by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowAugust 1, 2008 9:28 am UTC 9 Comments
Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Chrissy Wallace headline the young driver talent at Pocono Raceway this weekend. Wallace and Stenhouse will compete in the ARCA RE/MAX Pennsylvania 200 on Saturday.
NASCAR will have a contingent of young guns too. Aric Almirola, Regan Smith and Michael McDowell all hope to compete in Sunday’s Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500. NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series is due for a big influx of new, young drivers over the next couple seasons. Several cupsters who, not so long ago, were considered the new Young Guns, could be pushed out of the way.
That’s where this week’s Loose in Turn 3 topic comes from.
Should Tony Stewart look for the hot, young prospect, maybe someone from the open wheel ranks, instead of a current, high dollar star like Ryan Newman for his second car at Stewart-Haas?
Charlie: Things changed for Stewart-Haas Racing after the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Jason Leffler managed to drive the #70 to a finish that took that car to 35th in owner’s points. If the team is able to maintain that position, Stewart-Haas Racing will have both cars qualified for the 2009 Daytona 500 and the first five races of 2009. There would be less pressure to have a driver experienced with, and accomplished at, qualifying. If Stewart is convinced that he has identified the next… well the next Tony Stewart, he might think it’s worth the risk. That said, I’d still take Ryan Newman or Martin Truex. Keep the new sponsors happy. Gamble with the third car when that’s ready.
TZ: I don’t know. I think for many race teams, the pursuit of a young talent to complete their driver roster is often the way to go – and, we’re going to see that next year from either Penske or Childress- but, I don’t think it really works for Stewart-Haas … not at this point, anyway. What it comes down to is that even with Stewart as the new face of the organization, these guys are going to be going through a monumental rebuilding period. Without Ryan Newman, Martin Truex, or hell, even Casey Mears behind the wheel of that other car, they may not get the sponsorship prestige that they’re looking for. It’s all moot anyway, though … Newman’s going to be in this no. 4 car.
Bruce: Stewart needs to stick to Cup drivers. I’ve not been impressed with any new outside talent coming into NASCAR and Stewart needs every edge he can get with his new venture.
Is Randy Moss’ recent 50% purchase of what is now Moss Motorsports good for the sport?
Bruce’s topic this week revolves around this…
With Tony Stewart acting out over in USAC, what’s that about? Do you think the stress of starting up a new team might be getting to him?
Photo credit: Icon Sports Media, Inc.