Posted on: September 18, 2009 6:48 pm

Help Keep Reed Sorenson in the 43 Car

Reed Sorenson is one of NASCAR's top young drivers. He is also one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. However, he has already been bumped from one ride in favor of a bigger name, and now is in danger of losing his ride in the 43 car for next season. Sorenson expected to spend at least a few years in this car, but a recent merger of Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing has changed things. The Current plan is to move A.J. Allmendinger into the 43, while Paul Menard takes over the spot Sorenson currently holds on the team. This should not happen.

Paul Menard has never been successful in NASCAR's highest level series. Nor has he shown signs that he ever will be. Menard is only just good enough to run at the back of races and stay just inside the top 35 cutoff in points.

However, Menard has been all but guaranteed a ride at the Cup level thanks to his father's company, Menards, sponsoring his car. This is nothing but a pure shameless play for money. Even at the junior high level, it is a travesty to see daddy's money getting his kid a spot on a team. To see it happen at this level is atrocious.

NASCAR fans shouldn't let this happen, especially concerning two of NASCAR's greatest teams and the most storied number in the sport. At least not without a fight. We don't want money to be the controlling factor in the sport.

Tell the ownership at Richard Petty Motorsports to keep Reed Sorenson in the 43. Paul Menard does not deserve this ride. Help Reed get what he deserves. Sign the petition. Help save the sport.

Click the following link to sign the petition:

(Your email address will not be displayed on the petition. You can also sign the petition anonymously if you wish)
Posted on: September 12, 2009 6:02 pm

Straight Shootin' Picks for the Rock & Roll 400

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Straight Shootin’ Picks for the Rock & Roll 400


<!-- [if !supportLists]-->1) Denny Hamlin #11 Gibbs Toyota

The only thing that can keep Hamlin from winning this race is more bad luck. His luck at his home tracks, Bristol, Richmond, and Martinsville, the short tracks, has been as bad as any driver at any track so far. Hamlin is hands down the top short track racer in NASCAR, and if not for his awful luck, he’d have half a dozen short track victories by now.


<!-- [if !supportLists]-->2) Mark Martin #5 Hendrick Chevy

Counting Martin out of the top 5 at Richmond would be a mistake. After winning the pole, the #5 team has shown that they should compete for the win. They should be around at the end to capitalize on anyone else’s mistakes.


<!-- [if !supportLists]-->3) Jeff Gordon #24 Hendrick Chevy

Gordon has been consistant and fast lately, and finally seems to have gotten the handle back at Richmond. Don’t consider him a favorite to win, but he should contend for a top 5.


<!-- [if !supportLists]-->4) Tony Stewart #14 Stewart/Haas Chevy

Stewart is still one of the best at Richmond, but he needs to pick up the pace a little to make a run at the championship. The 14 is still running very well, but nowhere near as well as they were around midseason.


<!-- [if !supportLists]-->5) Ryan Newman #39 Stewart/Haas Chevy

One of Newman’s favorite tracks could provide the boost the 39 team needs going into the chase. They haven’t been running too well lately, but that should change tonight. Newman is a dark horse to take the checkered flag.


<!-- [if !supportLists]-->6) Carl Edwards #99 Roush Ford

His win last night was impressive, and it gives hope that Edwards is figuring out Richmond. Edwards has had limited success both at Richmond and in recent Cup races, so he needs a good finish here badly before the chase.


<!-- [if !supportLists]-->7) Jimmie Johnson #48 Hendrick Chevy

Without any slip ups he should compete for the win, but slip ups have been commonplace lately. If he does stay in the front at the end, look for some more dirty classless racing from the 48.


<!-- [if !supportLists]-->8) Kasey Kahne #9 Petty Dodge

Kahne should be happy with another solid top ten at the track where he got his first win. That win showed that he can get around this place, but he’s had limited success since then. Could Kahne be becoming a championship dark horse? Realize that he has two wins and sits 6<sup>th</sup> in points, and probably would have won at Charlotte if not for the rain.


<!-- [if !supportLists]-->9) Greg Biffle #16 Roush Ford

Biffle has improved his finishes at Richmond a lot lately, and could bring home a top 10 to lock up his spot in the chase. Not all signs are encouraging for the 16 team lately, but I have to believe they’ll be able to pull out a decent finish regardless.


