2019 ~ The Dr.’s Take on It
Here comes 2019 racing season before you know it, and I think it’s time to take a look at changes for this coming season.
In the Cup series, we have some moves that I sit back and wonder why this hasn’t happened before, and some I see as taking money out of one pocket and putting it on another pocket and then there are those that really make you scratch your head…
Let’s take a look at the one, specifically, that I have wondered why not before. Ryan Newman to Roush, Ryan Newman holds an engineering degree from Purdue, and Jack Roush is a serious thinker when it comes to innovations. These two together are a magical combination; watch and see.
Chad Knaus, leaving Jimmy Johnson after all these years; now, finally we get to see which one of these two is the genius. Has Knaus been propping Johnson up all these years or has Johnson just been that good that no matter what they put him in he will shine? Knaus will now have William Byron in the car, who is in his second year. He has showed signs of talent but been running at the back most of last year; now we will see.
Scott Graves handled the crew chief duties for the 19 car at Gibbs’ last year but now he has stepped over to Roush, who now seems to be refitting his entire team. By bringing Newman on board and Graves as Crew Chief, I feel like it will be interesting to watch.
Kevin Meendering is the next one that I find sort of interesting. After working with Elliott Sadler, moving to work with Jimmie Johnson may be a challenge. I don’t think this will last, but performance may play a part in it. We will see.
Next is the Martin Truex and Cole Pern move to Gibbs. In what lots of people felt was dirty pool by Gibbs and his access to technology at Toyota, he pretty much killed Furniture Row, and Barney Visser in order to sway Truex and Pern to Gibbs. While I think this pair will thrive wherever they wind up, I am not sure things will remain rosy with the move to Gibbs. But time will tell, and we shall see.
Chris Gabehart steps up in the Gibbs bunch to take on Denny Hamlin and see if he can put Hamlin back up front. I think this boat has already sailed, Hamlin is done, he just don’t know it yet.
Now one that I will be watching close is the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet with Ryan Preece at the wheel, I feel this young man can get it done and he may be the one to bring the 47 car back to the top at something other than a road course.
Daniel Hemric in the# 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet may be something to watch, bringing the #8 back into Cup, but can he fit in with the “family” at RCR? We will see…
Kurt Busch moves from Stewart/Haas over to the # 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Like him or not, Kurt can drive. He has had issues with crew chiefs and owners in the past, but he is a past champion, and I see him taking the #1 car to the front.
Now the Daniel Suarez going into the 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford deal may or may not workout. If he performs and does it right out of the box, he will make lots of noise, and that will be bad for lots of other teams, but if he comes out of the gate like he did at Gibbs… Well it will be stick a fork in him; he won’t last long at all. He has yet to impress me, but I will give him a chance this season to see how it works.
The move from Chevy to Toyota by the Levine Family Racing team may present some fireworks, I am hearing but I will reserve comment on this one ‘til I see how things shake out.
The Jury is still out on the new rules package as NASCAR once again changes the rules, more of putting a Band-Aid on a gushing artery wound, but we shall see.
Ford turns the new Mustang loose this year, and it is showing great things in testing, BUT will it suffer the same fate as the Camaro has for GM? This too we shall see.
All in all, on one hand I am kind of excited about 2019 in NASCAR but on the other hand not so much. With new leadership in its first full year, we may have gotten over the hump that was Brian France. I feel his leadership was one of the main things that hampered NASCAR in the past few years, but now he is gone. We shall see.
No matter how this year works out, it’s almost race season and it’s time to get cranked up!
C ya @ the track