It has recently been reported on NASCAR.com that some of todays drivers dont have the” skills to pay the bills” when it comes to mechanic’s of the car. Well I ask you how is a driver going to convey his thoughts about how the car is handling if he don’t know what is making things happen? Lots of drivers have suddenly made big splashes in the nascar scene by showing up and making a good showing for one or 2 races, then they land a big deal sign on the dotted line and go racing, only to fall flat on their faces. wonder why?????It is simple they don’t know enough about the cars dynamics to help the team make the correct adjustments.
Take the recent rise of a couple drivers A.J. Almendinger and David Ragan, two young drivers who have very impressive backgrounds, David Ragan has learned the hard way coming up thru the ranks on the bull rings of the south, working on cars and making his own way, and it has started to pay off for him he has really attracted the attention of lots of writers for his good finishes and clean driving style. A.J. Almendinger on the other hand comes from Indy cars, and he is just learning the ways of the 3500lbs stock cars, while he was at Red Bull Racing he was wondering around like a lost kid in a candy store, no one there knew what he meant when he said something so he floundered there, but when he came to G.E.M. he prospered due to the vast background of experience that the crew there already had, A.J. made good use of it and he showed that he could drive, he might not know how to fix a problem but it will help him learn and thats what he needs, seat time…lots of it. When he gets the car figured out with the right crew he will be a force to be reckoned with, but that isn’t going to happen tomorrow. He still needs time. and this is the reason he has no bargianing power when it comes to landing a full time seat, he just dont have the esperience he needs just yet. Once he has it , then he can write his own ticket til then he will have to take what he gets.
These up and coming drivers need to know that there is more to winning races than holding a pretty wheel. It takes time in the seat AND under the car to understand what it takes to make the car go. This is not easy and lots of these drivers are learning this, as are the teams who have run out and hired these inexperienced rookies. But time will tell and we will see who can cut the mustard and who can’t.