Thursday, June 29th, 2006 10:00am UTC
By Luke, Thunder Lounge
Published on Thunder Lounge.
[image:365:r:s=1:l=http://thunderlounge.com/articles/nascar/features/the-water-cooler/]After only two days passing this week, the water cooler was full of commotion. Will Sprint screw up and ditch Nascar? Vickers must be off his rocker to move to a start-up team. Has Jimmie Johnson eliminated kryptonite? Is Ward ever going to catch a break? And my personal fave so far this week, Gene Haas’ arrest is the repercussions for dumping all over Ward Burton at the end of 2004.
Will Sprint Screw Up And Ditch Nascar?
This was my addition to the rumblings this week, as previously discussed in this Thunder Lounge article. I will admit (if you aren’t aware already) that I am not a big fan of Sprint. However, that being said, I have my reasons for it but at the same time I’m not just bashing them for the sake of bashing them. For more on this , read the article here.
Vickers Must Be Off His Rocker To Move To A Start-up Team.
This one has taken on some pretty good debate. Some of the guys are for the move, some are not. The reasons for not being in favor of it mainly stem from the top 35 issue, and for at least the first 5 races Brian will have the pressure of qualifying on him. Something to the likes which he has not faced yet in his career in the top series. Even in his rookie seasons in Cup and Busch, while there wasn’t a top 35 rule in place, he had the comfort of a provisional to fall back on. At least he will be able to talk to Michael Waltrip about that pressure, and how to handle it. Depending on who his teammate is, he may be able to seek advice from them as well.
On the flip side, Brian is offered a fresh opportunity. As close as he was with Ricky, and is with the entire Hendrick family, I honestly believe he just needed to step out from that safety net. To be able to become Brian Vickers, instead of “Brian Vickers who replaced Ricky”. I have no doubt that it’s been a tough road for him, and he is constantly reminded of it daily. Rick would have moved heaven, earth and everything in between to make that team right for Brian. In the end, the one spark Brian needed couldn’t be bought, traded for, or found. So, he’s going to step out into the unknown, unsafe world of Cup racing, and let the chips fall as they may. Hopefully, he;ll find what he is looking for.
At the same time, he’ll be on a start-up team. One that has no safety net going into Daytona. However, while I don’t think that a Toyota team will be chasing for the Cup next year, it should be mentioned that Toyota doesn’t do anything half-assed. They didn’t light the Truck Series on fire their first year, but they weren’t at the back of the pack. Come race 6 next year, Brian should have a little breathing room.
Has Jimmie Johnson Eliminated Kryptonite?
Whether you like Double J or not, this team doesn’t know the words “can’t” or “quit”. He should have had some miserable finishes this year, but instead they were turned into decent runs. There is definitely a team effort over there, and one that at this point in the season looks like many a seasons that have come before him by some incredible drivers. Right now they have championship written all over them. For their sake, hopefully their credit is still good at the Luck Bank. Right now this team is in a league of its own. While there are a lot of great teams out there that are doing incredible things, the 48 team is just a notch or two above. If it all plays out, as it has in the past, it will be one of the things looked back upon after he hoists that trophy at the end of the season.
Is Ward Ever Going To Catch A Break?
As it appears now, yes. In fact he was going to be in a car this weekend until the deal fell through at the last minute. However, Ward has been talking to some teams. While he wouldn’t say who, he did say they were multicar teams that have struggled a bit recently. Ok, so he just basically said he’s talked to both Yates and Ganassi. Of the two, I imagine RYR would be more favorable, and the most likely of the two to pan out. Personally, Yates would be insane not to have Ward in a car next year. Even if they had to go to 3 cars. He just has that “gravitational” quality that draws people to him. That “genuine” feeling. Not to mention, if Elliot sticks around they won’t need a secure channel to communicate because half the people out there wouldn’t have a clue what they’re saying. According to Ward’s brother Jeff, “Ward grew up on the south side of the house”.
And finally, my personal favorite of the week.
Gene Haas’ Arrest Is The Repercussions For Dumping All Over Ward Burton At The End Of 2004.
That team has been the “death” of many a career. Hopefully Ward can bounce back. This “theory”, or comical topic, is purely based off of the old “Golden Rule”. Treat people how you would like to be treated. After Haas dumped all over Ward, to the point of hanging up on the guy when he called and more, one of the guys had the thought that Gene’s recent troubles with the Feds was simply his dirty and shrewd ways coming back to haunt him. Quite a funny idea, and definitely put a smile on my face.