Saturday, October 14, 2006

Week of Vickers

Well, a couple issues for this week. I've been delaying a blog post since Talladega because I wanted to give the Vickers story as much time to develop before I weighed in. I have to say I'm surprised he is still in the car. No, I don't blame him for what happened. The poor bastard has been abused by his teammates since he moved up to the Cup series. He pushes teammates around and they turn on him as soon as it benefits them. Yet they are shocked when he gets sick of being their whipping boy and leaves. The way his Hendrick teammates have treated him really speaks to their character - and its not saying anything good. Look, it was an accident. Vickers was doing what he has been doing all along, all through the race - pushing Jimmie Johnson around. Johnson seems to forget he wouldn't even be in a position to win in that race were it not for Vickers.

I'd love to say that this will develop into a cool rivalry between Team Redbull and Hendrick next year, but considering this weekend, I doubt TRB will even be up close enough to the front of the field enough to develop the rivalry. Bill Elliott has been doing research races for just about every development/second/third tier team in the sport this season. Hell, he finished 16th earlier this year for a team that hadn't even qualified this year. He beat Michael Waltrip with his own cars. But he couldn't qualify the Team Redbull car for this race -- his first failure to do so for a team this year. I think that shows how far that team has to go before it's even ready to compete, let alone win. If I were Vickers, I might be worried. (Though I wonder if he cares - being number 1 in a new, if struggling team must be liberating after years of being number 4 or 5 in a top tier team.)

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