Our boys, Latemodel driver Chris Siebert and Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Max Gresham, are back this week to discuss the major issues in NASCAR following the first Chase race of 2010. Here’s what they had to say in this week’s edition of Driver Speak:
Ben: Alrighty boys, first question. After his win on Sunday, is Clint Bowyer a legit title contender?
Max: Of course he is; he has the momentum going forward in the Chase. He made a statement this weekend with his win. He is going to be a very tough competitor in this years Chase.
Siebert: Oh yes he is, he ran up front all day and was there when it counted. Heck, he made headlines more than most drivers did that were in the Chase. And he’s just determined to win as it is. He has more weight on his shoulders because he has the lesser number in the win column. But the way he showed up Sunday really said he meant business. So I think he will be there at Homestead just as strong.
Ben: Jimmie Johnson was the consensus favorite by the media going into the Chase. On Sunday, he struggled to a 25th-place finish; worst of all the Chase drivers. Is he still a favorite to win it all?
Siebert: Well you can never count out Jimmie. But he’s just not had his typical dominance this year. So he will be a threat but I’m thinking that this is another driver’s year. He will probably be in the top 3 or 2. But I think Hamlin and them are better off.
Ben: Finally, I noticed that Kevin Harvick was being very vocal to his pit crew over the radio on Sunday, and was saying lots of negative things about them. Were his complaints legitimate or does Happy just need to chill?
Siebert: Well, I think he was right in what he said. His crew has messed up quite a bit and cost him a few races. So I think he needs to be hard and get mad at them. Get them fired up to be a better crew. So I stand behind him there.
Max: I don’t know; I feel that how he expressed himself to his team was inappropriate. They know that they have messed up and they are trying hard to keep from it happening again on the next stop. Yes, it has cost him a race or two, but that happens to everyone. If he wants to get all upset with his team, then the next time he is caught speeding on Pit Road can his team come back over the radio and say anything of the sort that he said to them?
Ben: Very interesting points, guys. That’s a wrap for this week. Thank you both so much for participating and I hope to hear from you again next week!