THE STORY LINES
1. JOHNSON WINS AT MARTINSVILLE:
2. JEFF GORDON CITES BACK PAIN: (mikemulheim.net)
3. EGR #8 LACKS SPONSONR AFTER TEXAS: (scenedaily)
4. SATRUDAY NIGHT SPECIAL @ BRISTOL REVIEW:
5. SPEED AND ALMENDINGER ON SHORT LIST FOR US F1 TEAM:
6. HENDRICK WANTS MARTIN’S ANSWER BY JULY: (espn)
It appears that the Hendrick Motorosports #48 Lowe’s Chevy is finding its stride a little earlier than they did last year! Although the FedEx #11 led the most laps at Martinsville, he did not lead the one that pays the money- the final lap!! With the #48 Lowes Chevy getting on track this early, that can only spell TROUBLE for the rest of the field for 2009. This was Johnson’s 6th win at Martinsville in 14 starts, his first victory of 2009, and his 41st victory in 261 total starts in Cup. In fact, Johnson has won 5 of his last 6 starts at Martinsville! That is a sign of dominance!
This victory by Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports celebrates the 25th anniversay of HMS first win at Martinsville with the #5 with Geoff Bodine at the wheel in 1984. Back then Hendrick Motorsports was called All-Star Racing and was a new start-up racing venture by the very young Rick Hendrick and his dad, Papa Joe!! Since those early days of 1984, HMS has been a force to be reckoned with!! Rick Hendrick has employed drivers like Geoff Bodine, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Mark Martin!!
Since those early days of 1984 All-Star Racing has gone though some dynamic changes.What started out as a racing venture of 5 employees and a rented work space of 5,000 square feet, HMS has grown into a business of 500 employees on a campus of over 500 acres!!! Along the way in those 25 years, HMS has accumulated 12 championships, eight (8) of them at the Cup level!! Included in those 12 championships are 175 victories, QUITE IMPRESSIVE!!!
Last year this reporter was one of those naysayers when it came to Jimmie Johnson’s chances of winning three Cup Championships in a row, OOPS!! Again this reporter is a naysayer on the #48 Lowe’s Chevy chances of wininning a fourth championship in a row. Having made the above staement, this reporter will admit that the #48 Lowe’s chevy team is already flexing its collective muscle in 2009.
Here are the reasons that are against Johnson winning a fourth championship in a row:
Reason number one is that it has NEVER been accompolished in the 60 years of NASCAR history. That in itself is a huge uphill battle! There is a teammate by the name of Jeff Gordon that is HUNGRY to win his 5th championship of his career. Also Johnson has two other teammates that have the desire and the ability to scoop of the championship out from under his grasp, the #5 Kelloggs Chevy of Mark Martin and of course the rock star of NASCAR, the #88 AMP/National Guard Chevy of Dale Earnhardt,Jr. To say that Hendrick Motorsports has a very strong team this year is a huge understatement!!
Now if those reasons were not enough, try on a couple of the Rousch-Fenway teams for size. First and foremost is the #99 Scotts Ford of Carl Edwards. Last year had he not caused the huge pile-up at Talladega and had just one engine failure (DNF), he would have been the 2009 Sprint Cup Champion. Never count out the #17 Dewalt Ford of Matt Kenseth. He seems to go thoughout the season flying under the radar, and suddenly as the Chase unfolds……here’s Matt!!!
Still there might be a couple of “sleeping underdogs” to watch out for this season! Can the #14 Office Depot Chevy of Tony Stewart be a contender in his newly merged organization, Stewart-Haas Racing? How ’bout the #14 FedEx Toyota of Denyy Hamlin, is he hungry enough?
But the biggest question of all is the #18 JGR M&M’s Toyota of Kyle Busch!!! We know that he can win and dominate races! But can the team win the BIG ONES in the Chase????? Is the pressure to much for TLVW to handle at 23 years old??? LAST YEAR THEY FOLDED UNDER THE PRESSURE!!!!!!!
Your comments on these subjects are invited, no in fact they are encouraged!!! Log in on these questions, let this reporter know what you are thinking!
I LOOKED IT UP SO THAT YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO!!!