(photo courtesy Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
This is the second installment of the 2009 year in review, only this is the the lighter or crazier side of 2009.
New teams emerge:
With the economy being somewhat sour, this year afforded some businessmen/drivers the opportunity to form their own race teams. Front Row Motorsports hooked up with John Andretti as a driver and linked themselves to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s #8 team for points. With that link to EGR they were in the top 35 in points to start the 2009 season, and thus were locked into the starting grid for the first five races of the 2009 season.
Tommy Baldwin, formerly the crew chief for Bill Davis Racing, struck out on his own to form his team and made many races with several drivers behind the wheel of the Tommy Baldwin Racing #37 Toyota.
Joe Nemechek, finding himself without a ride for the 2009 season, took this opportunity to buy some used Cup cars and re-ignite his Nationwide team as well. So 2009 saw Nemco back into the business for fielding race cars for Joe in both the Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup Series.
A Rock Star Wannabe!
Lest we not forget ol Kylie Busch’s rather futile attempt at imitating Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend of The Who. It appeared that THE LAS VEGAS WEASEL (aka ol Kylie Busch), thought that he would deliver to the race fans a flashback to the 70’s! After winning the race in Nashville and receiving the coveted Sam Bass custom designed guitar in Victory circle,”The Buschwhacker” proceeded to try, somewhat in vein, to smash the guitar into smithereens like Townsend and Daltry used to do at the end of their concerts. This act was very “Busch” league!
Drugs came to NASCAR:
But the biggest story that was to unfold in the 2009 season was that of Jeremy Mayfield. He too was able to put funds together to start his own race team, after not being in the cockpit for over a year. He was basking in the “glory” of owner/driver when his world abruptly collapsed all around him. Mayfield failed a random drug test administered to him by NASCAR. As the soap opera unfolded over the ensuing weeks, it was learned that his drug test came up positive for Methamphetamine usage. Mayfield has vehemently denounced those drug tests as being grossly in error!
Therein ensued a legal battle/soap opera the likes that no professional sport has seen in recent history. The mud was slinging like a wheel packing session prior to a good dirt track race at Eldora Raceway! It even got Mayfield’s step-mother involved hurling accusations at Jeremy about his alleged drug usage! The latest update is that Mayfield’s attorney has filed a suit for unpaid legal fees due him totaling more that $300,000.00! (The attorney charges $1,000.00 per hour!!!) It looks like the Jeremy Mayfield saga is headed down the “HIGHWAY TO HELL”!
These are just a few of the more memorable storylines that captured our attention over the 2009 NASCAR race season.
What was your favorite “news story” from the 2009 season?
TIL NEXT TIME I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!