Ever wonder where our boy RG would have been today if the purchase of RYR was finalized?
Often really wondered what went on there. Would love to hear the story behind that deal. I do believe Robby would have be a major player in Nascar right now had that deal gone through. I still remember seeing a picture of Robby and Robert Yates in the garage standing next to each other after the deal fell through and thinking it looked extremely akward. I think Robby has tons of great organizational ideas as well as being a very creative imagineer. To this day I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for how much influence he had in Nascar. I think many teams saw some of the things he did and followed suit. When he was with Childress and for most of the time with his own team he helped to modernize the cars as well as the garage. I still remember Gene Nead say that Robby probably had the most meticulously prepared and nicest cars in the garage. I also remember Waltrip on the radio at Pocono saying how it seemed like Robby had 100 more horsepower than everybody else and couldn't believe the sound of his engine. I personally think that had the Menards power held together and the Yates deal goes through our boy is sitting pretty today. Don't get me wrong, I still think what Robby does is incredible. I would have just loved to see him being a force in Nacar so bad because the powers that be were so against him. Robby was to Nascar what Trump is like to the Republican party. I remember being really sick over that deal because I really thought that was his big chance and it got deep sixed by the cat in the hat. Still don't like him today because of that.
The Menard engine was not short on horsepower - just short on development time. In 2005 when Robby started his team, it was also the first year NASCAR implemented the top 35 owner point rule. Of course being a new team, Robby had no owner points so he had to qualify his way in and finish races. Because of this there was no room for continued development of the Menard engine. Damn shame.
Cruel Irony: Who pushed for the top 35 rule? Jack Roush.
I believe old Jack was pissed when RG left Ford back in the day, as you know he was big with Ford in Off Road too. There certainly was some animosity there, something to do with kicking the blue oval after an engine failure. But I recall years back we were at The Glen, when the rumour surfaced that he was going to buy RYR.. Always wondered what that may have looked like...Oh well...
It goes back further than that, before Robby was born, when Jack joined Ford in the 60's at about the same time Michael Kranefuss came on board. Mike had a meteoric rise through Ford. Jack not so much and left the company in the early 70's. Kranefuss oversaw Europe racing operations; developed the Capri race car, won several touring car championships and the WRC championship. He then became the head of Ford Global Motorsports and effectively Jack's boss. Who arranged Robby to test with Roush back in the Trans Am / IMSA GT days? Michael Kranefuss. And it was a test that almost didn't happen.
Side bar: Kranefuss also pushed Roush to sign a young and talented driver named Jeff Gordon in 1990 to his Busch team for the following year. Jack passed convinced that Wally Dallenbach, Jr. was going to be the next Cale Yarborough. So Kranefuss went to his other Ford team, Bill Davis Racing, who signed him. Kranefuss gave Jack another opportunity to sign Jeff two years later when his contract with Davis was up. Again, Jack declined primarily because Jeff insisted his crew chief, Ray Evernham, be included in the package. Jeff signs with Hendrick instead and the rest is history.
Is a Jackass a Jackass?
Good info - thanks!
You know, when Robby Gordon drove the # 28 Valvoline car it was one of the first shoes to drop for my being a fan. Having the other revolving Cup entries as a backstop. I was a friggen news stand loiterer back then and sadly the river of age has since washed away much of my memory banks and now do I only reflect briefly on quick passing ghosts of recall of the then up to date knowledge farm I so tediously tended with each rag dissected ....yet left like new. The rest is history and true to reality much of the truth is the hidden variety and conspiring undertow that shapes much more than a person would dare to believe.
Robert Yates also dropped the ball when he the opportunity to expand to 3 teams, but Yates wanted to stay with two letting go of his Havoline deal to pick up UPS...Havoline ended up on Jamie McMurray's ride. Havoline and UPS left the sport and M&M's is with Joe Gibbs.