Friday, August 03, 2007

Wake-Up Rookies!

This morning the Nextel Cup Raybestos rookie class (minus Juan Pablo Montoya)O participated in the weekly Nextel Wake-Up call in the media center which all members of the media are invited to attend. AJ, David Ragan, David Reutimann, and Paul Menard were asked a series of questions. Of course most questions centered around the top-35 rule. Paul Menard has just worked his way into the top-35 so AJ and David were able to ask what it was like on the other side. He said he has definately been sleeping better on Thursday nights. We hope we can know what that feels like at some point this season!

NEXT UP - Cup Qualifying at 3:40 pm EST. AJ goes out 2nd, Brian 24th. Stay tuned!


Anonymous ashley said...

Good luck in qualifying! You can do it!

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Great job Brian, looking forward to the race Sunday!

1:35 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

It's still perplexing as to what is going on with these Toyota teams. It's just baffling that the 83, 22, and 00 can be pretty good overall each week yet the 84, 36, 44, and 55 seem like they are miles behind. MWR is sorta understandable, as one could say they are stretched a little thin, and BDR's #22 has been established so the #36 would have some catchup to do... but I just cannot understand why the #84 has been so slow as of late. I mentioned this in a response to an earlier blog posting, but it certainly doesn't seem like the Toyota teams are sticking to the '3 teams under 1 umbrella' method of information sharing.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Stinks that AJ didn't make it, but it's good to see 1 TRB car in the show. Congratulations to Brian and the entire 83 team. Definitly can't wait to see them race on Sunday. Better luck next time AJ!


3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it's good that Brian made another race, but I'm getting frustrated with how AJ's team can't get him in.

This is the 6th in a row that he'll miss, and next week will probably be 7 with all the ringers and such coming to Watkins Glen. I mean..this is the stuff that costs a driver his ride sometimes. So where's Ricky and the team to turn this around?

AJ's my favorite, I gotta support the local driver, being from San Jose myself, but this is getting too painful to watch now.

And he's gonna have to make it on time again at the start of the '08 season for certain, and that's if he still has the ride at the end of the year. Is there reason to be worried about that?

4:10 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

I really dont think there is any reason to worry about AJ losing his ride...for one he is under contract and two its his first year in a stock car. I mean he really had no practive before Daytona if you really look at it. I seriously think that they should put him in a busch car atleast where the two series are running in the same location.

GO BRIAN!!! He did extremely well today!

4:13 PM  
Anonymous 83GIVZUWINGZ said...

Congrats Brian!!! We are all so proud of you and the whole 83 crew! Good luck Sunday!


4:34 PM  
Anonymous Alina said...

I will respectfully disagree that Paul Menard "worked" his way into the top 35. His way into the top 35 was bought thanks to Teresa being a shrewd, money-grubbing businesswoman who lost her cash cow in Dale Jr.

Can you tell I have no love for TEI (no, I didn't mistype's not DEI's TEI) whatsoever????

4:55 PM  
Blogger ncsuredbull said...

"it certainly doesn't seem like the Toyota teams are sticking to the '3 teams under 1 umbrella' method of information sharing.

Have they ever shared information? Why would they share information....they are competing against each other for the spots.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not frustrated but definitely concerned about the 84. AJ is a great driver and personality. I'm with Ken on why Toyota is not getting speed. Dave Blaney and Bill Davis continue to amaze me. They don't get enough credit for the terric job they have done. Anyway, keep your heads up TRB, "nothing worthwhile is accomplished without struggle." BTW, I am raising my Red Bull and v to the #83, congrats on making the race!

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Nathan said...

I think Manufacturer support makes a huge difference in how teams run. Chevy, Dodge, and Ford give tremendous R&D to the teams, as well as information. When Toyota's knowledge base starts to meet and exceed that of the Big Three, you'll see drastic improvement in all the Toyota teams.

I thoroughly expect Toyota to have a team in the chase next year (likely the 83) and between 2-4 teams in the top 20. Slowly but surely, they'll work their way up into a weekly contender. Talent is important, but money can do a lot, and Toyota has the bucks to spend.

