Greatest What If Drivers...

Discussion in 'NASCAR chat' started by Snappy D, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    The noon NFL Games arnt doing it for me today.....and it’s about that time I start missing racing so it got me thinking...who if they had long careers not cut short due to health, tragedy or injury would have been successful and how much success? So many to choose from...Davey Allison, Alan Kulwicki, Kenny Irwin Jr, Ernie Irvan, Rob Moroso ? I’m sure I’m forgetting some. Hope to hear from the older posters on this board to get an education, history of the sport is so interesting to me. I’d have to choose Davey, I think had he lived he would have impacted Earnhardt and his last two championships as well as Jeff Gordon and his four because Davey would have been in his prime through the early to late 90’s. Discuss away.....
     
  2. 2 Sweet

    2 Sweet Legend

    Tim Richmond and Tim Steele come to mind. Adam Petty. Brian Vickers. Steve Park
     
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  3. kyle18fan

    kyle18fan Kyle Busch win counter guy Contributor

    What if Harvick had his spoiler at Homestead :(
     
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  4. DIDIT

    DIDIT Old School Fan

    Tim Richmond
    A discussion about Allan Kulwicki is always interesting in regards to his future.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
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  5. Tim Richmond, Alan Kulwicki and Davey Allison are three interesting candidates. That could have drastically altered the NASCAR landscape, especially the resumes of Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon.
     
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  6. Ventisca

    Ventisca Crew Chief Contributor

    Interesting points.

    ‘Twas Jimmie Johnson that stunted Jeff Gordon’s legacy...
     
  7. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    I had a brain cramp on Richmond, totally forgot about him. I’m sure He would have raced into the 90’s and 00’s as well with Gordon and Allison. Gosh that would have been awesome.
     
  8. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    And the Chase stunted Gordon’s legacy as well
     
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  9. Greg

    Greg 2014 RF YAHOO CHAMP Your leader

    It is easy to believe that Tim Richmond and Davey Allison would have accomplished more.
    I think Ernie Irvan would have as well.
    Allison and Irvan were clearly better drivers than Dale Jarrett imo, who eventually won a championship for Yates.
     
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  10. be9ak7ts16

    be9ak7ts16 Hick

    My what if driver is Tim Steele(ts16). The guy could drive a car. He dominated ARCA in the mid 90's. Him and Bud Moore were all set to go racing until a crash sidelined him.
     
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  11. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    Yea I kinda believe Allison might have had Jarrett’s 99 Winston Cup. Maybe even the 2000 Cup. His Cup career stared in 85 I would think he would have raced until 2005-07 range.
     
  12. ToyYoda

    ToyYoda Team Owner

    I always wondered what Ricky Craven would have been able to do at Hendrick Motorsports had injuries not gotten in the way.
     
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  13. Greg

    Greg 2014 RF YAHOO CHAMP Your leader

    I always wondered what Ward Burton could have done with a first class ride.
     
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  14. Steve Park
    Jerry Nadeau
    Brian Vickers
    Adam Petty
    Kenny Irwin Jr
    Hut Stricklin if he had better equipment
    Ernie Irvan
    Jeff Gordon without the Chase
    Dale Jr if Sr doesn’t get killed



    Non-NASCAR:
    Jules Bianchi
    Gilles Villenuve
    Didier Pironi
    Ronnie Peterson
    Francois Cevert
    Greg Moore
    Gonzalo Rodriguez
    Jacques Villenuve if he didn’t join BAR in 1999
    Alexander Rossi in good F1 equipment
    Oliver Panis
    Montoya staying in F1
     
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  15. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    I believe that Dale would have been a handful in 01 if he survived by just now Harvick ran in the car as a rookie with no off season prep with that 3/29 crew
     
  16. ToyYoda

    ToyYoda Team Owner

    Agreed, Dale finished 2nd in points in 2000 and looked like he was back to his old form after a few down years.
     
  17. BobbyFord

    BobbyFord Resident Gearhead Contributor

    Morgan Shepherd. What if he had a better car?
     
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  18. Greg

    Greg 2014 RF YAHOO CHAMP Your leader

    LOL good one.

    But he was born in 1941 and his best years were in the Late Sportsman years or his pre Winston Cup years.
    And he still performed well in the later 80s and early 90s. He is definitely too old now and gained greater attention for the context.

    But age was also against him before he got a quality ride back in the 80s, as well.
    Lots of drivers hurt their legacy by hanging on too long and feeding younger eyes with a limited washed up view, doing into his 70s tainted his legacy the most.
     
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  19. ToyYoda

    ToyYoda Team Owner

    I remember when Morgan Shepherd was a pretty decent Cup driver. He won a Cup race at age 51, which is no small feat.
     
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  20. Ilovedthe90s

    Ilovedthe90s I love yoga pants

    If you haven't watched (Tim Richmond to the limit) yet I highly recommend. It's a 30 for 30 on ESPN
     
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  21. Ventisca

    Ventisca Crew Chief Contributor

    (Your First Name here) Earnhardt, illegitimate son of Dale Earnhardt, born in 1999 in Las Vegas to a showgirl with athletic genes.

