by Steve Wronkowicz
I am co-host of the syndicated radio show: ON PIT ROW. Over ten years on the air and three on the net; see what can happen when I don't let the facts get in the way of my opinions.March 29, 2008 11:23 am UTC 4 Comments
It was a swift turn around of fortunes for the #49 team over the Easter break.
From not making races in Gillett Evernham Motorsports engined Dodges to qualifying on the fourth row at Martinsville in a Bill Davis Racing engined Toyota, Ken Schrader must believe his Sprint Cup fortunes may have made a turn for the better. Schrader must be considered the oddity in the top ten at the paper clip known as Martinsville. He joins pole sitter Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, David Ragan, Jamie McMurray and Kasey Kahne in the top seven. Gordon is no kid at 36, but not really considered a gray beard either.
Dismissing Gordon; at 52 years of age Schrader is over twice as old as the rest of the top 8, who’s average ages are just over 25. Kyle Busch rounds out the top eight qualifiers and must make Schrader feel like a chaperone on a third grade field trip to the zoo.
“The car was good all day and we were good here last year too. I’m just excited about the Toyota deal and working with Bill Davis some. I’ve always been a big fan of Bill Davis and Dave Blaney. New name on the car with Microsoft Small Business and a new manufacturer — we’re still one of those hooligans who doesn’t have their truck in here (infield), but we’ll pull it in tonight.”
Bill Davis Racing has to be happy to have a second car in the field as well. It’s well documented that the car they counted on to be thatr second car; to be driven by Jacques Villenuve, never materialized. This working agreement (don’t call it a merger–yet) with BAM could be just what the doctor ordered for two struggling teams. Rarely does the coming together of two down and out entities make for a full and rapid recovery to dominance. Just look to the corporate world and the merger of Kmart Corp and Sears. Putting those two together has not really set the world afire. The other good news is that there is finally sponsorship dollars to go into the Toyotas. BAM has signed Microsoft Small Business to foot the bill for the remainder of 2008.
In this instance though, at least for one week, BAM and Kenny Schrader can hold their heads high as they have cracked the kiddy corp and will start the Goody’s Cool Orange 500 up front with the fast guys. Where he will finish is another story. Many times these feel good stories have very short chapters. They’re easy to read, but end quickly.
I hope not. Kenny is one of the greatest guys in the sport.
photo credit: from Microsoft SMB Community Blog