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NASCAR's Silly Season' already begun

By By Amanda Vincent / NASCAR Columnist
Crew chief changes seemed to be the order of the day early on, most notably Jimmy Elledge's release from the No. 88 team by Robert Yates Racing when there was a clashing of the minds between Elledge and the team's manager and former crew chief, Todd Parrott. Elledge left the team and Parrott was renamed crew chief with the team citing lack of chemistry as the reason behind the needed change.
Elliott Sadler got the ball rolling in drivers' "Silly Season" when he
announced that he wanted to be released from his contract with Wood Brothers Racing.
Motorcraft is a great sponsor who deserves to be running better. Maybe it's just a chemistry thing between the team and I. We're just not running the way we all think we should be running. Sometimes you've gotta try to make a change to benefit both parties."
Sadler will finish the 2002 season with the Wood Brothers organization. What happens after that is still up in the air.
According to Eddie and Len Wood, Sadler may be released from his contract at the end of the season if opportunities arise that are in the best interest of both Sadler and Wood Brothers Racing.
A more recent participant in the tradition of "Silly Season" shuffling,
driver Jerry Nadeau was released from the No. 25 team by Hendrick Motorsports.
According to press releases from Hendrick Motorsports, the parting was a mutual decision.
In contrast to the Sadler/Wood Brothers situation, Nadeau's release was effective upon announcement.
Joe Nemechek is expected to be an interim driver in the No. 25, as Hendrick plans to wait until the end of the season to name a permanent replacement for Nadeau.
As "Silly Season" continues to unfold, although no actions have been taken, and probably won't be until the end of the current season, there already is talk of a personnel, possibly driver, shakeup to improve consistency at Dale Earnhardt Inc.
look the same," DEI Executive Vice President Norris said. "The problem is we
as an organization are pretty inconsistent. We have to get better.
The NASCAR race season runs from mid-February to mid-November, making it the longest season in sports. During that time, NASCAR's other season, "Silly Season" is quickly becoming a year-round non-stop circus.