<!-- [if !supportLists]-->10) Kyle Busch #18 Gibbs Toyota

Busch needs to compete for the win in order to have a good chance of making the chase, so 10<sup>th</sup> wouldn’t do it for him unless someone else has a disastrous race. Busch is one of Richmond’s top drivers, second only perhaps to Hamlin, but he has struggled lately and doesn’t seem to have his head on straight. He hasn’t made it through a race without making at least one major mistake in weeks, and with as hard as everyone will be racing tonight, any mistake will cost him. Could end up winning or could finish dead last. You never know with Busch.


<!-- [if !supportLists]-->11)  [b]Clint Bowyer #33 Childress Chevy[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Bowyer is a master at this track, but will be held back by his car.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->12)  [b]Kevin Harvick #29 Childress Chevy[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Harvick has been very consistant here but will only go as far as his car will let him.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->13)  [b]Joey Logano #20 Gibbs Toyota[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

This race has somehow favored rookies in the past.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->14)  [b]Marcos Ambrose #47 JTG Toyota[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Has been disappointingly slow in practice.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->15)  [b]Brian Vickers #83 Red Bull Toyota[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Cut a great qualifying lap and could find a way to dig into the top 10.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->16)  [b]Matt Kenseth #17 Roush Ford[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

They would hope for better, but 16<sup>th</sup> would lock up a chase spot in this scenario.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->17)  [b]David Reutimann #00 Waltrip Toyota[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Reutimann could find success here and is a good top 10 sleeper.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->18)  [b]Dale Earnhardt Jr.#88 Hendrick Chevy[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

May work his way into the to 10 but fade at the very end.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->19)  [b]David Ragan #6 Roush Ford[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Another top 10 sleeper pick, Ragan knows his way around this track.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->20)  [b]Martin Truex Jr. #1 Earnhardt/Ganassi Chevy[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Ran fast in practice and starts on the front row, but that didn’t help him last week.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->21)  [b]David Stremme #12 Penske Dodge[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Good run by Stremme’s standards on a bad day for Penske.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->22)  [b]Jaun Pablo Montoya #42 Earnhardt/Ganassi Chevy[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Montoya hasn’t mastered RIR yet, but barring disaster he should make the chase.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->23)  [b]Bred Keselowski #09 Phoenix Chevy[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Solid run for the soon to be rookie in an underpowered car.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->24)  [b]Jeff Burton #31 Childress Chevy[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

I bet the 31 team is more than ready for next season to start.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->25)  [b]Reed Sorenson #43 Petty Dodge[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Will continue to run well and prove that he deserves a top ride in Cup.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->26)  [b]Kurt Busch #2 Penske Dodge[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

I don’t like the direction the 2 team is headed right now.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->27)  [b]Jamie McMurray #26 Roush Ford[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Is coming off the news that Yates will be full in 2010.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->28)  [b]A.J. Allmendinger #44 Petty Dodge[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Allmendinger has become a passable rearguard.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->29)  [b]Scott Speed #82 Red Bull Toyota[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Speed is finally showing some signs of improvement.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->30)  [b]Sam Hornish Jr. #77 Penske Dodge[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

He’s come crashing back down to earth, but should have rearguard duty locked up.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->31)  [b]Elliott Sadler #19 Petty Dodge[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Hope returns for Sadler with the news that RPM will merge with Yates.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->32)  [b]Bobby Labonte #96 HOF/Yates Ford[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

The future is in question for the respectable veteran.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->33)  [b]Casey Mears #07 Childress Chevy[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Rumors are swirling that Mears may be on his last few races with RCR.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->34)  [b]David Gilliland #7 RGM Toyota[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

His second ride in three weeks. Should be a hot behind the scenes commodity.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->35)  [b]Regan Smith #78 Front Row Chevy[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

The 78 team has slumped in their recent races.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->36)  [b]Paul Menard #98 Menards Ford[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

It makes me sick that this loser has a ride.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->37)  [b]Michael Waltrip #55 Waltrip Toyota[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Wrapping up his career, but not in style.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->38)  [b]Mike Bliss #71 TRG Chevy[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Bliss’ new ride isn’t much better than the last one.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->39)  [b]Joe Nemechek #87 NEMCO Toyota[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Interesting that they cut the fastest lap of anyone in the first practice.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->40)  [b]John Andretti #34 Front Row Chevy[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Andretti is feeling the effects of his age now.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->41)  [b]Michael McDowell #36 Baldwin Toyota[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

McDowell has earned his way back into Cup, but won’t do much in the 36.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->42)  [b]Dave Blaney #66 Prism Toyota[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Start park.

