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Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another year, more layoffs in the NASCAR garages

With the closure of the engine shop at Richard Petty Motorsports, the layoffs have begun in 2010 for NASCAR teams.

Last year was particularly bad for layoffs, many of which were caused by the closing of several teams as Earnhardt-Ganassi racing and RPM (Gillette + Petty Enterprises) came into being.

There's no way to tell how bad it will be this year, but it's clear many people will be looking for work. RPM is planning to merge with Yates Racing, which is known for its engines. So the RPM engine shop is shutting its doors, leaving dozens of people out of work.

In this latest merger, RPM will lose one of its four teams, so look for more layoffs at his team in the near future. Total number of lost employees from the RPM merger is expected to top 200. Ouch!

If the #07 team folds at RCR, look for another big number of layoffs there … and who knows what other teams are planning in the layoff department?

The economy may be recovering, but unfortunately for the team members receiving pink slips I don’t see a huge comeback in the NASCAR job market anytime soon.

I wish these laid-off employees luck, and hopefully they can find work elsewhere in the Cup garage, or in a lower series. If the job hunt in the garage is anything like it is in the real world, they’re going to need some luck.

Rides are scarce
How bad is the situation for the drivers who have yet to land a ride for 2010? They’re battling for the right to drive the #09 car, which does have a win with Brad Keselowski in 2009 but has also start-and-parked many times this year. Among the drivers battling for this suddenly premium ride are David Gilliland, David Stremme, Reed Sorenson and Casey Mears. This list reads like a who’s who list of drivers who have been given rides at decent teams (Yates, Ganassi, Penske, even Hendrick) and failed to live up to expectations. If you don’t have a ride at this point, there is usually a reason.

The reality is some of these guys will end up back in Nationwide next year, as there is only so many rides in Cup. Gilliland has the most upside, and has some races planned with the Joe Gibbs team that might set him up for another run in a decent ride. But the rest probably are not looking at too many options in the Cup series anytime soon. Mears’s story is just crazy … from Hendrick to RCR to battling for a possible start-and-park in a couple years. Unbelievable.

That’s Cup for you though. If the money’s not there, you’re on the sidelines or just barely in the game.

What the …
So it turns out that even though anyone with a brain just laughs at those lame Extenze commercials that are on late at night, some idiots are actually buying this product. How do I know? Driver Kevin Conway and the team sponsored by this product will attempt the run all three races at Phoenix, including an attempt in the Cup race in a second TRG car, #70.

Without getting too detailed here, let’s just say I’m going to crack up when I listen to the announcers try to describe his sponsor during qualifying.


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