Friday, January 9, 2015
What Have You Got To Prove?
The heck with it! I usually try to be very impartial and unbiased in my blogs. I don't think I show my support for my favorite driver too blatantly but this is my first of 2015 and I'm starting with a picture of MY driver, Jimmie Johnson! So, there you go - go, 48 team in 2015! Revin' for Se7en! All right, that's out of the way.
I read an article on one of the NASCAR sites talking about which drivers have "something to prove" in 2015. Coming off his worst season in Sprint Cup, Jimmie was one of them. I disagree with that to some extent. With 6 championships under his belt, I don't really think Jimmie has anything to prove. If he never won another race, he'd still be one of the best ever. But having said that, I'm sure everyone involved with the 48 is hoping to redeem themselves in the coming season.
I don't remember who all the others were in that story but to me, both Carl and Matt have something to prove. I imagine it is rather nerve-wracking to go to another team like Carl is doing and try to get a running start after years with the familiarity of your old team. I know I was always anxious starting a new job until I saw that I was going to do okay. So, the first few races will probably be stressful for Carl until he gets his feet under him.
Matt has already been through that movie and emerged a big winner. His first year with Gibbs was his best. Last year wasn't too shabby either but he'll definitely be wanting to win again in 2015.
Ryan Newman will want to prove that he can be as consistent as last year but with at least one win thrown in for good measure.
Danica Patrick will want to show that she is continuing to improve.
Tony Stewart, yeah, he need to prove to himself most of all that he can bounce back from a terrible year.
Kurt Busch, like Tony, will want to convince everyone that his off-track problems don't affect his on-track performance.
Aric Almirola and A. J. Allmendinger will want people to know that their appearances in last year's Chase were not flukes (although they probably were).
Roush Racing will simply want to show they are still relevant in Sprint Cup....and the same with Michael Waltrip - and while we're talking about MWR, positive thoughts are going out to Brian Vickers who recently had heart surgery.
Kyle Larson doesn't have to prove anything. He just needs to keep on keeping on. Rookie of the Year in 2014, won the Sprint Car Winter heat Showdown last week, practicing for the Rolex 24 today and qualifies for the Chili Bowl on Tuesday.
NASCAR fans keep on proving that many of them lack class. It was the same old, same old name-calling on a recent Danica article on Yahoo. Dumbica, Danicunt, Danicrash....you get the picture. There are two kinds of hate - passive and active. When you seek out the target that supposedly disturbs you so just so you can tell the world about it, that is active hate and it is the ugliest kind.
NASCAR, of course, wants to prove that the changes they continue to make are positive ones for most of their fans. I think that was generally the case in 2014. In 2015, we'll have less horsepower, a shorter rear spoiler and a track bar that will be adjustable by the driver so, once again, we'll get to see how those changes affect the teams from the git-go.
And as for us, all we have to do is sit back and watch and sometimes grumble and sometimes cheer and sometimes some of each all at the same time.