NASCAR VALENTINE

 
Cash grab or romance? 
 
Whatever Valentine’s Day is, it’s looming. And since Daytona coverage is still a week away from consuming our mind, here are six Sprint Cup drivers who could use a hug, roses or a nice steak dinner with extra bacon next week.

 
Kurt Busch

 

So Forbes listed Busch as one of the ten most unpopular athletes in sports. He was ahead of Kobe Bryant for goodness sake. And while Busch won’t ever get to Lance Armstrong territory, sponsors become tepid when their driver makes a list like this. 
 
Busch need a good season. He’s at his best when aggressive, behavior that led to placement on the Forbes list. Hmm…. Maybe Busch and Richard Childress should start texting each other. 
 
Richard Childress

 
Childress went from having a driver contend for a Sprint Cup during Homestead in 2010 to having one of the sport’s most uncertain futures. Kevin Harvick has one foot out the door. Jeff Burton is a sponsor’s dream with two straight nightmare seasons. Paul Menard has one career win. The engine shop is in flux, and there’s talk of moving to Dodge. How soon before the Dillon brothers run a full schedule?
 
Juan Pablo Montoya

 
Montoya was the driver nobody wanted to mess with in 2009. Three years later, Montoya has one win and a best season finish of 17th.  And with free agency in play, Montoya stayed put with offers either nonexistent or quite clandestine. 
 
Montoya excels at road courses and contends at big flat tracks like Indi. Of all the drivers struggling, his case is the most puzzling. Maybe Hendrick engines will help in 2013. 
 
Brain Vickers, David Ragan and Trevor Bayne
Can someone explain why these three don’t have a competitive full time ride for 2013? This makes no sense to me either.
 
Valentine’s Day is coming. It’s the final major holiday before the Daytona blitz begins. Enjoy the steak dinners covered with bacon, flowers or whatever else you get next week, and insert random catchphrase here.