I was very critical of the decision to hire AJ for the #84, but I have changed my position on that. He has a boatload of talent and will get it done. He just needs seat time. The current alternatives aren't that great, and in time, he'll be great.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not TRB, it's not the 84 Team's fault - it's AJ!

Maybe there isn't any help from other Toyota teams, but every advantage BV has, AJ has, and AJ just can't cut it.

Contract or not, I'll be glad when AJ is replaced.

GREAT JOB, BRIAN!! Bring it home!!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...



8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why waste time and money on someone who hasn't proven himself in a stock car?

ESPECIALLY for an upstart team who has uphill battles all the way. The one thing you SHOULD be confident in, is that, once you've done all you can to give your driver the best car possible, he'll do his part and drive the wheels off.

But, I must admit: Even some of the old pros are having a tough time (Waltrip, Jarrett, etc.)

I don't dislike AJ, I just KNOW TRB would be more successful if there were 2 experienced drivers as opposed to only 1.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what drivers? They have people like Elliot, T Labonte and Rudd coming out of retirement & Mark Martin had to leave Roush to go part time. So let us know where all these superflous drivers are? Give AJ a break, if his performance in the truck series is an indication he is going to be awesome in time.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous toro rosso 83fan said...

I think it is naive to think all the Toy teams would help each other because they are ususally trying to knock each other out of qualifying every week. If they were all locked in, I think there would be more sharing. As for AJ, give him a break. Even Mayfield (who was in the chase!) has missed a bunch of races this year. Furthuremore, there were few unemployed drivers out there when they hired AJ. His upside is huge.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

Why is it naive to think that? One big part of Toyota's success in the CTS series has been that same idea of TRD being heavily involved with each team. Hell, just look at the Busch Series race at IRP, the first words out of Reutimann's mouth were "I'm happy for TRD and all the guys at Toyota" despite being fuming mad at Leffler and his Toyo winning. I'm sure the Dodge teams have talked with each other about the aerodynamics of the '06 nose vs. the '07 nose, and the Ford guys have talked together trying to figure out why their COT is behind, so why not the Toyota teams? If you were a team that was struggling to qualify for each race and finishing 38th 2 laps down (which seems to be the MO for just about every Toyota team except the 22 and 83), wouldn't you want all the help you could get?

Besides, it STILL doesn't explain why there is such a gulf performance-wise between the 83 and 84, the 00 and 44/55, and the 22 and 36. When there's a question about whether teams under the same roof are sharing information, it's probably time to rethink the strategy.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous toro rosso 83fan said...

I don't agree that there is a huge difference between the 83 and 84. They probably go in each weekend with a BV/DR setup and it will take time to build a notebook for the 84 team. AJ and Viers were not in Nextel Cup last year. As for the other teams-personally I don't care. Mayfield has never adapted to the coil bind setup as KK was winning races and Mayfield was falling out of the top 35 last year. MW is WAY overrated as a driver, and I don't think DJ has adapted to the newer setups either. If the teams were locked in, yes I could see them sharing, but do you think the 83 team wants to share set ups with MWR, just so they then have to fight them to make the race? That makes no sense to me. At the end of the day your are judged by what your team does not TRD as a whole.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have become an AJ fan. I think his personality is a great thing for Nascar and will become a huge asset for the series. His team as a whole a rookies in the series and need time to adapt and gel together. I wish they could get more laps in order to learn. All the toyota teams are fighting to get in the races each week - why would they share information? I think Blaney does so well because Bill Davis is an established team with all the personell in place and have been working together for awhile. They changes manufacturers but were already a team. Of all the toyota teams the 84 has the most to learn but I have faith they will be there soon given the time.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ has been a champion of each series that he has been in. He's climbed the rankings everywhere he has been, karting, Barber Dodge, Toyota Atlantics, and Champ Car. The move from an Open-Wheel car to a stock car, was a very gutsy decision, and we should all admire his courage, and determination to get this job done! He's been a Red Bull athlete for several years, and he believes in them. He left what could have been his best year in Champ Car, could have been the Champion there this year, to come learn how to drive a stock car for Team Red Bull. In order to do that, he needs seat time!!! A practice for 1.5 hours each Friday, is not enough. Give the kid a break. Look at his history, because it dictates his future! Have some insight. We believe in you AJ. Keep diggin.

8:34 AM  

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