This Week in NASCAR [January 24th Edition]

NASCAR: Who has the most to prove in 2013?

1/24/13 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [January 24th Edition]Dale Earnhardt Jr enters his 6th season with Hendrick Motorsports and one could argue that he is under the most pressure to perform.  Dale Jr., however, would disagree.  He has said in the past that he used to worry incredibly about disappointing the fans, but more recently he worries more about doing the very best he possibly can.  He wants to succeed for himself now and has been taking action.  No more is the Dale Jr. who just showed up at the racetrack just to drive the car.  No longer do we see the Dale Jr who sleeps until noon, not worrying about how the car is set up, except to bitch to his crew chief, spotter and crew if it doesn't work.  Steve Latarte can be thanked for the new, improved Dale Jr.  He insists that Jr. attend team meetings - after all, isn't he part of the "team"?

Jr. is now at the shop with the rest of the crew, brainstorming and testing to see what can be done to make car and driver dominant.  

Sure, Jr. still has other irons in the fire, including Hammerhead Entertainment, his recently opened car dealerships and Whiskey River, but his focus is the race car.  He has a significant other in his life, and they seem happy together.  In short, Dale Jr. seems to be comfortable in his skin.  Even his actions with regard to the concussion show his maturity.  He made the decision to put his health first and stepped out of the car, even though he was in the Chase, still competing for a championship.  I think that comfort and that maturity take the pressure off and allow Jr. to relax and concentrate on what he needs to do, and enjoy the time he spends in the race car.
Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [January 24th Edition]
Finally, we look to the 2012 Champion, Brad Keselowski.  "Bad Brad" won the Championship, and did so with just a little help of luck.  That is, bad luck, for Jimmie Johnson.  If Jimmie Johnson hadn't had that bad luck, would Brad have won that Championship?

The fans of Jimmie Johnson say definitely not, while anti-Jimmies say yes, without a doubt.  I think the answer is somewhere in between.  Brad definitely performed like a champion in 2012 and Jimmie definitely had some bad luck.  I, along with many others, would have loved to have seen the final Championship competition come down to the last lap of the last race, much as the 2011 Championship did between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards.

The pressure will be on Brad to perform again this season but I think he is up to the challenge.  Make no mistake, Bad Brad is here to stay.

Next week we'll have a look at the new Sprint Cup car, the G6 a little closer, and we'll look at the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series.
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2/15/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

I would say the godaddy.com car has the most to prove,,It needs to be in the top 20 in points at year end... Anything other than that is just noise...

1/24/13   |   JenX63   |   32648 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Thanks, Jen!

Just as this posted the news that Jamie McMurray's former crew member, Sammy Gonzalez lost his battle with cancer today.  From the outpouring of comments, I'd say he was much loved.  RIP Sammy

Yes, saw it on my updates....RIP Sammy...thoughts and prayers to family, loved ones and friends.

1/24/13   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

JenX63 wrote:
I'm excited to see what this year brings. Daytona is always great, due in part, that you really don't know who will win. I am looking forward to see what the year brings for my favs and a few I am keeping an eye on. i only hope, this year, surpasses last year in excitement.

(Great Job Debi!) yesyesyes

Thanks, Jen!

Just as this posted the news that Jamie McMurray's former crew member, Sammy Gonzalez lost his battle with cancer today.  From the outpouring of comments, I'd say he was much loved.  RIP Sammy

1/24/13   |   JenX63   |   32648 respect

I'm excited to see what this year brings. Daytona is always great, due in part, that you really don't know who will win. I am looking forward to see what the year brings for my favs and a few I am keeping an eye on. i only hope, this year, surpasses last year in excitement.

(Great Job Debi!) yesyesyes