Maybe if they spend a little more time perking up those motors rather than playing with paint schemes they could have a semi good year. If UPS is paying him millions, I think he should be a little better than 26th.
2 things are happening in the off-season to help for 04'. NASCAR has approved a new cylinder head for the Ford's and the other is a technology alliance between Yates Racing and Rousch Racing. The 3 big GM teams, (Hendrick, Childress, DEI) formed a technology alliance and it worked great in 03'. The hope with the alliance between Yates and Rousch is the Yates will share engine tech with Rousch and Rousch will share chassis and aero tech with Yates. Contary to the results seen in 03' Yates is still considered one of the absolute best minds with engine technology and setup. Rousch equally is the man with chassis and aero and that experience goes beyond NASCAR. Rousch got his start in NHRA Pro Stock and he still maintains a presence there. Rousch builds and tests the Carbon Fiber bodies that set on John Force's Funny Cars as well as the rest of Team Force's Cars. In 2001' Ford admitted their aero package gave up a lot on the big tracks like Daytona and Dega but would excel on the mid-tracks like Vegas, Charlotte, Atlanta. The problem was the GM cars moved up across the board and the Ford's just did nothing. I look for Jarrett to rebound in 04' because he's still a good driver even though 02' and especially 03' doesn't bare that out.
Also hearing NASCAR is thinking of changing the points system. First 26 races will be done under the current format and after the 26th race they will take and freeze the top 10 drivers. From race 27 to 36 the top 10 drivers will then compete for all the marbles, a playoff scenario if you will. In one format all top 10 drivers will start the 27th race with 0 points and then earn new points through race 36. Had this format been in place this year Jimmie Johnson would be champ and Kenseth would have finished 7th. Personally I think the points work when looked at over time and in light of the Busch and Craftsman Truck Series this year but we have a new mindset running NASCAR today so I guess change is the nature of the new beast. Just give me the old days with North Wilkesboro and Hickory. And bring back some dirt tracks too.
Dirts for racing and asphalt is for getting there!
Thanks for the holiday greetings Mac. Hope nothing but a trailing wind for you & yours. Question, which way did you pick on the poll. 04 improved greatly over 03 down to no improvement. Can this 46 yr old challenge for the title? Thanks in advance.
Having been a fan of NASCAR since going to my first race in 1961' I can say I've learned one unchanging rule when it comes to racing. Nothing is impossible! Now that I've skated around your question
here's my take. 04' should see an improvement because of several factors. I do think the alliance between Yates and Rousch will be a big plus as well as the new cylinder head. Also the addition of Mike Ford to the #88 team will be a plus. Ford (the car make)has been behind the 8 ball the last couple of seasons but to compound matters even more for Yates was the fact that they lost one of their best engine men and Doug Yates left the engine shop to run the day to day operation of Yates. The chemistry of RYR IMO has been upset but should be getting back on track. Can Dale still wheel a race car and win the points? I believe he can but time will just have to bare that out. Here in another couple of weeks we should start hearing some testing news and this may tell some of the story. The bottomline is we'll just have to wait and see. Less than 80 days till Daytona.