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What about Little E ?

You need to give us Ken Schraders stats, raced for years, has four victories. The biggest joke of all Michael Waltrip, if it was'nt for D.E. senior he would be 0 forever!

I agree with all of it, Lets add Danica Patrick who is a back marker in great equipment. Kyle Petty is correct in is comments about her. Dale Earnhardt Jr? For four years he and I where tied in the win column and I'm not in the race! Paul Menard...two words; rich father. Terry Labonte like his brother needs to hang it up and so does Bill Elliott for that matter.

How do you not realize that most of the guys that you mentioned are not in cars/teams good enough to win if Chad and Jimmy were there? Geez what an idiot.

If jimmy johnson was driving under funded car he would have 0wins also.

Not a single driver on your list is in a competitive ride (except for JPM) Even when Blaney was with Bill Davis they were on a downward slide. Using your Kurt Busch example, he should have won 2-3 races for James Finch right? No, the equipment/team wasn't good enough. There's more to it than ability, and I'll give you another clue. The guy racing for 20th has his hands more full than a guy racing for 1st or 2nd because the car isn't right, its unpredictable, unstable and scary. Put them in front line cars, and they'd do better. Why not look at guys who are in A-list cars that aren't getting it done? That's a story.

Norris - You should add one more statistic to your analysis. How many "Start and Park" (another great NASCAR invetion)incidents do these drivers have? I'd bet that's their most impressive number, other than the few who occasionally win or come close. Maybe that explains why they are still around - they can get one of the few lucrative back row starting slots and earn money for their owners. Clark

What about Earnhardt Jr.? When was the last time he won something? In a factory Hendrick car!!
His teammates running circles around him, bagging wins after wins.
Is he a sacred cow?

Come on really? Car Quality is behind a lot of these numbers. Take out the Start and Park numbers and re-do your stats.

You are the first writer who has understood how damaging to Indy racing it has been to lose Gordon, Stewart, etc to NASCAR while employing European and South American non-entities with wealthy relatives. At least 1/3 of what should be the Indy 500 field races regularly in NASCAR while has-beens and never-weres take their places.

David Reutimann will be stunned to learn he didn't win the Coke 600 in 2009 or the Lifelock 400 in 2010. Don't let the facts get in the way of calling out alleged losers.

Hard to argue with facts. I have long been a proponent of a 30 car starting field for the NASCAR Cup Series. I really don't think there is enough talent or sponsorship to do more. Some will argue that they all have talent and would excel in a well funded situation. My idea of driving talent is being able to excel in a less than perfect car. There are not 30 drivers in Cup that can do that.

You do understand this is a show and not real racing don't you? And somebody has to lose so that guys like five time and smoke can look like heroes.

NASCAR is ak about marketing clothing and die casts, etc

No longer about racing. Hasn't been since they discovered that oval track fans are not very smart.

Almost all of the drivers you named are driving for underfunded teams. The difference between these teams and the bigger teams is that they have to go after experienced drivers who can typically get the car to the finish vice trying to hire a young hot shoe to build the team around. The only real exception to that is Landon Cassill, a guy who never even had a chance in a fully funded ride. He won the Busch Series Rookie of the Year for JR Motorsports then lost his ride at the end of that season because they didn't have a sponsor for him. He's continued to survive by taking a route that most drivers would have too much pride to take. If you're going to call yourself a writer to should probably take the time to read more tha a stats page and actually try to look into who the drivers are, what their background is, who the drive for, and all of the other elements making up their career. There are really only so many quality rides left, and a lot of talented drivers are taking rides with field filler teams just hoping they can build something - or that something better will come to them. A stats page tells a very small piece of the story, but that's all your story is about.

"Can anybody tell me what Bobby Labonte is still doing racing in Cup? Once a great driver, he hasn’t won since 2003. That’s 10 years. You want to tell me there isn’t somebody, somewhere, who could get into his car and do better?"

Isn't that why AJ Allmendinger is running the 47 now in a few races?

Not that AJ's record is all that great...Although AJ's failures are mostly due to having awful luck(like on Sunday) than him running bad...He was certainly better than Almirola in the 43.

I'm with you Norris. I have long wondered how some of these NASCAR drivers keep their ride and sponsor. As you pointed out, in IndyCar many drivers have to bring a suitcase full of cash to get a ride, while these NASCAR backmarkers just keep goin' and goin' and goin' like so many energizer bunnies.

This sounds great, but seriously, when have Landon Cassill, Travis Kvapil, or Marcos Ambrose ever been in really competitive equipment? It takes good equipment to win in the Cup series, period. If you drive for a back marker team, then you are going to put up back marker numbers.

Richard Petty Motorsports is the highest on the totem pole of teams you mentioned, and Ambrose is the most successful of the drivers you mentioned. Correlation?

Look, there is some merit here. Montoya has had good equipment, Gilliland may have had something okay at Robert Yates Racing in his first couple of years (but they were definitely on the down swing) and Casey Mears is probably the biggest shock to me - he has been in top tier rides with top tier teams and managed one win on fuel mileage.

Dave Blaney never wins, but he doesn't tear up the equipment, either. He is the perfect driver for a back marker team who needs to make laps and keep their cars in one piece. Bobby Labonte drives for a crap team, but I agree his time is up. Mark Martin showed some people can race into their fifties. Bobby Labonte showed that some people... can't.

For the most part race car drivers will race as long as they are physically able and as long as someone will give them a ride. I think the real question here is how on earth do these backmarkers keep getting sponsors year with year after year of bad finishes. I don't get "start and park" at all.

There's two reasons. One is that there's 43 drivers each race. If there were 30 or 35, less drivers would have so little top 5s. The other is that drivers stay too long racing. In most major motorsport championships, drivers retire at 35 or 40, so their career is 10 to 20 years long. Nascar drivers often do over 30 years.

How can you put Marcos Ambrose on this list, but not include Paul Menard? Menard has bought a career, and done nothing with it except a fuel mileage win in 2011. Ambrose, however, was the only driver who could make the 47 competitive, challenging at Bristol and Richmond and would have won Sonoma if not for a rookie mistake. RPM is behind on equipment, but Marcos still very well may have won Daytona if not for Jackass Johnson. He also was wrecked at Texas while running top 5, and would have won the Glen for the 3rd time with his eyes closed if not for NASCARs idiotic caution rules and certain hired guns who don't even belong in the sport and drive like morons. On the flip side, name one accomplishment the 27 has since the '11 Brickyard. He may be higher in points, but is in superior equipment compared to Petty right now. Based on results, Menard has fared better, but if it werent for awful luck, (i.e. camera cable at Charlotte, where he still finished 10th) Ambrose would be in a wild card position like he was the last 2 seasons. Your analysis is way off. On a side note, I'm glad 'John Paul Montana' is out of a ride, and have fingers crossed that he leaves NASCAR altogether. Yes, he made the Chase in 09 but was a backmarker throughout the whole thing.

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