Before I start, let me just say I love NASCAR. To me, it’s the greatest sport in the world and there isn’t a weekend I wouldn’t want to go to. However, there are few things in this sport that drive me crazy because of my love for it and the Clint Bowyer to HScott Motorsports situation is one of those scenarios.
It’s been rumored for a while now that Clint Bowyer will replace Justin Allgaier in the No. 51 Chevrolet at HScott Motorsports for the 2016 season. Bowyer will spend a year at the organization before moving to Stewart Haas Racing in the 2017 season. At Stewart Haas Racing Bowyer will replace Tony Stewart who is expected to announce on Wednesday. It’s expected that Stewart will have a retirement tour in 2016 before retiring for good after the season.
So what’s the big deal? What’s wrong with the Clint Bowyer to HScott Motorsports? It’s not the fact that Bowyer is taking someone’s ride for a season before moving to a big team. We’ve seen this before. Kasey Kahne spent a season at Red Bull Racing in 2011 prior to joining to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. That part is fine. The problem lies with who Bowyer is replacing.
Bowyer is replacing 29 year old Justin Allgaier. Allgaier currently sits 30th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. Now for some people, 30th in points is not great but for a low funding, new race team, 30th in points is not that bad. Especially when you look at Allgaier’s teammate, Michael Annett.
Annett came to HScott Motorsports prior to the 2015 season after spending the 2014 season at Tommy Baldwin Racing. Late in the offseason Annett left TBR and took his sponsor Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers with him to HScott Motorsports. It looked like Annett was going to have a decent season with the team. After all, he finished 33rd in points with TBR and HScott gets their engines and chassis from Hendrick Motorsports. However, Annett has struggled badly.
If you compare both Michael Annett’s 2015 season and Justin Allgaier’s 2015 season it’s not even close. Allgaier has nine top 20 finishes and 14 top 25 finishes in 28 starts this season. His teammate Annett, has one top 20 finish and just three top 25 finishes. Annett is currently 36th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings.
Looking at the statistics is should be a no-brainer as to who Bowyer should replace at HScott Motorsports. If only it were that simple.
Based solely on sponsorship he gets to keep his ride at HScott Motorsports, despite performing significantly worse than Allgaier. Allgaier has shown flashes of brilliance at HScott Motorsports and the fact that he will lose his ride, leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.
It’s part of the thing that drives me crazy in NASCAR these days. People always got rides based on how much money they could bring to a ride, that part hasn’t changed much. However, it seems to happen a lot more now than ever. That could be because the cost of racing has gone up so much that team owners will take the hit in performance to keep the money flowing for the race team.
For Justin Allgaier that reality is all too real as Allgaier will lose his ride due to the simple fact of money. That is the biggest problem with this situation and that’s a shame.