Back in March I sat down and made a few observations about the first two weeks of the 2007 NASCAR season. Just to refresh your memory, here are my five bullet points:
1) Mark Martin needs to run the full season
2) Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not win a race in 2007
3) FOX needs to go
4) Richard Childress Racing is Back
5) The Car of Tomorrow is today
Now let's just see how I did.
1) Mark Martin in fact didn't run the full schedule, struggled towards the middle point of the year when Bobby Ginn ran out of money, and wasn't really a threat much of the year. Maybe he should have run the full schedule to gain some more consistency. Next year he'll run pretty much the same partial schedule, except with a different number and new co-driver.
2) I called it. I just didn't realize what would happen after I called it. Junior didn't win a race, didn't make the chase, didn't stay with DEI, and didn't keep the 8. Next year will however be a different story... hopefully.
3) It turns out that in the 7 years since ESPN last covered a NASCAR race that nobody from the company actually watched a race. ESPN's coverage was so bad it made TNT's six-race stretch in the summer seem good. Fox, please put in a bid to carry all 36 races.
4) RCR was in fact back. Sort of. All three cars made the chase. All three drivers won A race. But did you hear much else from them? Clint Bowyer tried to make a run for the title but fell short when Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon started their clinic at the end of the year entitled, "How to effectively stink up a perfectly good playoff system by finishing in the top 15 every week and not letting anybody else win for 6 straight weeks." Maybe next year they'll win 2 a piece.
5) The Car of Tomorrow is no more. It is now only the NASCAR racecar. In June, NASCAR officials announced that the new wing car would be run exclusively in 2008 and beyond. The twisted sister is gone. The wing is now. However, I hope NASCAR realizes that there are a few things that need to be tweaked to make this car awesome. The racing will be much improved if they do realize these needs.
Next February I'll make some more predictions and I'll check back in November to see how right or wrong I was. I'm thinking something along the lines of Hendrick Motorsports will win atleast 20 races next year.