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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gene Haas showed no class in fast-tracked racing deal

For all intents and purposes, Stewart-Haas Racing, (SHR) has sewn up the  oose ends on the 2014 racing season, long before this season has concluded. If nothing else, the timing of this deal and the publicity surrounding it, does not show much class on the part of team co-owner Gene Haas. 
Did he have to sign Kurt Busch for next year even while Ryan Newman, SHR's only chance for a run at a championship THIS YEAR fights to make the Chase for the Championship? At the moment, Newman is 15th in points, but holds one of the wildcard spots because he won the race at Indianapolis at the end of last month. Newman's points status does not reflect his driving ability. It more closely reflects his bad luck. Saturday night at Bristol, Newman was in great contention for a top-five or better showing until he got caught up in a bizarre wreck toward the end of the night--typical Newman luck.

Apparently Newman has been written off by his owner

Despite company claims that boast "teamwork and family," the Busch deal shows none of that. 

SHR's purpose "to deliver excellence to fans, partners and employees," as well as conducting themselves with "professionalism and integrity," seems to have taken a backseat as well. 

Haas is obviously not a team player, evidenced not only by what was done to Newman, who was told there was no money for a fourth team just weeks before Busch was hired to drive a fourth car, but what was done to Haas' co-owner Tony Stewart. 

According to reports from the press conference to announce the deal, competition director Greg Zipadelli said Stewart was in the hospital and didn't even know the Kurt Busch deal was happening. This entire thing took place after Stewart broke his right leg in a Sprint Car crash Aug. 5 in Iowa. 

It is easy to see that Ryan Newman/Stewart-Haas fans feel not only that SHR failed to deliver to its employees and fans, but that Newman and his fans were betrayed. The forums at SHR are filled with disgruntled, disappointed race fans that vow they will follow Newman wherever he lands in 2014. 

As a Newman fan, I wish him the best of luck to finish out this season with the kind of dignity he continues to display. He deserves better than he's gotten. 

I look forward to a good run at Atlanta and Richmond, and a successful Chase for the Championship. I remain anxious to hear how next season will play out for Newman. 

I wish Tony well in his recovery. A broken leg is a very painful experience with a long healing time. 

As for Haas and Busch, I just hope Gene has lots of money invested for damaged race cars. Busch is certainly a capable driver, albeit a tad wreckless. All this just adds to the drama that is NASCAR.
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