Moderation and Thanksgiving weekend do not go well together.
Food, lines and virtually every other experience you can fathom seem to be in excess. So too is news from the Sprint Cup offseason. Here’s a Nascar recap of winners and losers from the holiday weekend.
Win: Nascar Fans
Jay Mohr will host the Sprint Cup Awards Banquet. Anyone who saw his monologue last year will be glad for the repeat visit. Anyone who didn’t hear the monologue should thank me for the next 15 minutes.
Lose: Driver Development
The Sporting News profiled two of racing’s brightest young stars, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Ryan Blaney. Ideally, both should run a full Xfinity schedule next year to fully prepare for what should be promising Sprint Cup careers.
Instead, both are dealing with sponsorship issues and unsettled years. Blaney will run the part time Wood Brothers car and select races. Joe Gibbs Racing has a package for Wallace Jr.
Nascar needs young stars. Fans saw how Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano energized the sport in 2014. It’s impossible to energize the sport if there are no young names who can grow and cars for them to drive. Somehow, this new coalition of owners must find a way to allow young drivers to get behind the wheel of actual races. In this world where every sporting event is on TV, there has to be a revenue model that can allow for this reality to flourish so young names can flourish in the sport of decades to come.
Draw: Roger Penske
On one hand, Penske should do nothing different in 2015; he had two drivers who dominated much of the year and could have easily won the Sprint Cup. Both are young and have loyal sponsors. Life is good.
On the other hand, it makes sense for Team Penske to expand. There has been discussion in running Blaney for selected races. The team could easily add one of several free agent drivers who fit the young and aggressive branding. Other bigger names could easily make a move over to the shop.
Roger Penske has made a career in making the right decisions. The decision to expand in this racing climate will be a fascinating one to watch as 2015 grows near. Enjoy the down time, and insert a random catchphrase here.