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Childress’ 2009 woes continue

By admin | July 8, 2009

By Richard Allen

The 2009 season is not going as Richard Childress Racing would have hoped, to say the least.

Things got off to an excellent start as Kevin Harvick won the Budweiser Shootout All Star race in Daytona, but there have been very few bright spots since then for this organization that produced six championships for driver Dale Earnhardt.

Among the four RCR drivers only Jeff Burton(15th) and Clint Bowyer(16th) are within the Top 20 of the Sprint Cup standings. However, both are over 100 points away from the all important 12th position with the cutoff for the Chase for the Championship is only eight races away.

Last year, this organization placed what was then all three of its cars in the Chase. This year, placing even one driver in the Chase looks iffy at best.

In 2009, RCR cars have managed only 16 top-10 finishes. With four cars running all 18 races held so far this year that means they have scored 16 top-10s from a total of 72 races run for a percentage of only 22%.

For the sake of comparison, Hendrick Motorsports has 35 top-10s among its four cars in the same number of races for a 49% rate of placing cars in the top-10.

Earlier in the season the teams of Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears were switched in hopes of giving each, or even one, team a boost. Neither has shown any significant improvement since the move.

While Burton and Bowyer have done better than their teammates, neither has demonstrated the ability to run up front and contend within the top-10 on a consistent basis.

To add to the misery of this company, word has it that two of their sponsors may be leaving. Shell, sponsor of the #29 car, is rumored to be on its way to HMS to back Mark Martin. Jack Daniel’s, sponsor of the #07, is also rumored to be leaving.

Without adequate funding the organization could be down to three, or even two, cars next year. And with the way they have been running this season in the midst of a lagging economy, the hope of luring new sponsors looks bleak.

And to add insult to injury for Richard Childress, this past weekend his grandson, Austin Dillon, was disqualified after taking the checkered flag in a $25,000 to win crate late model race at the Green Valley Speedway in Alabama. Track officials deemed his car to have an illegal crankshaft.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

2 Responses to “Childress’ 2009 woes continue”

  1. midasmicah Says:
    July 9th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    If the sponsors are leaving to go to Hendrick racing and Hendrick-Stewart racing (Haas who?), my long time interest in nas$car will be tested even further. When you let one organization completely dominate a sport, why watch it. You know a driver from those said teams is going to win. The driver I’ve been following (Burton) since the mid nineties drives for RCR. It’s been hard watching him try to compete with inferior equipment. Part of the problem is on Richard Childress. But a lot of the problem lies with nas$car. It’s obvious they want the big dog to rule the roost. Like I said, my interest has been waning for the last few years. Once Burton retires, I’m pretty sure I’m done unless nas$car can do something to rekindle my interest. With their knee-jerk reaction to every situation that comes up, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  2. Charles Says:
    July 9th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Its very easy to see the Hendrick stragedy! By him selling cars and 27 GM dealerships, he is in a position to leveage GM and eliminate his GM competition!

    Just look, He got Jr, instead of Childress, that weakens DEI,that sponorship alone is probably worth 30 to 50 million a year alone!I know for a fact the National Gard was putting 22 million a year in it, plus AMP is aleast doing close to that! Seem to me so far Jr was doing better with DEI!

    Now if he gets Shells sponsor from RCR, that plus GM letting Hendrick be their number one team, RCR would be hurting! I see where GM owes RCR two million in the first quarter, it would be insteresting to see if Hendrick is owed as well, with Hendricks shrewdness in business I bet he came out on top!