A Triple Crown
This three-trophy concept rights a lot of wrongs. The bottom line, though, is that it honors drivers and teams that excel in crucial aspects of Sprint Cup racing that go underappreciated in the current Chase setup.
To really give the Triple Crown the heft it deserves, cut the Chase champion’s payout to $5 million (it was $7.2 million last year), and give $2.5 million each to the winners of the King Cup and the Byron Bowl. That’d make it real interesting to see who could capture each big award. And think how much fun it’d be in those years when one driver has a chance to capture the whole $10 million. -By Kay Bell
Kay Bell is an Austin, Texas-based writer. When she’s not yelling at her television during NASCAR races, she writes about financial topics and blogs about taxes at www.dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com.
Views from the Grandstands | Driver Diversions
·I got a chuckle over the fact that Tony Stewart served as grand marshal of the Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix back in January. Not that Stewart didn’t deserve the honor, but I could only imagine how hard it was for Smoke to putt along at 10 miles an hour down the parade route. At least he had a better holiday in Phoenix than Indy star Danica Patrick, who had to ante up a $196 fine after getting busted for going 54 in a 35 mph zone.
·As I write this, Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises are said to be finalizing a merger that ends an era that began at NASCAR’s founding six decades ago. Sounds like it’s a merger in name only, as the iconic No. 43 moves to GEM’s garage while most of the rest of the Petty organization just goes away. Sad, sad, sad.
·GEM, by the way, marks its 10th anniversary this season. But instead of celebrating the milestone, all I can think about is what a shame that Ray Evernham surrendered his majority ownership a few years ago when George Gillett bought in. I’m sure Evernham didn’t plan on things working out this way. I certainly understand his desire to run his own show, but I firmly believe Evernham and Jeff Gordon were the best crew chief/driver combination of all time. Imagine how much better things might have been for both men if Evernham had stuck around Hendrick Motorsports.
·The American LeMans Series kicks off its 2009 campaign March 21 at Sebring, while Formula 1 fires its engines March 29 in Australia and the IRL runs its first event April 5 in Tampa-St. Pete. I can’t wait!