It's that time again for NASCAR random thoughts, and who says the off season is dull?
Jeffrey Earnhardt dumped by TMG
Talk about explosive. First, Circle Sports ended its relationship with The Motorsports Group, and buried deep in the press release was a line that TMG would look for a new driver. When I saw that I did a double take and doubled checked because wouldn't that mean Jeffrey Earenhardt was without a job? Yep. Earnhardt wrote on Twitter that he was shocked, as he should be. He didn't see this coming, Will someone give him a ride? Maybe. If his primary sponsor, Hulu, stays with him, that might give him a leg up over some of the other drivers will looking for work at the Cup series level. It would be nice to see him on a team with more resources and show what he can do. Besides, the track will feel awfully empty without an Earnhardt on it.
What's up with the No. 27?
Well that's the million dollar question. The No. 27 is hanging out there like the high school beauty queen making everyone wait to see who gets the prom date. But will there be a date? The No. 27 needs financing, and there's no indication it has some. Could this be an Earnhardt landing spot? Or, has the charter already been sold and we don't know it? Rick Ware Racing just purchased a charter but hasn't said from who -- yet. The mystery of the No. 27 is the biggest question left in the off season because it's the last top tier ride left.
We should debate shortening the NASCAR season
Heresy? No. Despite the way-to-rosy projections coming out of HQ, NASCAR has some serious short and long term problems. With declining attendance at the track and on TV, NASCAR needs to make some fundamental changes to prop up a sport that has the dual challenge of losing popularity while not significantly expanding its traditional base. How would NASCAR handle the financial implications if tracks lost a race, or if some tracks were eliminated all together? Would the shortened season apply to all series? What about vendor agreements? There are all sorts of complications and chances are nothing could happen until the existing TV contract are up. But it's a discussion worth having.
- NASCAR transparency -- or lack there of -- infected one team. TMG should have come out and said Jeffrey Earnhardt wouldn't be with the team anymore. What, they didn't think we'd figure it out?
- Tony Stewart, at 46, was involved in a nasty crash racing sprint cars. Dude needs to be careful.
- Mark Martin may have coolest taste in music of any current of former NASCAR driver
- Speaking of which, a Keselowski mixtape? Wow.
- NASCAR drives offered support to a boy who had been bullied. Great. There's no excuse for bullying, and we need more firm stances against it.
- R.I.P Kevin Robinson, one of the best BMX riders ever, who died of a stroke way to young, at 45.
- Congrats to Donnie Allison, Terry Labonte, and crew chiefs Jake Elder and Buddy Parrott for being named to the National Motorsports Press Association's 2018 Hall of Fame class.
- Kyle Larson becomes sole owner of his World of Outlaws team. Talk about diving into the deep end.
- Who wants Daytona to get here, fast?
Ray Marcano is an editor at Alt-Driver.com