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    1. Member Heffernan's Avatar
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      04-25-2017 12:58 PM #326
      Any idea whos going to fill the seat? Bowman full time next year?
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      I cannot begin to imagine the amount of gas that has gone through both the engine and those seats.

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      04-25-2017 01:12 PM #327
      Sad, but most certainly not surprised at Jr. retiring.

      Here's hoping he takes DW's seat in the broadcast booth.
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      04-25-2017 01:45 PM #328
      Quote Originally Posted by Heffernan View Post
      Any idea whos going to fill the seat? Bowman full time next year?
      There's a reason they've kept Bowman under contract and sharp in the HMS simulator.

    4. Member GreenandChrome's Avatar
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      04-25-2017 01:45 PM #329
      Quote Originally Posted by Heffernan View Post
      Any idea whos going to fill the seat? Bowman full time next year?
      Byron is doing pretty well in Xfinity. I think it might be between Byron and Bowman.

      In 10 races last year, Bowman had 3 top-10 finishes, compared to Gordon's 2 in 8 races. Gordon ran a bit more consistent, averaging 13.8 against Bowman's 19.7. Even though Bowman ran for underfunded teams, in two years he only had 4 top-20 finishes.

      Another possibility would be DiBenedetto. If you're looking at Bowman, might as well look at DiBe.
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    5. Member gonzo08452's Avatar
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      04-25-2017 02:24 PM #330
      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86 View Post
      Sad, but most certainly not surprised at Jr. retiring.

      Here's hoping he takes DW's seat in the broadcast booth.
      Yeah. Can't wait for DW to retire entirely.

    6. Member GreenandChrome's Avatar
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      04-25-2017 02:49 PM #331
      Quote Originally Posted by gonzo08452 View Post
      Yeah. Can't wait for DW to retire entirely.
      I'm tired of his commentary about when he was a driver... his last Cup race was in 2000, and he stopped being competitive (cough-relevant) about 5 years before that. Between 2000 and 2006 the cars went through a massive change with the suspension going from standard spring-shock combos like a street car to BBSS, coil-bind, and finally bumpstops. If DW drove one of these cars today he'd bite his tongue off. Quick, someone give him a ride!

      And let's not forget about the aero changes the cars have gone through, too.

      I remember Ned Jarrett talking about back when he ran (BP, too) and most of it was "we didn't have all this stuff" and things like that. DW thinks he can still drive.

      I think the networks should track down a few spotters and see if they want to do an Xfinity race or something. I think they would have great input. Drivers and crew chiefs are fine for detail info and technical explanations, but spotters are used to looking at lines, conveying information, and catching wrecks. TJ Majors comes to mind, and he's driven racecars before.
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    7. Member gonzo08452's Avatar
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      04-25-2017 04:47 PM #332
      Quote Originally Posted by Perceptive Bunny View Post
      My dream panel would consist of Stewart, Newman, and Kyle Busch.
      Add Kenseth in the mix for me with his condescending humor

      NASCAR is in a tough place along with us fans. Do they forget about the old school and go all in with the young blood millenials? I don't know.
      Last edited by gonzo08452; 04-25-2017 at 04:51 PM.

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      04-25-2017 05:23 PM #333
      Quote Originally Posted by GreenandChrome View Post
      Another possibility would be DiBenedetto. If you're looking at Bowman, might as well look at DiBe.
      How do you figure? DiBurrito isn't the one under contract currently with HMS. He has as much chance landing the 88/25 ride as I do.

      Speaking of the number, you guys think it'll stay 88 or revert back? I love the history of the 25 (I have a Tim Richmond poster hung on the wall behind my monitor as I type this) but I can see them retaining the 88 just to see if Junior fans will stay latched on.

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      04-25-2017 05:42 PM #334
      Quote Originally Posted by GreenandChrome View Post
      I'm tired of his commentary about when he was a driver... his last Cup race was in 2000, and he stopped being competitive (cough-relevant) about 5 years before that. Between 2000 and 2006 the cars went through a massive change with the suspension going from standard spring-shock combos like a street car to BBSS, coil-bind, and finally bumpstops. If DW drove one of these cars today he'd bite his tongue off. Quick, someone give him a ride!

      And let's not forget about the aero changes the cars have gone through, too.

      I remember Ned Jarrett talking about back when he ran (BP, too) and most of it was "we didn't have all this stuff" and things like that. DW thinks he can still drive.

