Zesty NASCAR News via Twitter
So this is the stunner of the week. Ryan Truex, who had the best season of his career in 2017, is out as the primary driver for Hattori in the truck series. The question is, why? One report says Truex decided to leave; the Hattori press release referenced how hard it was to “move on” from him. So who knows which way is up? We just know that, as of now, he won’t be on the track. Hopefully, someone will grab him — fast. He’s got too much talent to be sidelined.
So what do you believe on this one? NASCAR denied a report that it’s CEO, Brian France, is heading a group to buy the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. OK, take that at face value. But as it turns out, basketball great Magic Johnson told the Washington Post he talked to France about bringing an NFL team to Los Angeles — and France denied that report, too. France has so little credibility with NASCAR fans that he could say the sky is blue and he may not be believed. But in this case, I believe he’s at least kicking the tires.
Tommy Joe Martins shuts down his truck team
As in any business, it’s all about the bucks. Martins couldn’t keep it going, not if it meant losing $300,000 to $400,000 a year. I can’t help but wonder whether NASCAR can do something to help the small guys stay on the track and stay competitive. They’re scrappy, resilient, hard working — much like their fans. Sure, the big teams are great, and the sport needs them. But for every Chip Ganassi Racing, there are, what dozens of little guys who could make a respectable showing if they just had the funding. NASCAR would get awfully boring if there were no underdogs to root for.