<!-- [if !supportLists]-->43)  [b]Max Papis #13 Waltrip Toyota[/b] <!-- [endif]-->

Papis is a hazard on the track.

Posted on: September 11, 2009 6:10 pm

Richard Petty Switches to Ford

The King is coming back to Ford! The news that was so great for Ford fans and awful for those in the Chrysler camp in 1969 has come around again 40 years later. Just like the first time, Richard Petty will be switching his cars from Chrysler to Ford thanks to a lack of performance from Chrysler, except now that its Daimler, no US govt., no Fiat Chrysler! Whatever it is, they haven’t been doing too well on the NASCAR front lately, mainly thanks to a lack of effort and a struggling company thanks to poor management and government control.

Ford, on the other hand, has struggled on and off in NASCAR over the last couple of years, but has never let up trying to keep their cars in the championship hunt. That constant drive combined with being parented by the strongest automobile company in the world has produced success year after year for Ford Racing. This move could be just the thing Ford needs to boost them back into there position as the top manufacturer in NASCAR.

Several interesting elements come out of this merger. Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler will both be returning to Fords. Kahne started out in the Busch series with Robert Yates Racing, and Sadler found success early in his Cup career with RYR. Now they will return to drive cars for the remnants of that once great team. I personally am glad to see the Yates name dropped for this team, since Robert Yates Racing hasn’t really existed since Robert Yates retired a few years back. Since then, ‘Yates Racing’ has been nothing but Roush lite.

I can’t tell you how great it will be to see the #9 Ford back on the track next season. That car is both the fastest and the most popular in the history of the sport.

And to think some people actually tried to hint that Petty would switch to Toyota. Come on, really? Not the King!

“This is a pretty big deal for us. We're thrilled to partner with Ford. We've talked with a lot of folks, but in the end it came down to the success the Gilletts and I think we can achieve with Ford Racing. Right now this deal is real new. There are lots of details still left to be ironed out so we don't have a lot of answers for anyone right now. We'll be working on all that in the coming days, weeks and months, but we do intend to have everything in place before the start of next season. I've won races with Ford and plan to again.” -Richard Petty

But as usual, not everything in this story is so nice. When I first heard the news, my first reaction was basically what you see above; Being thrilled to get the King back to Ford camp. My second reaction was being thrilled by the news that Reed Sorenson, one of my favorite drivers, would be driving a Ford for RPM/RYR, my two favorite teams. Not so fast.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that loser Paul Menard bumped Travis Kvapil from his ride at the start of this season, now he and his daddy’s money have Reed Sorenson, one of NASCAR’s most talented young drivers, out of a ride at RPM. There is one reason and one reason only that Menard is still driving a car in Cup, and everyone knows what it is. Money. I should probably calm down a little before I post any more about this topic.

Bobby Labonte, Erik Darnell, Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland, and Jamie McMurray (rumored to be headed to Yates), are also left out in RPM’s current plans.

Anyone know how to get a petition started to put Sorenson in that 98 car next year? If so, please let me know.

 The nitty gritty here is probably that Jack Roush has even more teams and resources under his control now. If Sorenson doesn’t end up in an RPM car next season, it’s still hard for me to believe that Roush would let him get away. There has to be a spot for this guy somewhere. And with young talents like Erik Darnell, Colin Braun, and others waiting in the wings, yet another Roush controlled team in the near future is far from out of the question. I personally would be thrilled to see Sorenson end up in the non-Roush control #21 Wood Brothers Ford next season.

“I've kind of known for a few weeks now that I'm looking for a job next year. I thought this was going to be a place where I could get with a team and start a long future but obviously that hasn't worked out. It's not a good time to be looking for a ride, especially a good one. The one good thing I have is that I am young and I'm going to work my butt off the rest of this year to try and find a job and just keep doing the best I can. That's all you can do.” -Reed Sorenson

While I’m sure the media will be much busier covering Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson, to me this is a much bigger story, so I’ll save the Danica business for later.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or