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The next Alan Kulwicki may rise in 2009, NASCAR's Brian France predicts | NASCAR Racing Breaking News: Trackside Live, Every Week, Every Sprint Cup Race - MikeMulhern.net

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The next Alan Kulwicki may rise in 2009, NASCAR's Brian France predicts

  



  
Brian France (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

  

   By Mike Mulhern
   mikemulhern.net

   DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.

   Brian France says this could be the year of the next Alan Kulwicki.
   And if so, he may well be in a Toyota.
   The NASCAR CEO realizes the economic problems hitting this sport have changed the landscape, with 1,000 top-notch stock car crew chief having been fired since the end of 2008 and top teams folding or merging.
   But France says that gives opportunity to new team owners…..and give Toyota racing execs credit – they're helping new Cup team owners, like Jeremy Mayfield, now proud owner-driver for Jeremy Mayfield Motorsports.
   "I've had opportunities, but I didn't want to come back and say I was a driver again and was just driving around," Mayfield says "If the car runs good, fine, then everybody will be happy…and if it don't, then the driver gets the blame, and then there you go again. 
   "I didn't want to do that.
   "The thing a lot of people really didn't understand is I went through a lot the last few years, more than everybody knew.  When I lost my dad, I lost a lot.  Along the way I'm running bad and I lost my way. 
   "The biggest thing I lost was my spirit to want to do this again. 
   "I've got all that behind me now, and I realize I love racing and want to get back into doing what I love.
   "Running bad every week wasn't what I wanted. So I wasn't going to get back in that situation again.
   "And meanwhile I've become a better person -- and realized I do love the sport more than anything.  This is what I love doing. And rather than drive for somebody, I want to be here and try to make a difference in other people's lives and build something. 
   "I love coming here and starting with nothing.  We have nowhere to go but up. 
   "It's a huge challenge for me and everybody on our team.
   "But this isn't just some throw-together deal. We have good, quality people, and that is something I'm proud of.
   "We've got 15 right now, and our goal is to have 20 people.  We're only hiring people good at what they do. They don’t have any ego…and we make a joke about this, that you have to be laid-off for at least three months before they realize just how hungry they are. 
   "They've all won races, and everybody on our team has been in that situation. We've probably got the coolest team out there.
    "If we don't make it, we're not going to say the ship is sinking. We're all in this together. 
    "It's not like we're a one-shot wonder.  We're in it for the long haul. That's how we set up to do this thing.
    "Daytona will not make us or break us."

 
   



   
Brian France (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR used to be fun to

NASCAR used to be fun to watch. Now it is nothing more than an IROC series. I saw Jeff Burton on ESPN yesterday saying how Chevy used the technology they used at the race track was being used for their street cars. What a joke, last I checked, no Impalas on the street have a splitter or a wing. Most of these new teams will be gone by midseason. The stands at California will be lucky to be 1/3 full. Brainless Brian France has ruined the sport.

Brian France: "The next Alan

Brian France: "The next Alan Kulwicki?" Where in this Formula One level of a spendaholically idiotic economic system can an owner-driver have ANY chance?

Also, to richard 43, "it's nothing more than an IROC series" is not what is wrong with the sport. What is wrong is -


1 - Too few team owners control too many racecars. There has not been a new winning team since 2002 and twice in the last five seasons the year went by without a first-time winning driver. Nor has there been a comeback winning driver or team since Ganassi Racing's 2007 win at Sears Point.

2 - It costs far too much - no team budget is supposed to be over $10 million per car and no team is supposed to have more than three cars, yet $100 million budgets for four cars is now the norm.

3 - The COT is flawed not because the cars all look alike - aerodynamic reality dictated they look alike as far back as the 1970s (the '71-2 Monte Carlo, the '71-4 Charger, and the mid-70s Torino were all but the same bodystyle). The COT is flawed because it punishes aggressive racing by cutting downforce and making a top-heavy car.

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