Originally Posted by shrineclown
Harvick has been real close, last year and one other IIRC. Bowyer was right there at least once too. This year not so good. With the exception of Burton, they have been regulars in the chase. As has been seen, that is quite an accomplishment in its' own right. I think, the bigger issue may be, Chevy and RCR used to be like one mind. With the emergence of HMS, with Jeff Gordon, I think that some of the race tipping information may be hitting that shop as least as often or more often than RCR. It takes a fair amount of ingenuity to make that kind of power with the aspiration and exhaust setups they are required to use, and get better on top of that.
Richard is doing ok, and DE was probably a once in our lifetime type of character. Even if another came along, like say Kyle Busch, who can wheel a car every bit as good and maybe better is considered a pretender. (he lacks the character of DE, but if he had that package, he would still be a pretender.) RCR's grandson is on the way, he has a burn that may be quite interesting when he arrives. The competition is a lot more competitive today. DE had to worry about 2 or 3 guys. Now you have 3 or 4 teams of up to 4 cars that are a legitimate threat. Jimmy Johnson may well set all championship records before he is done if he and Chad stay together. If so, that will be the most remarkable feat ever IMO. Richards 200 is safe from him, and I don't consider Kyle amassing 200 wins in three classes the same thing.
Good points. RCR was in a funk from probably '96 to '99. Dale didn't win much, and the cars were definitely not competitive. They seem to have pulled out of it in 2000, and 2001 was going to be a very promising year.
I recall Childress saying that he very nearly closed up shop after Earnhardt's death. And who could blame him? I'm pretty sure he had enough money to live an extremely comfortable retirement, and I think the spark was gone for a few years after that tragedy. Many teams seem to suffer that ebb and flow, with the exception of Hendrick. Even with the loos of all those key people in the plane crash, they still stayed competitive. That is truly remarkable.
I was at Childress' shop/museum in late October, and they have a state of the art facility. It looks like he is committed to going forward, and he has two grandson's who have skills (one was the truck champ, and the other was the ARCA champ this year). I'm guessing that is his reason for keeping things going and remaining competitive. His, like Earnhardt's, is a real rags to riches story, and he is one of the few remaining links to the "old NASCAR" tradition. He gets a lot of respect from me.
PS - plus he manhandled Kyle Busch, so that put him off the chart on my respect-o-meter.