A lot of NASCAR silly season activity in preparation for 2014 has centered around Stewart-Haas Racing, with Ryan Newman being fired by the team, Kevin Harvick’s arrival, and then Kurt Busch’s arrival. Is a four driver line-up that includes Tony Stewart, Harvick, Busch and Danica Patrick a serious personality clash waiting to happen? I guess we’ll just have to wait to find out.
Primarily, I’m thinking of Stewart, Harvick and Busch, here. Patrick was known to have a fiery temper back in her IndyCar days, but in her short time in NASCAR, she has expressed displeasure with competitors on the race track, but she’s seemed fairly calm when it comes to her team and teammates. Maybe that’s because she still feels inexperienced and still looks to teammates for guidance. I don’t know.
As far as the other three, I’m not suggesting that they’re like oil and water — too different to possibly get along. What I’m suggesting is maybe there’s a little too much oil here. Maybe too many wannabe chiefs and not enough Indians. Actually, there’s only one chief among the group, since Stewart is a team co-owner, I guess, but I’m talking personality-type here.
When you think about the driver line-ups at most front-running Sprint Cup multi-car teams, there’s usually, at most, one driver who’s more vocal than the others. Joe Gibbs Racing has its Kyle Busch. At Richard Childress Racing, that honor goes to — or did go to — Harvick. Hendrick Motorsports? Okay, well I don’t really know of any fiery tempers there; you just have one driver who wins a lot more than the others. But you get my point. At Penske Racing — I guess you could kind of view Brad Keselowski as the more vocal one. And I’m not sure Roush Fenway even has a resident big mouth/inflated personality (I mean that in the best possible way). What my point is, most of these teams may have one, but they don’t have more than one. Maybe the reason why some teams may not have one is that so many are concentrated on one team, now — Stewart-Haas Racing.
As the boss man, Stewart, ultimately, gets the last word, at least among the driver camp, anyway. Gene Haas may be the money behind the SHR, but Stewart is the only one among the drivers in the organization with an ownership stake. Still, there’s at least three dominant personalities in that driver stable. Can that driver stable contain them all? I don’t know. And when will the blow-up happen? I don’t know that, either. Like I said before, we’ll just have to wait and see.
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