Re: Why did Jr. suck for most of the past 10 years?

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Posted by OlsonFan View User's Profile on December 11, 2017 at 15:30:20:

In Reply to: Why did Jr. suck for most of the past 10 years? posted by TEC Webmaster on November 20, 2017 at 14:53:54:

2008: They were good for most of the season and were in the top five in points going into The Chase (before the reset.) They were more or less horrible for the majority of the final ten races.

2009: Started off the season horribly with Tony, Jr. before he got replaced by Lance McGrew. I don't think Tony ever really fit in with the HMS group and how they do things.

2010: Only full season with McGrew as crew chief (thankfully.)

2011: First season with Letarte. Finished seventh in points in spite of going winless (came close at Martinsville and in the 600.)

2012: Won at Michigan and had a season average finish of 10.9 (career best.) Concussion in The Chase essentially ended the season.

2013: Winless but the team was awesome in The Chase (5 top 5s, 8 top 10s.) Finished fifth in points.

2014: Easily Junior's best season at HMS. Four wins in the season.

2015: Three wins with Ives as new crew chief.

2016: 13th in points when he had to end the season because of concussion.

As far as this past season I think it was obvious that as the year progressed that outside of the 24, HMS was not on par equipment-wise with the Toyotas. I listened to the 88's scanner most of the season and was regularly disappointed with Ives' decisions and his manner via the radio.

The Chase is a poor indicator of how well a team runs all season so based purely on points earned, here's where Junior ranked each season with HMS when they did make the Chase.

2008: 7th
2011: 11th
2012: 9th (missed two races due to concussion)
2013: 5th
2014: 4th
2015: 4th

So to put an answer to the question, I don't think Junior was as bad at HMS as some may think. He came into the team having two all-time greats as teammates. It would be hard for anyone to match their success. I think Lance McGrew wasted a year and a half of Junior's career while Steve Letarte helped revive it.

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