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Red Bull's Second Car To Have Multiple Drivers For Next Year

Only twice in the history of NASCAR has the Champion Owner been different from the the Champion Driver's car owner. Case 1: In 1952 Herb Parks' #92 Hudson won the Owners Championship while Lee Petty who drove the #42 Chrysler won the Drivers Championship. Case 2: In 1962 the Wood Brothers' #21 Ford won the Owners Championship and Joe Weatherly driving the #8 Mercury won the Drivers Championship.

Red Bull's second team effort next year will be soley concentrating on winning the Owner's Championship, something that hasn't been done in 40yrs. In order to do that they have hired several "hot shoes" to get the job done and these are no slouches behind the wheel of a race car either. The drivers named thus far are Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte, Ricky Rudd, either Scott Pruet or Canadian Ron Fellows and (here is a good one) possibly Mark Martin when the Truck and Cup Series are racing the same weekend at the same track. "We are also looking at several other driver options, as they become available."

In the press release Sven Jergenson, Interim Team personnel Director stated that Elliott and Labonte have been hired for their "experience as former Nextel Cup Champions", in other words, for their Championship Provisionals. While Rudd, and Pruet or Fellows have been hired for their experience on short tracks and road courses respectively.

"Based on the current driver pool out there, this is the most viable solution for us to be a team in contention right from the start," Jergenson went on to say. "We didn't want to start with an unkown commodity and hope that they would be a good driver three years from now. We wanted a good driver right now and there just isn't one available."

Also, think about this - with all of these drivers racing for the same team there is an instant fan base for that car. The Bill Elliott fans will be cheering for that car no matter who else is driving it when Bill isn't, because they are all part of a team. The marketing possibilities are limitless. You've heard of the Coca Cola Racing Family? Well this is an instant Red Bull Racing Family for sure.

This leads me to a certain little concern that I've raised before, and that is NASCAR is becoming more and more like F1. How so? Well, look at Ferrari this past weekend for the answer. Shumaker is second in points and running in third, while the other Ferrari car was running in first. When they pulled them in for their pit stops they brought the 1st place car in first rather than Shumaker. The significance you ask? If they would have brought Shumaker in 1st he would have been able to pull ahead of Alonso on the track and possibly win the race, with the other Ferrari in 3rd or 4th. But by pulling them in the way they did Ferrari had a chance of getting the cars to finish 1,2, with Shumaker in 2nd place, but it didn't work out and Shumaker finished third behind Alonso with the other Ferrari in first losing driver points as a result. Ferrari is racing for the Manufacturer's Championship and could care less about the Driver's Championship, because if they did they would have brought Shumaker in first.

With Red Bull racing for the Owners Championship like this, the emphasis is placed on the car owner, Red Bull, and not on any driver. Shameless self-promotion I say. Also, if Red Bull makes the top 10 for the Chase that means the car owner in 11th with ten races to go will have their driver in the Driver Chase in 10th but the team would be left out. Is it possible for a driver to compete for the Driver's Championship and at the same time compete for the 11th spot bonus money for the Owner's Championship? Given this scenario it could happen - imagine if that 10th place driver wins the Driver's Championship, his car would only finish 11th in the Owner's Standings.

Anything is possible, isn't it?

Please Note: Whenever I make a new post and put it up on my blog site, it doesn't show for a couple of hours (usually), but it can immediately be found in my archive. So I suggest that if you are looking for my most current posting you go to the current month's archive and it will be there.