      I think the networks should track down a few spotters and see if they want to do an Xfinity race or something. I think they would have great input. Drivers and crew chiefs are fine for detail info and technical explanations, but spotters are used to looking at lines, conveying information, and catching wrecks. TJ Majors comes to mind, and he's driven racecars before.
      Ahaha, I think this all the time. I love watching races and Gordon and DW will have exact opposite analysis regarding the car/track

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      04-25-2017 06:24 PM #335
      Quote Originally Posted by Harpoon View Post
      How do you figure? DiBurrito isn't the one under contract currently with HMS. He has as much chance landing the 88/25 ride as I do.

      Speaking of the number, you guys think it'll stay 88 or revert back? I love the history of the 25 (I have a Tim Richmond poster hung on the wall behind my monitor as I type this) but I can see them retaining the 88 just to see if Junior fans will stay latched on.
      Considering we're totally on opposite ends of the Bowman spectrum, here's how.

      1. Bowman was retained as a test driver. He wasn't retained as a driver of any of the JRM Xfinity cars. Michael Annett got a JRM seat. Test drivers rarely, if ever, get a seat. They test because they're fast alone, but have trouble in a crowd. If HMS wanted Bowman to be a future driver, he'd be in an Xfinity ride. Laps matter more than anything else, and not making them - regardless of series - is bad for a driver. You miss out on competing, learning how other people drive, adapting lines through a race, managing tires since Goodyear constantly changes them, working with a spotter and crew chief, and also shaking hands with fans and sponsors.

      2. DiBennidetto ran similar numbers to Bowman's when comparing their BK Racing numbers. This year, Matt has shown improvement with his new team. One could say instant improvement. And this is a team that has run many name stickers over the door. Matt's out there working the track, getting time with competitors, tv, his crew, spotter, etc. All the things Alex is not getting. Matt is also very congenial and camera friendly.

      3. 10 races in the seat in Cup is over 25% of the season. It provides a good barometer of success. On track performance matters, and an average 19th place finish is pretty lackluster. Even though Jr. had an 15th place average for his half the year (last year), Gordon came in and ran with very similar results, and he hadn't driven in 6-8 months.

      I'm not saying Bowman's not HMS' selection. I'm saying that it would be foolish to not look at the other drivers available. Of HMS' current crop of Xfinity drivers, only Bryon hasn't been tested at the Cup level. But his performance rising through the ranks has been impressive. He does have more Big-3 wins than Bowman, and has almost half as many top-10s in only 7 races in the Xfinity series. Byron has more top 10s in 7 races than Bowman had his entire rookie season.

      On the #25... Depends. I think that will be decided in a few months when sponsorship and the driver is announced for 2018. All that stuff needs to be re-lettered. Wheels, parts, jackstands, etc., Oh, and the giant #88 would need to be changed at the shop, too. Because of my CDO, I wish NASCAR would just make the teams have sequential numbers. RFR- 6, 7 HMS- 24, 25, 26, 27 JGR- 17, 18, 19, 20. So on and so forth.
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      04-25-2017 07:01 PM #336
      I just flushed a bag of Skittles down the toilet and watched a NASCAR race in about 8 seconds!

      Sorry- couldn't resist, just read that today.
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      04-25-2017 08:34 PM #337
      I think they'll "retire" the 88 and bring back the 25, personally. Rick always brings that number out for the 5th car, and he'd be able to honor his son a little bit with it. He clearly still likes the number.

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      04-25-2017 10:43 PM #338
      Quote Originally Posted by GreenandChrome View Post
      Considering we're totally on opposite ends of the Bowman spectrum, here's how.

      1. Bowman was retained as a test driver. He wasn't retained as a driver of any of the JRM Xfinity cars. Michael Annett got a JRM seat. Test drivers rarely, if ever, get a seat. They test because they're fast alone, but have trouble in a crowd. If HMS wanted Bowman to be a future driver, he'd be in an Xfinity ride. Laps matter more than anything else, and not making them - regardless of series - is bad for a driver. You miss out on competing, learning how other people drive, adapting lines through a race, managing tires since Goodyear constantly changes them, working with a spotter and crew chief, and also shaking hands with fans and sponsors.

      2. DiBennidetto ran similar numbers to Bowman's when comparing their BK Racing numbers. This year, Matt has shown improvement with his new team. One could say instant improvement. And this is a team that has run many name stickers over the door. Matt's out there working the track, getting time with competitors, tv, his crew, spotter, etc. All the things Alex is not getting. Matt is also very congenial and camera friendly.

