Monday, April 14, 2014

The Pyramid Scheme Of Social Security Taxes

Social Security taxes illustrate why entitlement programs are a scam - you're paying for someone else's Social Security and the payouts are shrinking.

Harvick's Darlington Stripes And Stewart-Haas' Easter Abundance

The Southern 500 weekend has come and gone and with it has gone Winston Cup's season-opening string of different winners.   Kevin Harvick's win was hardly unexpected given he led 238 laps and a series of late yellows were mere stays of execution, though the fact Stewart-Haas Racing is now well above its Hendrick Motorsports suppliers is a head-scratcher; given the cutthroat reality of racing one wonders when the backlash from Hendrick comes.  

But then Stewart-Haas Racing, clearly a favorite in the Chevrolet racing hierarchy, has been defying such odds since Chevy helped Stewart buy into Gene Haas' organization.   They've now won 22 races in this, their sixth season.   And Gene Haas is ready to take the plunge into Formula One - and we can't fathom why, as F1 is even more viciously political than NASCAR and crashingly boring as a form of racing.   It's the first American presence there since the ill-advised Michael Andretti foray in 1993, and Michael didn't make F1 fans in the US out of anyone. 


Harvick's status within the organization will go up if it hasn't already, as he appears to be top dog, and his absence from his former employer is also quite obvious as RCR has no moxie anywhere.   The rookie of the year race for Austin Dillon realistically is already over with Austin routed by Kyle Larson, this despite a decent finish for Dillon at Darlington, and it is absurd to expect much out of Paul Menard or Ryan Newman right now.

The only other Chevrolet team with any muscle is Ganassi-SABCO, and they got a decent performance at Darlington despite Kyle Larson whacking the wall a couple of times.   Curiously this outfit has led just ten laps all season, all of them by Jamie McMurray at Bristol.  


And it's looking more and more bleak for any other brand to challenge Chevrolet.   JGR's Toyotas won Fontana and have shown some consistent muscle but this challenge has hardly been inspiring; JGR did salvage top-six finishes for Kyle Busch and the curiously-quiet Matt Kenseth.    The rest of the Toyota squadron has been left behind.

The Ford flotilla is the only other non-Chevrolet to have won, and while Penske's bunch are cooking since Carl Edwards' Bristol win the Ford challenge has been largely quiet.   The Fenway group that is part of Roush's bunch is starting out with a bad year overall between a poor Red Sox showing and mediocrity on the racing end.    No less ugly was the terrible effort of Aric Almirola at Darlington, though teammate Marcos Ambrose salvaged 14th.   


Speaking of Chevrolet, their future contains a supreme irony, in that Chevy's newest star is a youngster whose dad is one of Ford's most famous champions.   Seeing Casey Elliott's win at the Rebel 200 evoked memory of the famous 1979 Rebel 500 finish, and also brought reminder of how time changes - Chase is winning in Chevrolets where his dad Bill was Ford's superman in the 1980s and as late as 1992.  

So ends the first portion of the 2014 Winston Cup season as Easter and Patriots Day beckon.    The Richmond 400 weekend and Stafford Speedway's Spring Sizzler come up in two weeks.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Government Motors Scandal

Why was it a bad idea for the government to meddle in auto companies?   Because the government corrupted the market and now has a full-blown scandal from its meddling.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Monday Knights Logano At Texas

It's become a running joke in Winston Cup - if you're suffering a drought, then bring NASCAR to your region and the drought will end.   Rain has hit the majority of the first seven NASCAR weekends of the season and it was appropriate for Texas given the Duck Commander sponsorship.   The race nonetheless got in on Monday and Joey Logano swam to the win, his second with Penske Racing and where he led the most laps (108) of any of his four Winston Cup wins.   He had to sweat out an ill-timed late yellow that set up a green-white-checker finish, but on fresh tires he easily disposed of Jeff Gordon and also a wildcard bid by Brian Vickers.

So what to take out of this Texas 500?   Some observations -


Not a banner weekend for Hendrick Motorsports or its Stewart-Haas satellite -  Gordon finished second and Tony Stewart finished tenth - other than that it wasn't much to feel good about for Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas.  Stewart led 74 laps but never seemed up to challenging again once he lost the lead.   Kevin Harvick's season has gotten worse since winning at Phoenix, Kurt Busch's season has never really gotten going even with the Martinsville win and third at Fontana, and Danica Patrick is getting worse, not better.   On the hendrick side, Dale Junior's Daytona win keeps fading in the rearview mirror of a 12th at Fontana, third at Martinsville, and finishes 24th or worse in two of his last four races.   Gordon and Johnson have run good, but not great, and Johnson suddenly isn't dodging the bullets he seemed to dodge in his title heyday, while Kasey Kahne has almost fallen off the map.

So when does the series get a repeat winner? - So far seven drivers have won the first seven races, and there are suddenly more than expected in terms of potential winners.  The Hendrick fleet is what they are, so keep an eye there.    Brad Keselowski has curiously faltered in terms of finishes since Vegas but showed real hustle at Texas despite hood damage from one of the jet dryers (insert your own Juan Montoya joke here).   There remains the JGR Toyotas, which showed some return to competitive form at Texas.   There is also the Ganassi/SABCO pair, as Kyle Larson is running away with top rookie honors and contending for even more.

Among the darker horses, more and more Richard Petty's team is making a case for itself as it starts developing its own adjustments to its racecars and Trent Owens steadily proves himself a star of the future among crew chiefs. 

Curiously quiet have been Richard Childress and Roush Fenway - since Carl Edwards' Bristol win the Roush fleet has managed just one top ten finish, while RCR looks lost as an organization - that Austin Dillon's crew chief acknowledged during the race to running conservative setups, right or not, isn't the ringing endorsement of Dillon that he needs, and you cannot be a credible team with the worthless Paul Menard leading the way in top ten finishes for your organization. 

Tires an issue - or not - Tires were a controversy before the race and there were several tire issues during it, but overall it was a quiet day for Goodyear.   Given Goodyear's history, though, at some point later this year tires will become an issue again.

There was a Trevor Bayne sighting - Trevor put the Wood Brothers #21 in the top-seven in qualifying and ran okay for awhile.   It remains curious nothing more consistent has been assembled for Trevor and the Woods.

So it goes with Texas now a wrap and the Southern 500 beckoning this Saturday before the Eastern bye week.