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Is Toyota the place where Cup drivers go to retire?
Tuesday, May 09, 2006 - reddit
I can't help but wonder why everyone in and around NASCAR seems to think that Dale Jarret is a driver worth getting for Toyota. He may have been a star back in the 90s, but brother, it ain't the 90s anymore. Jarret's only win in the last two years was at Talladega Superspeedway, last October. I don't put very much weight into wins at Talladega; the track is just too random. Virtually anyone can win at that track on any given day, and Jarret's win just serves to prove my point. People like Jeff Gordon who have multiple legitimate wins at places like that prove only that people like him are just that much better than everyone else is, everyone else just got lucky.Jerret has missed the Chase for the Nextel Cup each of the last two years, finishing 15th both times and this year isn't looking any better. He hasn't moved more than three positions in any direction from his starting spot of 10th in the last ten races.
To put a finer point on all this, Jerret is also I believe the second oldest driver in Cup right now, at a time when teams are putting kids as young as 19 in the seat. They want to find talent while they are young, so they can lock up the next superstar driver for as long as humanly possible, as cheaply as possible. Jarret hasn't been young nor a superstar for a long time now, and he's just a worn out name with no future prospects of competing for -- or winning -- a championship. He's going to be getting a huge paycheck from Toyota, there is little doubt about that, and Toyota is going to be getting a really expensive has been for its money.
The only other name involved with Toyota is Michael Waltrip, and I understand this partnership even less. At least Jarret is a former champion, and has won something like 29 races over his career. Waltrip has only won 4 races in 21 years, one of which was a no-skill rain out gift at Daytona. He was mediocre at DEI at best, and a bottom feeder anywhere else at worst. The guy is nice, but nice doesn't count of anything in professional sports. His best days, of which there were very few, at long behind him.
Toyota has two perennial losers so far, and I haven't heard a single name yet that makes me think they are going to improve that situation anytime soon.
Technorati tags: Bitch What?, NASCAR, Toyota
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