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Bowyer, Martin, Reutimann and Kurt Busch have downgraded this off season

By admin | January 3, 2012

By Richard Allen


As was stated in the companion column to this one( ), there were considerably more downgrades for drivers this off season than upgrades. So now for the bad news. Here are a few of the drivers who will find themselves in a worse situation in the coming year than they had previously.

Clint Bowyer will move from one of the sport’s premier teams in Richard Childress racing to a very much middle of the road team in Michael Waltrip Racing. While MWR has shown the ability to win a race here and there, it is miles away from being up to the level of RCR.

Bowyer’s departure from RCR was one shrouded in a certain degree of mystery as neither side really seemed to ever claim being the one ending the relationship. It will be interesting to see if Bowyer can help raise the bar at MWR in 2012.

And staying on the subject of MWR, another driver added to their fold in 2012 is taking a bit of a step down as well. Mark Martin will come over from Hendrick after being somewhat unceremoniously rooted out there when Kasey Kahne was announced as that organization’s new driver over a year before he could even move in. Martin will compete for MWR on a limited basis in 2012, sharing the #55(formerly #00) with team owner Michael Waltrip.

Martin had won five races in the HMS #5 car in 2009 but was winless since. Crew chief Lance McGrew was moved to that ride from Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s #88 car at the beginning of 2010. Still with that said, after applying the reverse of what was said for Kahne in the other column, HMS to MWR is a downgrade.

And continuing with the MWR theme, David Reutimann was the unfortunate driver who was rooted out of that team to make room for Bowyer and Martin. It has just been announced that he will drive for Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2012. That team has struggled in its brief history, even operating as a ‘start and park’ for a short time. With sponsorship a major question mark, it will remain to be seen just how competitive this team will be in the coming year.

Even though MWR may not be one of the sport’s major players, this is definitely a downgrade for Reutimann.

Kurt Busch’s situation has been well documented on this site and any number of other racing mediums. Let’s just say that his wounds were mostly self-inflicted and that he has downgraded drastically from Penske Racing to Phoenix Racing and leave it at that.

Perhaps the biggest hard luck story of the entire off season has been that of David Ragan. After winning his first Sprint Cup race in July, the young driver found himself to be the odd man out at Roush Fenway Racing when sponsorship issues reared their head at that organization. However, he seemed to have the #22 car at Penske locked up until A.J. Allmendinger was hired seemingly from out of nowhere. After that, the #43 at Richard Petty Motorsports may have also been sniped away at the eleventh hour.

Now, a possible Nationwide Series opening with JR Motorsports seems to also have been only a tease. Obviously, unemployment is a serious downgrade from his former race winning organization of a year ago.

If this were a business report it would be the time to sell most of your stocks based on all these downgrades. And in a sense, it is a business report. With the economy lagging, there just aren’t many places a driver can move to that would improve his/her situation as most of those rides are filled at the present time.

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Topics: Articles |

8 Responses to “Bowyer, Martin, Reutimann and Kurt Busch have downgraded this off season”

  1. mr clause Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 10:43 am

    If given the sponsorship funding, I can’t help but believe that TBR and Rootie can be at least the equal of MWR as long as the owners seemingly put self interest before team building. Baldwin and Rootie are real racers. MWR owners are more players than anything else.

  2. Bill B Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Rich, you are getting pretty good with these companion articles. However you should write one under the assumed name of Jane and the other under the assumed name of Dan. Then start Dan’s rebuttal with “Jane you ignorant slut”. (If that doesn’t make sense to you then you are too young to remember the glory days of “Saturday Night Live”… sorry).

    BTW - you left out Vickers.

  3. zhills fan Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Don’t worry about David Reutimann, he will be just fine with T.B. they have good equipment and David will put it in the show as he is one of the best qualifiers in the cup series. He also is good enough driver to upgrade TBR to a top team. Actually I believe TBR will surpass MWR with David and Dave at the wheel.

  4. Greg Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    MWR ( Mikey Walnut Racing ) is a joke regardless of who they have in the car or the sp[onsor on the car.

    Mikey needs to fade into the background , forget that he thinks he is FUNNY and get off TV.

    Mark Martin will be like Dale Jarrette was , running back to mid pack and quicly become an embarrasement.

    David Reuterman will do ok at TBR , Kurt will have to BITE his tongue in the #51 but will likely pull off a good season.

  5. Jesse Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Bowyer, he has forgot his roots, he shows up at Stewarts race at Eldora, his girl friend and her friend have little dogs all deck out, you would think they were in Las Vegas walking down the strip and he thought he was a big NASCAR star or something. It’s a dirt race, a dusty dirt race.

  6. Reth Sogen Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Mark Martin was not “unceremoniously rooted out”. Hendrick asked Mark to sign on for 2012 and beyond. Mark turned him down. He had his chance to drive for Hendrick, and he thought someone else should be given the same chance. Mark hand-picked Kasey Kahne for the #5 car… he was the first person to initiate contact with Kasey. He also talked to Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton about driving the car, and they turned him down. Try to get your facts straight, Rich.

    Also, when Mark has Lance McGrew for a crew chief, ANYTHING would be an upgrade. He will run better at MWR than he did during the 2011 season at Hendrick.

  7. Chris Fiegler Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Which of the Down Graded Drivers do you think will win a Race this season?

  8. Offkilter Says:
    January 7th, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Chris, none of them.