Monday, January 31, 2011

The real reason Jimmie Johnson isn't going to run INDYCAR

In last Friday’s Indianapolis Star, Curt Cavin reported in his weekly pit pass column that reigning five time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson had declared he was no longer interested in running the Indy 500. Johnson had previously told INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard that he was interested, after Bernard spoke with him at Tony Stewart’s Prelude to the dream race at Eldora Speedway.

After the meeting at Eldora Speedway, rumors floated for sometime that Johnson and Kasey Kahne were interested in running the Indy 500, as early as 2011. Robin Miller floated teasers throughout his weekly mailbag that Johnson and Kahne were VERY INTERESTED, he even went as far to say that Johnson needed approval from Lowes and his wife and it was a done deal. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway even played a part in this, as the start time for the 2011 Indy 500 was TBD during the State of INDYCAR address on January 11th, as rumors had the start time going to 11 A.M. EST if Johnson and Kahne committed.

All of this came to screeching halt last Friday, when Cavin reported Johnsons decision via his pit pass article, which begs the question, why did Johnson decide to back out? Johnson grew up a huge Rick Mears fan, has devoured NASCAR’s top level the past five years, and has said that running the Indy 500 was always a dream of his.

His wife won’t let him? He has a kid? GM wasn’t involved the past eight years? BULLS**T

I don’t buy any of it, and the reason is represented in one acronym called NASCAR.

You're telling me that NASCAR is going to let their five time defending champion go off and run the Indy 500 and pull fans away from their Coke 600 that same day? How many people have seen Jimmie Johnson run the Coke 600? Plenty. How many have seen him run the Indy 500? You get the idea.

You're telling me that NASCAR is going to let their five time champ go run an IndyCar after watching what happened to Mike Conway last year on the lap of the Indy 500? Johnson breaks his back and is out for three months and NASCAR is missing one of their top stars and defending champ. NASCAR wants Johnson to be dethroned on the last lap of the last race of the season, not by wrecking an IndyCar in the middle of the season.

You're telling me NASCAR wants its drivers building up other series and boosting T.V. ratings for events that are direct competitors of NASCAR?

The answer to all three is NO, NO, and NO.

Here is what happened sometime between the time Bernard talked to Johnson at Eldora. NASCAR (Brian France) got word of what was conspiring with Johnson and Kahne, and immediately goes to Rick Hendrick, Johnsons team owner. NASCAR tells Hendrick to intervene on this situation and make it clear to Johnson he isn’t going to run the Indy 500. Hendrick tells Johnson, and Johnson asks the question "How do I say this to the media?" Well who is the easiest person to blame this on without it looking bad on NASCAR/Hendrick/Lowes etc, well his wife of course. You think she cares that she took the fall for this? NOT AT ALL.

So there you go, figure it out in so many words, NASCAR stepped in and said to Hendrick, take care of this situation because its not happening.

Jimmie Johnson won’t run the Indy 500, is it that big of a deal?

Well to him, not really, he’ll win another Sprint Cup Championship this year and collect more money and have more kids, the Indy 500 will fade from his memory.

Kasey Kahne? Well we heard he doesn’t answer to anyone and that he’ll do what he wants. Lets just assume then that NASCAR hasn’t talked to Team Red Bull yet, or just hasn’t set up another meeting with Hendrick to tell him that his driver in 2012 won’t be doing the Indy 500 either.

No comments: