What Kind of Pictures does Casey Mears Have?

Casey Mears and the #07 Jack Daniels car
Richard Childress Racing announced Friday that Casey Mears will drive the #07 car in 2009 while Clint Bowyer moves to the #33 and new sponsor Betty Crocker (fingers crossed for a better paint scheme than Hamburger Helper).

While merchandisers and diecast makers can now begin production for 2009, there is one very large issue still lingering.

What About The Points?

  • Where will the owners points from the #07 car go?
  • And more importantly, why would Casey Mears even deserve a chance to receive them?

According to reports, the owners points and a guaranteed starting spot for the first five races of 2009 might stay with the #07 car. That would mean Clint Bowyer would have to endure the heartburn of qualifying on time (if qualifying isn’t rained out) for at least the first five races.

Gaining Points Isn’t Mears Strong Suit
In the past two seasons with Hendrick Motorsports, a team with greater success than RCR in recent years, Mears nearly squandered his owner points position after five races. He was 35th in points as late as Talladega last year and was 33rd after five races this year.

With that record why would Childress even consider granting Mears valuable owners points with the fair chance that Mears will squander them?

First off, Casey Mears is a decent Cup driver (and by all accounts is popular with other drivers) and in the right circumstances is capable running in the top 10, but he simply isn’t as good as Bowyer. In five plus Cup seasons (204 starts) Mears has one win, 12 top 5’s and 40 top 10’s. Bowyer has 2 wins, 13 top 5’s and 39 top 10’s in only 97 starts. Bowyer also made the 2007 Chase and is in the hunt again this year. Mears has never finished better than 14th.

Is Bowyer Being Penalized?
Last year Bowyer finished 3rd in the Chase and held a moderate chance of winning the title last year. If he is forced to make the first five races that would completely alter the team’s outlook. Instead of setting goals on wins and top ten finishes, they would have to be more conservative for the first part of the season.

It’s not like Bowyer is making way for a more accomplished or popular driver like Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr or even Mark Martin. Mears is average. There’s no shame in being average compared to the best drivers in the world, but he certainly doesn’t deserve to trump Bowyer in the RCR pecking order.

The owner points issue is moot if Bowyer, Jeff Burton or Kevin Harvick somehow win the Championship this year and the accompanying past champion’s provisional.

And that is about as likely as my plan to sit by my door and wait for the Publisher’s Clearinghouse van to pull in the driveway. It’d be nice, but unlikely.

Then There Is This
The other theory is that Childress will purchase the points from another team and slide them to Bowyer’s #33 car. While that is fine if everything works out, it still creates a situation where Bowyer ranks below Mears.

Based on results that doesn’t make any sense.

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