August 31, 2012; Hampton, GA, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Juan Pablo Montoya during qualifying for the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

What Has Happened To Earnhardt/Ganassi Racing ?

The only highlight Earnhardt/Ganassi Racing has provided this season in Sprint Cup Competition is a fiery crash with the Blow Dryer Truck late in the Daytona 500, sending it into an early Tuesday morning finish that kept us all up all night. The remainder of the season has been a disaster as well.

The Juan Pablo Montoya experiment has been a huge failure. He needs to go back to Indy Car of Formula One, or wherever he came from, because he just doesn’t possess the talent required to run in Nascar’s top series. He needs to move aside, and give some of the young talent an opportunity to see what they can do at this level. I suspect that there must be some connection with Mr. Ganassi and Target through the open wheel history that keeps JPM in that ride.

The 37 year old driver from Bogata finds himself in 21st place in the points standings this year, with no wins and one pole. The pole came at Watkins Glen where he turned in a 33rd place finish. The season has also shown him with two top 10 finishes, in  points races at  Bristol, and Michigan. He had two more top 10’s, but they came at the Bud Shootout, and the Sprint Showdown. He has no top 5’s in 2012.

In his Sprint Cup career that started in the 2006 season, he has had two wins, both coming at the Road Course tracks of Sonoma, and Watkins Glen. With 210 races under his belt, he has only 20 top 5’s, and 51 top 10’s. Most of the drivers on the Nascar’s top circuit would be looking for another ride with those kinds of numbers.

The other driver on this team, Jamie McMurray has had some success, but his resume is also somewhat skinny since he has been at Earnhardt/Ganassi. Other than his 2010 win at the Daytona 500, he has done little else to impress me. His 2010 season was showing some promise with wins at Indianapolis and Charlotte, but since, has looked like the Space Shuttle when they deploy the drag chute.

The 2012 season finds him in 20th place, just ahead of teammate Montoya. He has no Top 5’s and only three Top 10’s. I thought McMurray had more talent then what has been accomplished for the past two years. Jamie seems to have lost the fire and passion we were used to seeing from him, and it seems to have taken a toll on his performance on the track.

I think there are problems at this organization that are not always apparent to the fans. I can sure understand why Dale Jr. wanted out when he moved on to Hendricks Motorsports a few years back. Earnhardt/Ganassi has moved from a mid-level team, to just above the start and parks. It seems since Ganassi Racing became Earnhardt/Ganassi Racing, they have taken a wrecking ball to their race teams. As usual, it takes hitting bottom before you can start the climb back to the top. Earnhardt/Ganassi Racing is just about there.

Tags: Dale Earnhardt Jr Jamie McMurray Juan Pablo Montoya NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

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