Click on the DirtonDirt.com logo below for the most complete Dirt Late Model coverage anywhere

For the Best RV Sales and Service

*********************

Rich's Articles & Blogs

Meta


« Logano needs to step up to the level of his JGR teammates | Main | Media Day Notes: Junior’s confident, Johnson still has goals and a reason to root for Kurt Busch »

Junior’s detractors will be watching Martin and McGrew closely

By admin | February 9, 2011


By Richard Allen

A few days ago a person who is not a fan of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. asked me who I thought would win first, Junior or Mark Martin? The implication of the question was that either Junior or crew chief Lance McGrew was to blame for the recent failings of the #88 Chevrolet. And more, this year could possible offer the definitive proof.

At the conclusion of the 2010 season, Hendrick Motorsports announced a major shakeup of drivers and crew chiefs within their organization. In particular to this discussion, Junior’s former pit boss, McGrew, was moved to Martin’s #5 team while Steve Letarte was sent to revive Earnhardt’s career.

Many of ‘Junior Nation’ spent a great amount of website, message board and social network comment space blaming McGrew for their favorite driver’s poor finishes. At the same time, Junior’s detractors used as much or more comment space inferring that it was the person in the driver’s seat and not the person on top of the pit box who was at fault.

If Junior wins this season those who have barked that his crew chief was at fault will have been vindicated. This, in turn, will allow them bragging rights over those who have tormented them for years.

If Martin wins early in the season the Junior detractors will be out in full force to tease and torture. They will claim that a Martin victory shows that McGrew did know what he was doing and Junior was not driving the cars effectively enough.

Truth is, not much will be proven by either, neither or both drivers winning. Any success or failure may simply show that certain relationships between drivers and crew members are better than other relationships. But when the most popular driver in the sport is involved, reality doesn’t very much matter.

My personal belief is that the crew chief and driver changes at Hendrick Motorsports will help all involved. I do, however, believe there is more to Junior’s failures over the past couple of seasons than just his crew. However, the more positive and upbeat Letarte may be what he needs to be more competitive. Just the same, the less argumentative and more determined Martin may be what Lance McGrew needs to make him successful.

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter and Facebook by clicking on the icon of either social network on the left side of the page.

Please check out other stories of interest under ‘Rich’s Articles and Blogs’ in the left hand column of this page.

Topics: Articles |

5 Responses to “Junior’s detractors will be watching Martin and McGrew closely”

  1. Patrice Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Hard to believe that 10 years have gone by since we lost Dale! I still have a hard time accepting that Earnhardt’s gone. I miss him greatly!

  2. Ginger Says:
    February 10th, 2011 at 11:09 am

    In the meantime, remember this. Last year with the exception of the #48, all HMS cars were adrift. However toward the end of the season, Alan and Mark found a good combo of setups, etc. If that combo worked then, you can be sure it will be in place in 2011. This will not be because of the great effort of Lance McGrew, but because of the effort of Alan. Don’t confuse Alan and Lance, there’s no conparison.

  3. marc Says:
    February 10th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I think you have to account the years Martin has been racing. Martin is known for being a chasis guy and is able to get it figured out. Historically,if you look at some of the crewchiefs, Martin had, he’s made them look pretty good. Yes, chemistry is a big factor, but knowing what to do with a car is the most substantial factor. If you look at Alan, he did ok with Kyle and bombed with Casey. It’s the man behind the wheel, Martin.

  4. don lemont Says:
    February 10th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    i could not agree more go mark.

  5. sylvia richardson Says:
    February 10th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    GO MARK I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT.. I TRUST YOUR THINKING BE HIND THE WHEEL.. YOU USE YOUR HEAD NOT JUST YOUR FOOT.. GREAT TO HAVE MET YOU. YOU WERE EVERY THING I KNEW YOU WOULD BE…BE SAFE.LOVE YOU MR.MARTIN.MISS YOU IN THE 6CAR,THE 60 CAR and YOUR WONDERFUL DAYS OF IROC.

Comments