71 Fan thats a great question but I do Have to agree with Hardscrabble on this one. There are more factors involved in the equation. But it seems that if you dont care to much about that sponsorship and publicity and you just want to win you better go with Ray.
71fan, I always take the bait on this topic don't I?
But to answer your question it would involve the big picture again. HS pretty much said it all. But just a reminder to you again since you tend to like to give Ray credit for all things, (refering to that other post you did a while back ) look who is behind the wheel in this car. Awesome Bill. Says a lot doesn't it. Let's take a look on the other side of the Ray equation, Mayfield. Hmmm...Looks to me like it is the story of the big picture again.
TN-WardFan, hey Jeff won a go cart race, didn't you watch the prerace show? (and he won it without Ray's help!) LOL
Ray isn't Bill's crew chief. He is the owner. These comparisons will never stop. When Ray left, Jeff won 2 races in a row, but written off cause they were Ray's cars, didn't matter who drove them I guess. Gordon won another championship, 2 years after Ray! Any credit...nope. Now, Bill FINALLY starts to do well and immediately you give all the credit to Ray. I am amazed that I don't hear "anyone can win in Ray's cars" yet! Ask Mayfield about Ray or ask Atwood. Those are also "Ray's cars". Give credit to the driver. Bill isn't Awesome Bill from Dawsonville for nothing.
I believe that he is in about the same league as Junoir Johnson, he has imagination, charisma, savvy, intelligence and he's the real deal. There are just so many different areas that all have to come together to get in the winner's circle. Ray knows them all and how to put the total package together, and yes a good driver and sponsorship are very critical, but not the end all. Where Ray's mind is, victories aren't far off. IMHO
Yea ya do, ain't it great? Glad to see that there are fans of The Jeff that can actually discuss racing in an intelligent manner.
I do give Ray a lot of credit. That I think he is genius is common knowledge among people that know me.
As for Bill behind the wheel, look who hired him. As for Ray not being listed as crew chief on the 9 team, I'm fairly certain Ray doesn't sit on top of that box just for the view. I'ld bet my boots (well, my old ones anyways) that Ray reserves the right to overule any pit call.
The MAJOR change on the DuPont Team is the loss of Ray. Jeff is one quality driver, but without Ray (and with the nascar parity fiasco) I seriously doubt that he will ever dominate the sport again.
Ya gotta remember that Bill got the nickname Awesome in the mid 80's. His last win was in 94? And that also was the last time he was really competitive too. Then he gets in one of Ray's cars and bingo, he's a factor again. But I also think that Jeff is one of the best drivers ever. So my take would be this, Ray and Jeff together are an almost unbeatable combination. But Ray's cars will make any driver better.
And I do agree with 71Fan that Ray is calling some shots on the #9.
71Fan, isn't Mayfield's car one of Ray's also? I do agree about Ray, he is one of the best. But to be totally honest with you I don't think I could rely on someone that had a tendency to get bored with things and needs a challenge. I'm refering to racing of course and your question. Ray has always had a need for perfection and a drive for success at all cost. I think it would be a tremendous stress load to work with him. That's why in the beginning him and Jeff butted heads. They are a lot alike. But of course we all know the history of how the two came to terms and settled into becoming a successful team. Ray is now working with Elliott, who still has the talent and the drive to want to win races. The two are a perfect match. Ray likes those feathers in his cap, and with Elliott I think he feels that for once as a car owner he can earn all this on his own. More power to him, if you've got it apply it. But I'm not going to sit here and give all the credit to Ray for the successes he has had. You can set a car up, you can have a quality team and the best crew chief in the world, but if that driver doesn't have the drive to be the best he can be (and of course lady luck figures in here somewhere) what do you have?
Have you ever thought about how many races have been lost due to lady luck looking the other way? I think with Jeff, the whole program was in place. The sponsors, the team, the crew chief, the owner. The momentum was there for the taking. I never looked at it as dominance as you refered to it as. I looked at it as a team, a crew chief and a driver that worked well together with lady luck always being there more times than not. It's the whole package. Jeff won a championship without Ray. I give credit to Jeff's new team for that. It also showed to a lot of people that Jeff could win races without Ray. I'm not one of those people that feel one person is responsible for the success of anything. Racing involves a lot more than just a driver going out there and doing what he likes best and a crew chief who knows the ropes. I haven't told you anything that you don't already know. And who's to say Jeff won't be in that winning momentum once again some day. Look at Elliott, look at Marlin, look at Martin. Let's give credit where credit is due.
I took Ray simply because I would want to drive. If I wasn't in the factor, I think I would still choose Ray. i think a good crew chief can make up for a so so driver, and I do not think you can win without a good crew chief.
A tip o' the cap and a bend o' the elbow to a Handsome Harry fan. :beerchug: Welcome aboard Gantstheman.
Yes lady luck plays a significant role, as does a talented driver, and all the other numerous factors. But what makes Ray a valuable comodity is he creates the situation, in which all these factors give the team the opportunity for victory on any given day, not that they will win everytime, but when they don't he carefully studies to find out why not and works to remedy the situation. That is the best an owner can do, to create that atmosphere where the team knows if they don't give it away victory can be theirs. Ray has diffenately got that ability.