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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Why is Rick Hendrick talking like he’s already Kasey Kahne’s car owner?

NASCAR is all about its rules … except when it doesn’t want to enforce them.

The rule I am referring to specifically is the must hyped “four-car” rule, which forced team owners to only field four cars. There’s a little secret that’s not really secret at all: The rule really doesn’t stop people like Rick Hendrick from expanding his presence beyond four teams, as he can always rely on the old standby “affiliated” team, such as Stewart-Haas Racing, to help out.

This issue is coming up again now because Kasey Kahne has signed with Hendrick Motorsports to drive the #5 car driving in 2012. Next year, he’ll be somewhere else (not at Hendrick-proper), but Rick Hendrick is insisting he will be driving a Chevrolet in 2011.

That’s funny to see Hendrick speaking about Kahne’s future like that … considering he isn’t his car owner technically until 2012.
See my point yet?

No matter where Kahne ends up next year (Stewart-Haas or elsewhere), his car will essentially be owned by Rick Hendrick, who will supply all the necessary parts to make the car run good. Hendrick’s name might not be listed as Kahne’s car owner on the paperwork, but that’s what he will be to all of us who have a brain and can understand the basic workings of life.

The four-car rule is a joke because all an owner has to do is provide cars to a satellite team and say it’s not his. He’s just “helping” or something like that. For example, when Jack Roush had to trim down to four teams last year, he very easily could have moved Jamie McMurray over to the affiliated Yates Racing (had it survived) and said McMurray now drove for Yates, even though Roush would have provided all the equipment for Jamie to race.

If we’re going to let the superteams just expand like this, just let them go hog wild and don’t try to pretend like you’re controlling it. Under the current system the limit isn’t really four … it’s 8, 12, even 16 teams if you’re bold enough to “help” that many people in the garage.

The simple fact that Hendrick can talk the way he is talking about where Kahne will be in 2011, even though he isn’t driving for HMS in 2011, should show NASCAR that their rule is a bit of a joke.

If it’s not going to be enforced, I say just take it off the books.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt, Matt, Matt! Since i'd guess that you haven't seen the actual contract, just maybe you jumped too soon. Kasey's contract with Hendricks probably takes effect upon the termination date of the Gillette/Petty contract which would make Hendrick Kasey's driver for 2011. I'm pretty sure the rules state that more than 4 teams, not drivers, is prohibited. Kasey is not a team last time I looked.
As to your Roush 4 team deal? Why didn't you count the Gillette/Petty cars as being under Roush's wing? Wouldn't that put them to 7 teams? Oop's!

April 15, 2010 at 12:36 PM 
Blogger Matt Myftiu said...

I don't believe Roush is as involved with RPM as Hendrick is with SHR, but if he is then my opinion would be the same of his actions as they are of Hendrick's.

You have to admit, the four-car rule isn't really being enforced.

April 15, 2010 at 12:40 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see Hendrick supplying Stewart-Haus with engines, chassis, etc. as being the same thing as Hendrick owning those teams. I do see it as a good deal for Hendrick as he achieves economies of scale. Hendrick also leases engines to other teams. Toyota supplies engines to it's teams. Should Toyota be accused of breaking the 4 car limit?

April 16, 2010 at 10:27 PM 

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