And then there were three. Texas, Phoenix, and Homestead are the last remaining races on the 2009 schedule before we put it in the record books. But before we start the home stretch, we’ve got more of your questions and our somewhat educated answers. If you don’t know what this post is, until further notice, we will be answering any and all reader questions every Wednesday, right here. So if you’ve got one, click on the ”Ask the Insiders” tab at the top of the page and send one to us. On to the questions…
Just a quick follow up from a few weeks back, we were asked what Michael “Fatback” McSwain was up to these days. We have confirmed that he is running an auto repair shop in Dallas, NC. – T.C.
1. From Kenny:
Do you think some drivers might intentionally spin out just to get screen time for their advertisers? I’m thinking about Robby Gordon here, because he seems to bring out a yellow at least once during every race.
While I don’t think this is going on (if it is Robby is doing a very bad job of it because Jim Beam is leaving at the end of the season), anything is possible. One thing to remember though, is if you’re a company sponsoring a lesser team you go into it knowing that you’re not going to get a lot of TV time. These sponsorships are much larger marketing efforts (that can be said for any team). If they just wanted TV time it would be a lot cheaper to buy TV advertisements. – Journo
2. From Ross:
T.C.: It’s probable that someone on the blog has ripped your driver. Does that make you cringe a bit when you read it?
Nope, everyone is entitled to their opinions. I know how things really are with my driver, so outside talk doesn’t bother me. Besides, maybe we’ve ripped my driver on here too… – T.C.
3. From Bobby#7Fan:
What is the deal with NASCAR giving AJ a breath test before practice Friday? It seems to me it’s just a way to embarrass him. Did they really think he was throwing back shots before getting into the car? I saw Tony Stewart scratch his ass before practice once, did they check him for hemorrhoids?
I’ll be honest with you, I was in favor of NASCAR suspending him, but I thought the breathalyzer was over the top. I really don’t know what the purpose of it was. It was a little press for them, but it really only served to add to AJ’s embarrassment. – Journo
4. From AJ:
I don’t know how to ask this in a question but has a superstar from the Nationwide series ever gone on to win the Cup? Two sets of drivers come to mind for me, Matt Kenseth and Jr, and Truex Jr and Clint Bowyer. Both Jr’s were 2 time nationwide champs, but it was the runner ups Matt and Clint that have gone on to preform better on the Cup level. Same for JJ and Stewart, they never really got their barring in the lower level and it wasn’t until they came to Cup that they excelled in stock cars.
Are you asking if any former “Nationwide” champions (before they went to Cup) have gone on to great success in the Cup Series? Ned Jarrett was a Sportsman Division champion and Bobby Labonte, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle were all Busch Series champions. It’s an interesting point and one I’ve never really thought about. As of now I guess it really isn’t a great indicator of success in the Cup Series. – Journo
5. From Mike:
Since this week was an impound race many cars and most go or go home cars were probably still on some kind of qualifying setup. Since you know it was probably going to be cancelled can you adjust them back to race trim or is there a stop work time? On a normal week can’t you work on it until right before it goes on the track?
Qualifying trim for an impound race is really only a taped up grill, pumped up air pressures, and some other small adjustments. Once qualifying is cancelled, NASCAR allows the teams to make final adjustments, which includes taking the car out of qualifying “trim.” On a normal, non-impound weekend, teams can work on the cars right up until they need to be in line for pre-race inspection on race morning. – T.C.
6. From Lost In Texas:
The firing of the #18 crew chief is bothering me. Can either of you lend some insight into how something like that happens. How much did Kyle have to say about it? Sure would to be a fly on the all at JGR.
I would say the situation differs from team to team. Some drivers have more say about these situations than others. Look at Juan Pablo Montoya. He had three different crew chiefs last season, and I can tell you he wasn’t happy about any of the changes. I honestly can’t tell you internally what the conversation was at JGR, but I’d guess there were pretty lengthy discussions between Jimmy Makar and the Gibbs’. I’m a little skeptical of this move too, but they must think this situation will be better. – Journo
7. From Ric:
I have noticed that some over the wall people wear 1 piece suits, others wear two piece suits. Who decides what you wear? What is the pro / con of both of them? Is there another type?
Some teams decide which kind they want their guys to wear, but in many cases it’s just a preference thing. Often times when Simpson, Impact, or whoever is making the firesuits does their fittings with the crew guys, they will ask what your preference is. I’m not really sure of pros vs. cons, it’s really just what a guy thinks is most comfortable. There is also a three piece, which is pants, a top, and then a vest that goes over the top. – T.C.
8. From Ric:
I noticed on the back bumper about middle to right of the car either a cover (guessing about 3?X3?), or something sticking out slightly from the car. What is this?
This is where they put the rear facing on board cameras. If the car is carrying it, the camera is mounted there, and if it isn’t carrying one the hole is just covered. – T.C.
And that brings yet another “Ask The Insiders Wednesday” to a close. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions. And remember, if you’d like to be a part of next week, click on the ”Ask the Insiders” tab at the top of the page and send your question in!