then Crew Chief, Greg Zipadelli a Corvette. A nice gesture indeed.
For his third, & perhaps his finest he gives Darien a pink slip. I'm not talking about a pink slip, as in car title. This pink slip as in the kind every worker dreads finding in his pay envelope. Oops, kind of dated myself, in this day of direct deposit didn't I? Trust me, you didn't want to find one. The more I learn about this deal, the less I understand. There has to be more to this than meets the eye, & we may never know the whole story.
Earlier this season Bobby Hutchens was let go from his job as director of
competition. With the season that Stewart-Haas had to that point, I can kind of
understand this move. We all know that Steve Addington has come on board as Tony's new Crew Chief. As of now, no announcement has been made about the director of competition.
Normally in sports, when someone gets fired. The next person brought in has some time & latitude to turn things around. The St. Louis Cardinals won the world series about the same way Tony won his Championship. Pretty average to below average season. Killer post season. Tony La Russa elected, (as opposed to being fired) to retire on top. Both La Russa's retirement, & Darien Grubb's firing, are fairly unprecedented.
As neither of these teams need turning around. Both Mike Matheny, the Cards new manager, & Steve Addington are stepping into Championship spots. They better hit the ground running.
Speaking of thank you gifts, kind of makes me wonder what Tony's going to give to Jeff Burton. In the closing laps at Phoenix, as Carl was trying in vain, to run Kasey Kahne down for the win. Tony was also trying to catch Jeff Burton for 3rd. The announcers made reference to this, but it wasn't shown on screen. On the crawl at the conclusion we could see that Tony was able to move into 3rd, thus maintaining the 3 point separation he had going in.
From writers who were there, we later found out that Jeff, loyal Chevy team member that he is. Had allowed Tony to get by, thus gaining what ultimately proved to be the Championship winning point.
I'm not going to rag on this, it's up to each fan to decide how they feel about it. Ford kind of opened this door at Talladega, so I suppose it was tit for tat. I must admit to being a little uncomfortable with the way things came down at Talladega, as well as Phoenix.
The manufactures have their own Championship. Chevy won again, this time clinching at Kansas. I do wish they'd stick to their own Championship, & leave the drivers Championship, to the drivers, but I suppose that's too much to ask in the $$$ charged world of NA$CAR. Oh well, I can always dream.
At Talladega, the maneuvering certainly didn't help Jeff Gordon, but it didn't cost him the Championship either. At Phoenix Jeff Burton's help, or interference, depending on your outlook. Most definitely cost Carl the Championship. Tony still needed to win, & to his, & Darien's credit he did. But given Carl's finish, without that all important point, winning wouldn't have been enough.
Either way, it was by far the best Chase that we've seen. As good as it was, it still wasn't enough to win me over.
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