Thursday, July 10, 2008


This was to be a special "Live on Type Delay" installment featuring the Tony Stewart-Joe Custer press conference announcing the establishment of Stewart-Haas Racing, but technical difficulties on the feed made the part of the press conference we got to see very short.
The main points managed to get from the conference are as follows:

  • Tony Stewart recieves 50% equity in the organization for signing with Haas. This is unprecidented in NASCAR, and Stewart admits that's what caught his attention. The deal is potentially worth up to $66.5 million, which makes him the highest paid driver in NASCAR. That isn't even close to what the stars of the NFL, the NBA, and MLB get paid, but it is very high for a NASCAR driver.

  • Joe Custer, the general manager of Haas CNC, believes that Stewart's presence alone will turn the chronic back marker into a winning team. You have to give some credit for that kind of faith and optimism.

  • Tony Stewart believes that "it isn't the equipment that makes a winning team, it is the people. If you put the right people in the right place, you will have a winning team." We wonder where and how Stewart is going to get the right people to put in the right places.

  • Tony also declared that he believes "we can win at Daytona in February."

The bottom line is that the new Stewart-Haas team is going into business with an abundance of optimism and enthusiasm. Maybe they know something we don't. Perhaps Haas Engineering, the multi-million dollar corporation that owns Stewart-Haas is willing to pour unlimited funds into the team to make sure they get what they need.
Since Stewart is my favorite driver, I wish I could share that optimism and enthusiasm. I want to believe that Stewart is that much better a driver than Scott Riggs that he can make a difference in the team's performance. I do think he is better than Riggs, but only by about five or six positions. I say this because I have seen Riggs race Greg Biffle wheel to wheel in both the CTS and what was then the NASCAR Busch Series, at various races I attended at PPIR. I have to say, based on the performance I saw there and then, that Riggs is probably a better driver than Biffle, and Biffle is definitely one of the best. Therefore,I have reached the conclusion that the only reason Scott Riggs has not been a championship contender in the Sprint Cup is that he is not with a team that can win.
I really do want to see Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing succeed, and succeed quickly, but I remain skeptical and fear that Stewart may be entering the realm of Kyle Petty. I certainly hope I am proven wrong.


John said...

REv - I think you'll be proven wrong for 1 reason. The people are out there and I believe they will want to join Tony in turning Stewart Haas Racing into a top operation. I wouldn't be surprised to see 75% of the people there were new to the operation.

RevJim said...

John thank you. As I said I really hope I am proven wrong. I am often wrong, as you may have noticed. Maybe the optimism will affect me as soon as I get over the shock.