      3. 10 races in the seat in Cup is over 25% of the season. It provides a good barometer of success. On track performance matters, and an average 19th place finish is pretty lackluster. Even though Jr. had an 15th place average for his half the year (last year), Gordon came in and ran with very similar results, and he hadn't driven in 6-8 months.

      I'm not saying Bowman's not HMS' selection. I'm saying that it would be foolish to not look at the other drivers available. Of HMS' current crop of Xfinity drivers, only Bryon hasn't been tested at the Cup level. But his performance rising through the ranks has been impressive. He does have more Big-3 wins than Bowman, and has almost half as many top-10s in only 7 races in the Xfinity series. Byron has more top 10s in 7 races than Bowman had his entire rookie season.

      On the #25... Depends. I think that will be decided in a few months when sponsorship and the driver is announced for 2018. All that stuff needs to be re-lettered. Wheels, parts, jackstands, etc., Oh, and the giant #88 would need to be changed at the shop, too. Because of my CDO, I wish NASCAR would just make the teams have sequential numbers. RFR- 6, 7 HMS- 24, 25, 26, 27 JGR- 17, 18, 19, 20. So on and so forth.
      Annett is just a ride buyer. Pilot Flying J $$$. He's not somebody Hendrick is going to choose for a Cup ride. He isn't very talented, certainly not more than Bowman.

      The JRM Xfinity team is no longer the springboard for development it once was. Brad K, yes, then Chase, and now Byron, yeah. But Annett pays to race. Sadler was out of the seat for this year until his big shot friend at One Main greenlit the funds at the last minute to keep him going. One Main Financial used to be owned by Citi. Remember when Citi was with Sadler before, like way back ten years ago Elliott did some Busch races with them during his Yates days? It's because he has a friend in the company that supports him. And Algier brings Brandt money. They're all pay drivers except for Byron, who Rick purposely poached away from Toyota because that's how Hendrick does it. But even still, Byron brought the Liberty University money and without that he wouldn't even be in this discussion to begin with.

      HMS for years now hasn't had much of any care for developing kids from early on. They let other teams do the legwork and then sign them into HMS later. They're like the opposite of Gibbs or Jack Roush in that way. But it's working because they're gonna have Chase, Bowman, and Byron all in Cup rides soon and they'll be stacked for the long haul. If they can steal Larson away to fill in the 48 seat (and Gordon really wanted Larson for the 24 but Chip had him locked down) then it's lights out. Hendrick won't be a team like Roush where once their core older guys leave the team just fades away. That organization has an extremely bright future.

      Average finish isn't even a consideration in the context of last year's situation. Just like it's not where a rookie finishes but what he learns, Bowman didn't get the best finishes every weekend but he *ran* very well. I was at Loudon for instance when he was running solid top ten and lost a tire. Average finish isnt everything, it's about showing people you were there. He did that. I know he wasn't a rookie, but his time at BK hardly matters. That team is a joke. He did well when called upon to fill in for a high pressure and oddball situation. His stock rose after last year.
      Last edited by Harpoon; 04-25-2017 at 11:23 PM.

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      04-26-2017 12:37 AM #339
      Quote Originally Posted by Perceptive Bunny View Post
      If Bowman is not an automatic fill-in, I would like to see Chris Buescher in that 88. Last year's entry into the Chase was kinda awesome.
      Chris Buescher comes at a price, he's still a RFR driver "on loan."

      Larson may still be in the mix... but I think Larson will pass on the ride. He's doing great at CGRwFS, and they're already running HMS engines (I forgot they started to switch a few years ago), so they have a good working relationship.

      Ganassi finally has a team that's performing well. And being the racing juggernaut he is, next year might be Kyle's chance to race in the Indy 500.

      Things that might work to allow Larson to leave CGRwFS next year - Target might be out as a sponsor. They've pulled out of IndyCar. They have no deal in place that extends their NASCAR involvement past 2017. They've also reduced the number of races as primary sponsor to allow CreditOne as sponsor for 8 races.

      In looking for Larson's contract info, I stumbled across an idiot sports writer. Something to the effect that in NASCAR, Chip Ganassi is synonymous with Chevy. Apparently they weren't around for Chip's first seven years in NASCAR running Dodge Avengers/Chargers.

      I think RCR has the longest brand affiliation, followed closely by HMS. I don't know if Childress always ran Chevys in the 70s, but I know HMS has only run Chevy since its formation in 1984.
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      04-26-2017 01:10 AM #340
      On the topic of Byron... he had ties to JR and HMS before being a Toyota driver.

