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McReynolds right sometimes, but wrong too

Published September 18, 2012

When something of importance takes place in the racing world, particularly the stock car racing world, the SPEED channel emails to reporters a release of quotes from their panel of experts who are quick to comment.

Such was the case Tuesday when SPEED sat down with Larry McReynolds to talk about the departure of the Eury family from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Nationwide Series team – Tony Sr. first, followed by Tony Jr.

Then, later in the day, out came a series of quotes from McReynolds and others concerning the reinstatement of A.J. Allmendinger by NASCAR following treatment after he failed two drug tests.

Now, sometimes McReynolds has amazing insight and is bang-on with his observations. Other times, he shows that he’s making it up as he goes along and doesn’t really understand what he’s talking about.

Tuesday’s two sets of quotes illustrate both tendencies perfectly.

On the departure of the Eurys from JR Motorsports, McReynolds said this:

“I think their current driver lineup is running as well as they’re going to run. In the Nationwide Series, Danica Patrick is probably as good as she’s going to be. She’s going to run between ninth and 15th and maybe score a top five on a really good day. I don’t care if you put Chad Knaus in as her crew chief, she’s going to run where she is running. As much as I’d love to say she could run fender-to-fender with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Austin Dillon or Elliott Sadler, I don’t think it’s there. Danica is great for our sport and I’m excited about her running full time in the Cup Series, but she has run 51 Nationwide Series races  and that’s a lot of races.

“By the same token, Cole Whitt is going to run where he is running. He was thrown into the deep end pretty fast. I think he’s between a sixth and 12th place driver right now. That’s where he ran with the Eurys, and that’s where he’s going to run without them.”

Who can argue with that analysis? Larry McReynolds is absolutely correct.

On the other hand, this is why he should be very careful when he spouts off on subjects that maybe he’s not a hundred per cent up on. Or else, he’s misunderstood what he’s been told.

This is what he said about the possibility of A.J. Allmendinger returning to racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Roger Penske’s team:

“What I think might be going on, though - and I talked to Robin Miller (SPEED open wheel reporter) earlier today about this before we even knew A.J . was reinstated – is that A.J. is under consideration for Roger Penske’s IndyCar ride. Roger has an open seat. I know Roger has offered it to a couple of drivers who have turned it down. A.J. was in Fontana last weekend with Roger, and A.J. came from open-wheel racing. That might be the best place for him right now. It might not be what he wants, but it probably is the best option for his career at the moment. What top rides are available in NASCAR? None at the moment. I truly think he’d be better off driving an Indy car for Penske than taking a middle-of-the-road ride in the Cup Series.”

Okay, this is what popped out of that paragraph and hit me right square between the eyes:

Roger has an open seat. I know Roger has offered it to a couple of drivers who have turned it down.

Huh? Drivers have turned down an offer from Roger Penske to drive one of his Indy cars?

I don’t think so, Larry.

In fact, not a chance.

That would be like me saying, “Rick Hendrick has an open seat. He offered it to a couple of drivers who have turned it down.”

Which would never happen.

But in case you’re right and I’m not, names please.

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