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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

If EGR switches to Toyota, just call it Ganassi Racing

Imagine this announcement coming from the speakers in the late 1990s at a Cup track: “Introducing Dale Earnhardt, driver of the #3 GM Goodwrench Toyota Camry!”

I don’t think it ever would have happened, under any circumstances. And the many fans of the Earnhardts would not be pleased.

But now, there are rumors the team that still holds his name (which is essentially a Chip Ganassi team) wants to switch to using Toyotas next year. If that happened, drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and presumably Jamie McMurray would field Toyotas for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.

Something tells me this would not go over well.

I’m all for teams doing whatever is necessary to survive. But if this happens, I have a suggestion that would make everyone a lot happier. Teresa should withdraw from the team and it should be called Chip Ganassi Racing.

The idea that a team including Dale Earnhardt’s name would field Toyota’s is unimaginable to me. I’m not a Toyota hater, but I’m pretty sure he would not approve. Out of respect, if this deal goes through, Teresa should let Ganassi buy her out and be gone.

It makes sense anyway, regardless of this deal. Teresa is never at the track, makes no real decisions at the team and is an owner in name only, basically just collecting a paycheck. Since her husband died, she has had little to no interest in the sport. This is understandable, considering it’s the sport that took his life.

So why is the Earnhardt name still on a team? What’s the point?

Unless Ganassi absolutely needs Teresa’s involvement for the team to exist, I see no reason why she needs to keep the Earnhardt name involved, especially if the team switches to Toyota.

Early start at Penske for Kes
In a move I was not expecting, Rochester Hills native Brad Keselowski, having fulfilled his obligations to Hendrick Motorsports and the #09 team, will get an early start in his new ride at Penske, replacing David Stremme for the final three races of the year. Even though it’s a new car for him, this will be a good opportunity to see whether the #12 car’s struggles this year were more car or driver. I don’t expect miracles, but it’s obvious Brad is a better driver than Stremme and should get better finishes out of the car (or at least spin out a lot less).

Look for Stremme to return to Nationwide racing next year, as he did pretty well driving for Rusty Wallace in 2008. If he lands a decent ride, he can thrive there. So far, he’s 2-for-2 in losing Cup rides, so don’t expect him to seek a third try immediately. He’s running out of strikes.

Attorney says Mayfield owes him money
Attorney Bill Diehl says Jeremy Mayfield owes him “a lot” of money and vows to collect. News flash: The guy owes a lot of people money. I’m pretty sure Diehl knew from the start that Mayfield wasn’t going to pay him, and that he took the case for publicity, just as Mayfield’s current attorneys are doing.

It’s also highly unprofessional of an attorney to speak publicly about money owed to him by a client, but that’s a whole different issue. Regardless of what was promised, I have some hard news to break to Diehl: You’re never going to see that money.

Of course, that’s not really news. I’m pretty sure he already knew that.


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