      But anyways I hope Bowman gets the seat.
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      04-26-2017 01:25 AM #341
      Y'all are a bunch of flappy ducks on a pond with this speculation. The choice is crystal clear - either Hendrick poaches Erik Jones from FRR which only has the kid on a one-year contract anyway, or they stuff Alex Bowman into the 88 next year. Geez, focus your energy elsewhere you dimwits.

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      04-26-2017 02:42 AM #342
      Quote Originally Posted by DerSpiegel View Post
      Y'all are a bunch of flappy ducks on a pond with this speculation. The choice is crystal clear - either Hendrick poaches Erik Jones from FRR which only has the kid on a one-year contract anyway, or they stuff Alex Bowman into the 88 next year. Geez, focus your energy elsewhere you dimwits.
      You're joking right?

      Toyota will do anything to keep Jones. He isn't just a Gibbs/FRR driver.
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      04-26-2017 05:58 AM #343
      Quote Originally Posted by DerSpiegel View Post
      Y'all are a bunch of flappy ducks on a pond with this speculation. The choice is crystal clear - either Hendrick poaches Erik Jones from FRR which only has the kid on a one-year contract anyway, or they stuff Alex Bowman into the 88 next year. Geez, focus your energy elsewhere you dimwits.
      Actually, the scuttlebutt is the short list includes Corie LaJoie for the seat of the 88. Hendrick has been quoted as saying LaJoie "is so fast the track can't contain him. He has such car control. How many other drivers do you see hit the wall every week? You see Darrell Waltrip ever hit the wall every week? There's nothing he can't do with a racecar."

      Quote Originally Posted by CaleDeRoo View Post
      You're joking right?

      Toyota will do anything to keep Jones. He isn't just a Gibbs/FRR driver.
      If I read between the lines, Jones is at FRR for one year, and possibly swaps seats with Kenseth, whose contract is up after 2017. Truex has a 2 year deal, so he's a free agent in 2018. JGR tends to have long term drivers, so it's hard to tell where Kenseth will end up. After his 7-win season, he's fallen off a bit, but still gets results good enough to compete for the championship.
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      04-26-2017 07:28 AM #344
      Quote Originally Posted by DerSpiegel View Post
      Y'all are a bunch of flappy ducks on a pond with this speculation. The choice is crystal clear - either Hendrick poaches Erik Jones from FRR which only has the kid on a one-year contract anyway, or they stuff Alex Bowman into the 88 next year. Geez, focus your energy elsewhere you dimwits.
      i'll eat my shirt if EJ doesn't end up in the 20 car next year or soon thereafter.
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      04-26-2017 07:44 AM #345
      *cough* Earnhardt Jr. to Indy500 2018 *cough*

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      04-26-2017 08:04 AM #346
      Quote Originally Posted by newusername View Post
      i'll eat my shirt if EJ doesn't end up in the 20 car next year or soon thereafter.
      Agree. Not a chance Jones isn't back in the 77 or takes over the 20 car next year.
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      I cannot begin to imagine the amount of gas that has gone through both the engine and those seats.

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      04-26-2017 12:21 PM #347
      Quote Originally Posted by Perceptive Bunny View Post
      I would love to see EJ in an HMS car but that being said, lay off the pipe, floozy.




























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      04-28-2017 04:39 PM #348
      Earnhardt's replacement might actually be a short-timer. Byron is hot right now, but 7 races in Xfinity isn't a good look. Promising, but not absolute. Also, I've seen lots of drivers kick ass in Xfinity and struggle at the Cup level.

      A strong possibility for Hendrick is to get a veteran for a year, like Edwards, Kenseth, Sadler, Newman (noticeably absent from all the talk), or Smith. Keep the seat warm for a year until Byron gets seat time. A veteran can bring in sponsors. Hell, HMS could probably bring Martin out for a year. If the 1-year deal is successful, then HMS has wiggle room to drop Kahne in 2019 to keep the driver and bring in Byron... and that allows JJ to retire in 2020, if he chooses.

      I think it'll be musical chairs for the next few years over at HMS.

      But let me discuss Newman... He's been the lone bright spot for RCR since Harvick left. With Ty moving up, it's pretty much a given that Ty will be in RCR. Menard gets to drive wherever daddy pays, and Austin will stay at RCR. That leaves Newman. RCR doesn't have the resources to put out 4 cars (let alone the f**king charter system).