    WHAT IF —

    You would probably have a silver spoon in your mouth, and an Xfinity steering wheel in your hands... :)
     
  22. gone

    gone Team Owner

    Morgan Shepard was called "Super Sub" near the end of his Winston Cup career - he filled in for several hurt drivers and performed well, including the win that ToyYoda mentioned. But as Greg said, Morgan had gotten too old to interest Winston Cup team owners.
     
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  23. gone

    gone Team Owner

    Not unless they quit racing to become full time taxi drivers.
     
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  24. gone

    gone Team Owner

    If Davey Allison, Alan Kulwicki, or Tim Richmond hadn't died young then Dale Earnhardt would not have seven championships. Jeff Gordon might or might not have his four championships - he had an age advantage over those others. Rob Moroso had enough potential (and backing money) to win some races, but I'm not sure if he had a championship in him. Hard to tell about Kenny Irwin Jr, since he never got a shot with a really good team. Although Ernie Irvan's injuries did cut his career short, he'd already shown what he had in very good equipment and I don't think he would have done a lot more - he'd have some more wins, but I doubt a championship.
     
  25. Ventisca

    Ventisca Crew Chief Contributor

     
  26. Ventisca

    Ventisca Crew Chief Contributor

  27. gone

    gone Team Owner

    Yep, I remember that. Of course, it was just a stunt - Gordon wasn't changing occupations...
     
  28. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    It’s so good...I wish Tim hadn’t gotten sick his talent was amazing. The 80’s and 90’s could have been championship battles of Earnhardt vs Gordon vs Richmond vs Allison. Golly the thought of that...
     
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  29. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    RCR had rebuilt the 3 team it seemed for one last go of it and Earnhardt looked rejuvenated, I think he would have had 01 and 02 to get that 8th title
     
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  30. Kiante

    Kiante Team Owner

    Lake Speed was honestly underrated as a driver. He did a great job with Melling after Bill left IMHO, but the team was a shell of itself by then. I think with a better team, Lake could have definitely been a great driver in better equipment.

    He was a wheelman a la John Andretti that could wheel the hell out of anything. He had interest from teams in CART, F1, and NASCAR.
     
  31. Turtle84

    Turtle84 Crew Chief

    Jeremy Mayfield
    AJ Allmendinger
    Brian Vickers
     
  32. 28car

    28car Team Owner

    Totally agree with this statement........tell me Chase didn’t have a silver spoon, we know the grandkids did,
    who else?

    Today if you don’t have that silver spoon, you’re not racing NASCAR.
     
  33. Lake is very underrated. Dude won the World Karting champion beating drivers such as Senna. Considering the best equipment he ever drove was his own, he could have accomplished much more with a better team
     
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  34. No doubt. I believe as well Jr would have had a championship or two if Sr wasn’t killed and DEI would still be going strong today.
     
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  35. mack

    mack Team Owner

    Of all the "what ifs", the most tragic to me is Davey Allison. The guy was taught by his dad one of the absolute best chassis men to ever live, Davey won two races as a rookie, compared to Dale Srs one. On top of that he only ran 22 of the 29 events in his rookie seaon. He was a steady performer from 87 until his death in 93. He had Winston Cup Champion wrote all over him. Tim Richmond was an unusually talented driver also. Did he have a title or two in him? I believe he did. Kulwicki, I believe had peaked. I think as with most independents his days were numbered as an owner. So, I'm saying he had peaked for where he was at. Had he landed a top tier ride, which I believe he would have, he would have been in the thick of things for a few more years. Ernie may have well won a title at Yates had he stayed healthy. But, as with the others, we will never know. Great topic for discussion.
     
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  36. Ventisca

    Ventisca Crew Chief Contributor

    just having off-season fun, but you missed the reference

    NASCAR Cup cars have been described as "Taxis" in the past...
     
  37. 2 Sweet

    2 Sweet Legend

    I definitely think Richmond and Davey would have won championships. Irvan too, if not for the Michigan wreck in '94. But he only had the 28 ride because of Davey's death so there's that.

    I wonder how Alan Kulwicki would have fared if he continued as a driver/owner. If you look at DW and Bill and Rudd and those guys, their success was somewhat disappointing and their teams were short lived.
     
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  38. 2 Sweet

    2 Sweet Legend

    Yes, this is pretty much exactly what I was trying to say. :cheers:
     
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  39. pjmolo

    pjmolo Director of driver attitude adjustments . . .

    If you were to ask Morgan, I'm sure he'd say his best days are still ahead of him.

    Seriously though, the guy I wonder about is Adam Petty. It would have been interesting to see what he could do as a fourth generation wheel man.

    Glenn "Fireball" Roberts was already an extremely successful driver when he was killed, at age 35, in the mid 60's but if he had lived, maybe Richard Petty would have one or two less championship titles.
     
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  40. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    Forgot to mention him in my initial post....Petty Enterprises and to a lesser extent, Dodge bet it all on him. He’d still be racing today I bet, one of the greatest what if’s
     

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