That rumble you here in the background of all the NASCAR comment and rhetoric is the the inevitable wave of the Toyota juggernaut rolling towards Sprint Cup Championships in the not distant future.
The Gibbs crews go from one of four Chevrolet teams - and unarguably not the clear #1 - to being the spearhead of Toyota's effort to capture the Sprint Cup Championship.
Toyota not only gains a championship winning organization. They now have in their stable of drivers, three who are consistent winners and Chase to the Cup qualifiers - and importantly, guaranteed starters in next February's Daytona 500. Add Gibbs satellite, Hall of Fame Racing and it's new driver J J Yeley to the line up and the NASCAR landscape has changed in a big way.
I have heard many comments that this move by Joe Gibbs Racing at this time will ruin any chance that Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin have of winning the Cup in 2007. The theory being that Chevrolet will now withhold any top secret -Nextel Cup winning - technology from the traitors at JGR. Sorry, I don't buy it. The Bow-tie boys would give Henry Ford help if Hank drove a Monte Carlo...or Impala.
And of course the backlash of NASCAR fans has begun, as this comment on the Daly Planet blog shows.
They talked about wanting to be on the cutting edge and being leaders, but going from 2nd best to being the best of the worst is a step backwards. This will turn off a lot of fans, including me. I think I'll start rooting for Tony's rival Jimmie Johnson now, to spite him.
Kevin in SoCal
I wonder if Kevin in SoCal knows that Tony Stewart Racing has been running Toyota powered sprints and midgets for some time now? Doubt it.
And how long can it be before Jack Roush re-declares NASCAR War on Toyota? Maybe The Cat in the Hat will be relieved to have one fewer Chevy team to deal with.
Toyota has made steady progress in 2007. The past weekend's results by the two Red Bull Toyotas is a small indicator. Make no mistake though. That rumbling roar in the background noise surrounding the Race to the Chase finale this week is the Toyota Tsunami, relentlessly building towards Cup Series championships.