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Thanks for posting. Would've been cool to see him in a JGR car. I wish I could do something like that. I don't race but it's all I've ever wanted and dreamed of my whole life.
It seems you have to start racing competitively at 7 or 8 years old to race in NASCAR anymore, notice that other guys around your age like Ryan Blaney have already run in the cup series and he is only 2 years older, so you may have missed the boat. However you could probably drive late models at Myrtle Beach to try and get your start in racing, provided you actually have talent.

As far as Casey goes, I think an extra year in Busch would have been beneficial like he said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wish he was still around, and was still racing!
He's still fairly young. How popular would it be if a top team brought him back to Trucks or Nationwide. I think he'd have a LOT of fans pullin' for him.
 

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Baltimore Orioles CraZy
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Thanks for posting. Would've been cool to see him in a JGR car. I wish I could do something like that. I don't race but it's all I've ever wanted and dreamed of my whole life.
You've still got time, man. I'd love to race cars myself. I don't think David Reutimann started racing until he was like 25 or something and he made it all the way to Cup. You never know what might happen.


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R.I.P Justin Wilson
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While I was reading that my first thought was Joey so its good to see that mentioned. Joey really really struggled at Gibbs and now he can win any week. If only Ray had given Casey more time in the #19 he could have developed more and maybe won. Casey could have done a better job though at staying relevant. He should have went for Busch and truck rides to keep his name out there. Sitting out a whole year is no good.
 

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Hold my beer & watch this
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I remember meeting him in 2002 just before the Daytona 500 at an autograph session and he was not into the auto signing, I really pulled for him then and would still today. I still remember the day I got the 27 Castrol rookie car as soon as it came out. Neat side note, at the signing in 2002 a guy in front of me had the front fender and headlight area off the Motorola car to have him sign.
 

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I suppose that's a good lesson for anyone -- don't take anything for granted. Had he worked hard and did everything needed of a Cup driver, he might just still be around. That, and don't pair yourself with Ray Evernham. The only good decisions he ever made was on top of Jeff Gordon's pit box.
 

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"For once, just shut up"
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I suppose that's a good lesson for anyone -- don't take anything for granted. Had he worked hard and did everything needed of a Cup driver, he might just still be around. That, and don't pair yourself with Ray Evernham. The only good decisions he ever made was on top of Jeff Gordon's pit box.
sadly that's very true, Ray was a good crew chief but it didn't and typically doesn't translate into being a good owner. Joe Gibbs is the antithisys of that. He was a winner and manager of parts and pieces as a football coach at the highest level and continues that as a NASCAR owner, and probably could do the same in any venture...he's a leader. Ray knew mechanics and setup, etc, but he didn't know how to manage sponsors, drivers, team etc. With Elliot he had a proven, aging talent, with Casey he had untapped, unharnessed potential. Some guys just simply don't fit in situations.
Take Kurt Busch, at Roush he had Fenning, Jack, Martin, etc. All the moving parts worked fluidly. He's proven time and time again he can race the best of them. Penske was a disaster, but once Keselowski stepped in, they win a championship and win consistently. Kurt lands at FRR and things really start to level out, now at SHR it's back to fighting with the car, and all the problems with Penske again...
Atwood was the buzz when he hit the sport, and just like Joey, given time to mature, he would be one of the big dogs right now, didn't work that way because Ray didn't know how to manage his resources and Casey didn't understand how to manage his career...like MOST young people...it happens. There are always exceptions, I was not one of them.
 

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However there is no blueprint for the prototypical driver. Extra time in Busch may have helped but not necessarily. Kyle Busch had one full season in Busch before going to cup and I know he won twice in his rookie season but I seem to remember those and his Auto Club pole being the few highlights of an otherwise non-note worthy season. Of course Kyle has since gone on to do great things. On the opposite end, Truex who battled Busch in 2004 for the Busch title, stayed in Busch for an extra season and successfully defended his title before his full time cup ride in 2006. But Truex has not had near the success of Kyle. Like it has been said, Logano struggled when he started in cup but now is, at least this season, a top 10 driver. Atwood needed a ride where the owner had more patience and where he was wanted. Its a sad story for sure but not everyone can live their dream. At lease he recognizes his role in his outcome. Hopefully he is able to be happy with whatever it is he ends up doing, whether its racing or something else.
 

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Great article but nowhere does it mention he ran for FitzBradshaw in 2004 and was released before the season ended. That might have been his last real chance, I know Brewco put him in the car in 2006 for a few races. I would love to see him come back but the reality is he should really look at a new career. I am glad he was smart with his money, so many athletes are not.
 

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Just CraZy
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My goal in life is to race up to an ARCA or Truck race and end up on racing-reference.com lousy goal but i just wanna drive once. It sucks when you dont have money like most of these guys do who raced.


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Formerly mwr1556
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My goal in life is to race up to an ARCA or Truck race and end up on racing-reference.com lousy goal but i just wanna drive once. It sucks when you dont have money like most of these guys do who raced.


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That's the key right there, if you don't have parents who make six figures (or other major connections), you're not gonna go far in this sport, not anymore at least.
 
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Impartially partial
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That's the key right there, if you don't have parents who make six figures (or other major connections), you're not gonna go far in this sport, not anymore at least.
Yep. I always had dreams and aspirations of racing. But nothing ever materialized. Even with ties to Menards in terms of sponsorship, John wasn't interested. They already had a car on the local dirt track circuits, and they had no interest in sponsoring another. I gave up the dream when I was 16 and had only a few races under my belt in Wissota Street Stocks, filling in for other drivers here and there, with one good crash that ended up ruining my right hip. I figured if anything was going to happen as a future in racing, it would've happened by that age. It sucks, because driving is something that came natural to me, but whatever. It wasn't meant to be.

I couldn't imagine being in Atwood's position. That must be the most painful thing to ever happen to a racecar driver. He was there, he made it to the top, and the rug was pretty much pulled out from underneath him.
 

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I never understand why a guy like Casey was moved so fast to another ride like the 7 yea it was a affiliate car with evernham it wasn't a good team. I pulled for Casey he was a good guy I always cheered for him. I also cheer for logano when you look at the rides in 03 Sadler was free agent so was Rudd but the talent was swapping only real unsure team was the 1.
 

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Just CraZy
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I did race before...go-karts at a local go karting track where they had a 12 race league. I came in 3rd in the standings for the 8-15 league that year. Besides that, don't think I will advance far in racing.


Anyway, Casey Atwood is a sad story. The author also forgot that he could have driven the 25 car in 2000 with Rick Hendrick but declined.


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Ray Evernham basically took advantage of a 20 year old kid. Casey was beginning to make strides at the end of 2001, then Ray gave up on him, and turfed him to that fraud Jimmy Smith, and created a BS alliance between the two teams, where basically it was just the crappy Ultra Motorsports equipment we've frown accustomed to over the years. It's a shame. Well never know if he was going to be good because he never got that shot. He needed two more years in Grand National. If you look at his numbers from 2000, they were borderline awful. He had no business in Winston Cup. But as I said, he showed flashes at the end of 2001 at Phoenix, and could've won Homestead. I firmly believe if he signed anywhere else, he would still be around today. He's 33 years old, he'd be in his prime. It's a shame ole Ray gave up on him, I guess kinda like his wife. Ray can't commit.
 
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