At last Tony Stewart will be back in a Chevrolet--something long-time Stewart and Chevy fans are quite happy about. With the recent announcement that Ryan Newman will drive the second Hass-Stewart NASCAR Cup car in 2009, the next question becomes exactly who Stewart will hire to manage the teams and crew the cars. Rumors surfaced this morning that Darien Grubb, a Rick Hendrick engineering manager for the #5 and 88 cars, would be hired as a manager for the new teams.
Tony Stewart needs to put the right folks in place with his new teams. Hiring a Rick Hendrick Racing (RHR) employee might sound good from the outside, but hopefully Tony will be smart enough NOT to let a fox run his henhouse. The relationship with RHR concerning the engines that RHR has provided Haas in the past is troublesome enough; adding a RHR employee in the mix to run things could prove to be a very bad move if that employee has RHR interests at heart and not the interests of Tony Stewart.
Smoke needs to be cautious in adding the best folks he can find. Go back several years to when Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) dominated the restrictor-plate tracks. Then, DEI hired former RHR employee Richie Gilmore, and over the next few years RHR racing became proficient in restrictor plate racing. Hmmmmmmm...... no connection there, eh? And no one seemed to connect those dots.
There IS no such thing as 'Coincidence.'
Be careful, Tony. Some of us already don't trust that your team will get comparable engines to those that the 24 and 48 get....after all, the 88 and 5 RHR teams don't get the cream of the crop in engine work. Why would RHR give something that good to someone who is one of the best racers in NASCAR--especially when he's not on their team? Stay tuned....