR, MWR or Stewart Haas Racing just yet. They are gaining, but not near their competitors yet.
If Juan was placed into good equipment, he could prove his true worth in NASCAR. I think he could be an excellent; multiple wins in a season driver. But where can he go for that? That’s the problem and that’s the reason Dan could be onto something with an open wheel return.
I know out of all this, I’d be concerned if I were Jamie McMurray, Juan’s current teammate. If they would d get rid of Juan who is said to be like a brother to team co-owner Chip Ganassi, they’d get rid of Jamie.
Random Sports/Non Sports thought.
Free Agency with the release of Juan Pablo Montoya has been sent into total what the hellness. Yes I know it isn’t a word, but it’s the cleanest expression I could think of. But here’s the thing to think about.
Richard Petty Motorsports, the forgotten free agency team has neither of their current drivers under contract officially for them in 2014. And AJ Allmendinger is lurking in the shadows with a career that is starting flourish after completing the Road to Recovery and Redemption. Just how big of a mess could what I thought was a simple free agency season turn into before November?
Have a question, suggestion or witty comment? Feel free to leave it below! Don’t want to do that? Then the fastest, easiest, and quickest way to interact with me is on Twitter, @tpierc07. I’m also on Facebook, but that one you have to work for. Don’t do social media or public comments? Then feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So until we meet again just know I’ll be waiting for you at the next left turn at my home track, in the Irish Hills of Michigan International Speedway!