      Would Menard jump over to the 88 for a season? I think for 2018 he has 2 options for improvement: #88 or replace Danica at SHR. I think SHR's success with moving to Ford is opening some eyes.
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      04-28-2017 04:57 PM #349
      Quote Originally Posted by Perceptive Bunny View Post
      Two paragraphs about HMS substitutes and not one mention of Jeff Gordon.
      If he or HMS really wanted to drive, he would have run all of Dale's races last year.

      He won't do a full season. And in the history of NASCAR, a round-robin roster of drivers to find the best option is a horrible, horrible plan.
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      04-28-2017 05:05 PM #350
      Quote Originally Posted by GreenandChrome View Post
      Earnhardt's replacement might actually be a short-timer. Byron is hot right now, but 7 races in Xfinity isn't a good look. Promising, but not absolute. Also, I've seen lots of drivers kick ass in Xfinity and struggle at the Cup level.

      A strong possibility for Hendrick is to get a veteran for a year, like Edwards, Kenseth, Sadler, Newman (noticeably absent from all the talk), or Smith. Keep the seat warm for a year until Byron gets seat time. A veteran can bring in sponsors. Hell, HMS could probably bring Martin out for a year. If the 1-year deal is successful, then HMS has wiggle room to drop Kahne in 2019 to keep the driver and bring in Byron... and that allows JJ to retire in 2020, if he chooses.

      I think it'll be musical chairs for the next few years over at HMS.

      But let me discuss Newman... He's been the lone bright spot for RCR since Harvick left. With Ty moving up, it's pretty much a given that Ty will be in RCR. Menard gets to drive wherever daddy pays, and Austin will stay at RCR. That leaves Newman. RCR doesn't have the resources to put out 4 cars (let alone the f**king charter system).

      Would Menard jump over to the 88 for a season? I think for 2018 he has 2 options for improvement: #88 or replace Danica at SHR. I think SHR's success with moving to Ford is opening some eyes.
      Respectfully, I think you're nuts.

      One win for Newman in the fourth season since Harvick left makes him a bright spot? I know they made the final four at Homestead that one time, but that was before they got pinched for drilling .001" bleeder holes in their tires. Once they got caught they went back to being completely mediocre again. If that's their bright spot then that's one dim organization as a whole.

      This is an organization that is seeing a huge shift right now and they won't hire a veteran for one or two years ala Mark Martin and here's why: Brad K was a JRM/HMS development driver and was basically a given to get the 5 car after Kyle. I've heard as much as he was "promised" the 5. And then Mark Martin was chosen over him and Hendrick burned that bridge. Brad left HMS for Penske and the rest is history. But Hendrick still wants Brad and once said to him, "Whoever you end up driving for, tell them don't be surprised when I come after you". Having Mark for that time was successful and awesome, but it wasn't the best long term decision. But that was fine back then because Jeff, Jimmie, nor Dale were thinking about retiring yet.

      Fast forward to 2017. Jeff is gone, Junior is out, and Jimmie won't be too far off from following them, plus you have Kahne that will not be re-signed. They can't afford any short term solutions anymore. They need to plan for the long haul and lock young drivers down and have the next Jeff and Jimmie. They can't afford to burn bridges with young drivers here because they need them. They also don't really have much of their own development program because as we mentioned earlier JRM is just the premier pay driver team of Xfinity these days. So they have Bowman, who despite what you seem to think has a great deal of potential and is young, mature, and hungry. Key word is mature. That's something that's seriously lacking with a lot of the kids coming up from K&N too fast into the trucks and you're gonna see maturity become more of a factor when hiring Cup drivers in the near future I believe as they get younger and younger still.

      Bowman will get the 25/88, they already have him regularly in the simulator (not *just* testing) to keep him primed for the seat. Byron will be in the 5 after Kahne. And then Jimmie is the last domino to fall, whenever that happens, and then they'll only have one seat to really figure out. Perhaps by then they can persuade Larson to leave Chip if this Ganassi success proves to be flash in the pan.

      Chase - Bowman - Byron is a seriously dangerous combination that could potentially be a group of lifers like Jeff and Jimmie. Chase has the popularity and star power/pedigree, Bowman is a cool personality with good social media presence that's very relatable to younger people like myself (somebody on here is a friend of a friend of his actually and has nothing but good things to say) and Byron is raw talent. If you can wrangler Larson in there too? Holy crap that's a powerhouse.

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