Monday, July 13, 2009

The difference a series can make

Around a year ago, Dario Franchitti was beat up and washed out of NASCAR. Cup owner Chip Ganassi brought the former Indy star over to stock cars in 2008 in an attempt to race the woebegone No. 40 car and boost exposure to his team. But that experiment failed - miserably - and the Scotsman literally limped back to Indy Cars after a tough crash at Talladega.

But now Franchitti is tearing up the IRL after winning his third race of the season Sunday at Toronto. Of course, it helps to have the backing of Ganassi, who is one of the most successful IndyCar owners in history. If anything, Franchitti's success is just another example of how the crossover from Indy to Cup is a foolish move. Just look at how Sam Hornish Jr. has fallen off the map since changing rides in 2008. If Roger Penske was smart (which he clearly is) then he would follow Ganassi's lead and transfer Hornish back to the open-wheel cars. Besides Juan Montoya, the Cup crossover just isn't working for the Indy crowd… Are you listening, Danica?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mark's the man

Who would've thought at the start of the season that Mark Martin would be the class of Hendrick Motorsports, let alone all of NASCAR? The old man has won four times this year, as he crushed the field and his three all-star teammates Saturday night at Chicagoland. The 50-year-old fought off Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne before taking the checkers late in the Illinois night

A betting man at the beginning of the year would NOT have put his money on Martin, who has to compete with Gordon, Johnson and everybody's homeboy, Dale Earnhardt Jr., for the best of Hendrick's equipment. But here comes Martin, who has to be a clear favorite for the championship going into the Chase. This guy deserves a championship more than anyone else, so cheers to you, Mark, and good luck as you march towards Homestead, Fla. Every NASCAR fan has to be cheering for you in the Chase. You definitely have a fan here.