Randy Moss Runnin’ Loose in Turn 3 Along With Jimmie Johnson
I’d like to welcome Bruce Simmons back to the forum this week as he is now officially back from his trip. Bruce, it’s good to have ya back. I’d also like to thank Roc for stepping up to the plate for us last week in his absence and keeping this alive. And, of course, with us as always is Charlie Turner from On Pit Row. Now, let’s get started.
At the end of April, future NFL Hall of Famer, Randy Moss, announced that he was looking to break into NASCAR as a team owner, more specifically in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2009. With Moss’ announcement immediately came speculation that he would get his team into a few races prior to the end of this season, and rumors began to fly surrounding the team’s manufacturer, sponsor, and affiliates. Many even believed that Moss would land one of the bigger stars from the Sprint Cup Series to debut his truck.
The rumors were finally laid to rest two months later when Moss announced that he had bought into Morgan-Dollar Motorsports as a part-owner, and that the team would be renamed Moss Motorsports. They renumbered the truck #81 in favor of Moss’ jersey number, and the new team debuted at Kentucky Speedway in July with Willie Allen behind the wheel, finishing 15th.
Things continue to evolve for the race team, however, as they have recently announced an agreement that will put two-time Sprint Cup champion, Jimmie Johnson, behind the wheel of the no. 81 truck at Bristol on August 20th. Johnson has never in his career competed in a Craftsman Truck race, and some feel that it may be the result of the partnership between Lowe’s - Johnson’s Sprint Cup sponsor - and Kobalt Tools, which will sponsor the #81 entry in the truck race.
Q: Is Randy Moss’ recent 50% purchase of what is now Moss Motorsports good for the sport?
TZ: I know there’s a lot of fans out there that probably only see this deal go down on the surface and immediately think to themselves, ‘oh, that’s crap’. Let me tell you, I don’t care if he’s white, black, or yellow, Randy Moss is a smart businessman, and he’s grown up an avid fan of racing. I also like the non-NASCAR star power that he brings to our sport, and it’s already taking its effect by putting Jimmie Johnson in a Craftsman Truck race for the first time in his career next month at Bristol. In my book, kudos to Randy Moss for venturing down this path.
Bruce: I think it will bring a different demographic to the sport to some degree as Randy Moss fans might just tune in to see what this is about. Right? Maybe? We can hope. New fans are always a good thing, regardless of how many or few.
Charlie: It is a step forward in NASCAR’s drive for diversity. But Randy Moss is an OWNER. He isn’t going to bring any star power to the sport beyond this initial slash of publicity as his new venture is announced. Do you doubt this. If so, name for me - quick - three other Craftsman Truck team owners. If you can do it, look at the names and then quantify how many fans those owners bring to the races. Didand bring a bunch of Cowboys football fans to NASCAR? If Moss can hang in for more than three years and build his team into something more than it is today, then he will have accomplished something significant.
Want more? The “Loose in Turn 3″ trio answers three questions each and every week, so be sure to check out the other sites to get the rest of our weekly discussion.
Over at On Pit Row, we answer “Should Tony Stewart look for the hot, young prospect, maybe someone from the open wheel ranks, instead of a current, high dollar star like Ryan Newman for his second car at Stewart-Haas?”
And, we conclude our talks over at Bruce’s Bits ‘n’ Pieces, where the question was posed, “With Tony Stewart acting out over in USAC, what’s that about? I thought he had gotten a grip on his outbursts? Do you think the stress of starting up a new team might be getting to him?”