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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Vickers and Mears both lucky, Mayfield not-so-lucky, and Greg Sacks is back

In a week full of strange news, it’s fitting the Jeremy Mayfield case would show up.
As most people expected, a federal judge has sided with NASCAR and dismissed the lawsuit filed by Mayfield against NASCAR after his suspension for failing a drug test.

All the drama and accusations that thrust NASCAR into the national sports spotlight last year is presumably over now. Hopefully that’s the last we hear of methamphetamine, drunken stepmoms, crazy tales of avoiding drug tests, and drug-fueled racing for a long time.

While there could still be an appeal, it’s pretty much pointless and Mayfield already owes lawyers so much money it would just make things worse for him.
He comes out the worst out of all this, having lost everything. A little over a year ago, his team making the Daytona 500 was a huge success story, then a few months later it all unraveled due to an unfortunate habit (which, to this day, Mayfield insists he didn’t have).

Where does Mayfield go from here? He’s pretty much done careerwise, and is most likely going to have to become a regular citizen at this point. He could write a book about this whole deal, but he’ll never make millions in a racecar again.
The lesson for NASCAR was a big eye-opener about its drug policy. Thankfully, since the Mayfield situation, they have become a little more open with drivers about the sport’s drug policy.

How will Mayfield be remembered? To most people, he’ll be the guy who got booted from NASCAR for being a meth addict. I’ll try to remember better days, though … like his victory at Pocono when he knocked Dale Earnhardt Sr. out of the way to win.

Mears lucks into ride; Vickers lucky to be alive

Some things are more important than racing, and for Brian Vickers health is the main concern right now. He will be undergoing treatment for blood clots for at least three months

Vickers is very lucky, as doctors have said this is a life-threatening condition, and he could have died if he hadn’t sought treatment. Missing a few races means very little compared to that.

Reports indicate that Vickers' symptoms are a sign of deep vein thrombosis with a pulmonary embolism, and that it’s very possible that he may never race again, depending how treatment goes.

So this leaves a spot open at the #83 team for at least a few months, possible longer.
While the circumstances aren’t what he wanted, this is the break that Casey Mears has been waiting for. Having already filled in for Vickers this week at Dover, he is the likely candidate to keep the seat warm until Vickers is cleared by doctors to
return to work.

There are few other options. There aren’t a ton of great drivers out there just waiting for rides. An older driver like Bobby Labonte might want to get out of his start and park situation, but he doesn’t exactly fit Red Bull’s young and hip image.

If Mears doesn’t get the job done early, they could go to a younger driver, perhaps an up-and-comer from the Nationwide series, so you can bet Mears will do his best to keep the team impressed. This will be an extended job audition for Mears, who will be hoping to land a permanent ride with either Red Bull or some other team for 2011 and beyond.

After the disappointing results in previous rides, he needs to show teams he has what it takes to compete.

Greg Sacks? Really?
This week, I felt like Obi-Wan Kenobi, who once famously said “That’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time.”

This happened when I saw the news that Greg Sacks will driver for JR Motorsports in the July Nationwide race at Daytona.

Sacks has been out of the driver's seat for a long time, and wasn’t exactly lighting up the racetrack last time he competed in NASCAR. But as usual, it’s all about the money. Sacks’ arrival at JR Motorsports comes along with the announcement that Grand Touring Vodka will sponsor the #88 for 25 races in 2010 and 2011.

This just goes to show how the sponsorship situation in NASCAR has left everyone needing help, even Dale Earnhardt Jr..

New face at Roush

Brian Ickler, who is most known for his Truck series efforts, will join the stable at Roush Racing drivers in the Nationwide series. This could be bad news for the other young drivers at Roush, depending how Ickler does when he races for Roush. He’ll race at Charlotte in his first race with the team.
This quote from the Cat in the Hat should be good motivation for Colin Braun and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. “We are keeping our options open for the future and are looking for the right fit for Roush Fenway Racing."

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Blogger Scott said...

Let's hope one of those options for the Cat in the Hat is to keep his best new driver in the stable - Colin Braun.

May 20, 2010 at 9:35 AM 
Anonymous Steve said...

I don't know whether Mayfield is guilty or innocent (I don't think he is a meth head) but if Nascar lied or was incorrect by their findings, they ruined a guys career just to save face and that's the biggest shame of all. Knowing Nascars shady handling of Tim Richmond and other issues of the sport, I certainly wouldn't put it past them at this point.

May 20, 2010 at 9:53 AM 
Anonymous Ron in NC said...

The cat in the hat is the jerk in the dirt. He won't give these driver's like Colin a chance to even learn these tracks before he puts them on the sidelines. His decisions aren't to good either. He kept David Ragan over Jamie McMurray, and although I like David, he's had time to learn.
Jack Roush hasn't won this year and not many times last year, so maybe he needs to look in the mirror. Heres hoping Colin can find a good ride, and tell the cat in the hat to take that job and shove it!

May 20, 2010 at 1:32 PM 

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