It may be only August, but plans for next season are being made rapidly. Silly season tends to kick off once the summer arrives and this year was no different. Many moves are being made by some of the top drivers to secure their 2014 rides.
The silly season cycle of news seems to appear daily and with all the gears rotating, it’s hard to keep up with it all. A watch has been issued for the upcoming months and it is a silly season watch. You should be ‘watching’ out for the breaking stories regarding next season. Keep checking back here where all the latest stories will be posted.
Burton Out at RCR, Heading to the 30 team?
FOX Sports’ Wendy Venturini reported prior to Sunday Night’s race at Atlanta that Jeff Burton may get the boot from
Richard Childress Racing at seasons end. Not in the way you may think though. Burton may be keep his ties at RCR, but move to Swan Racing’s No.30 car. That team could become a satellite of RCR and Burton may be the guy in their car next season.
The potential reason for this move is that Childress does not want four teams at RCR and would like to keep ties with Burton. With Burton leaving because of RCR not wanting four cars, Ryan Newman is the driver likely to be put in their third car. Childress has said he has been talking with Newman and Newman has said his 2014 plans are taking shape.
In a move to Swan Racing, Burton may tag along sponsor CAT so the team will be fully-funded for next season. Another detail in this move that will need to happen is regarding the manufacturer. For Swan to become a satellite of RCR, they will likely need to switch to Chevy from their current manufacturer of Toyota. Expect that to be piece that ties this rumor together.
Where does that leave David Stremme? He is currently part owner of the No.30 car so he may take up an ownership side of the team.
Talented Larson Makes Move to the Cup Series
Kyle Larson announced today that after just one Nationwide Series season, he will be moving to the Sprint Cup Series next season. Larson, 21, has been associated with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing for many years now and they have been bringing the kid up through the NASCAR ranks. With an open Cup seat on the team for next year, it was the perfect opportunity to bring their young talent to the Cup level beginning in 2014.
During the press conference Friday afternoon at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, expectations for the next few seasons were kept reasonable. Larson, nor Ganassi came out and said that they would be winning every race next year. Larson calmly said that if he could run top 15 consistently next season, he would be happy. The learning curve is still there for Larson since 2014 will only be his second full-time year in NASCAR’s top divisions.
Ganassi also mentioned during the presser that Larson would continue to run the Nationwide Series in 2014. This will help Larson gain the valuable experience he has yet to achieve. Running two series in the same season may not seem like the best plan, but when experience is what is trying to be achieved, it is the best possible scenario. Larson will however, declare his points to the Sprint Cup Series.
He’s Back: Allmendinger Gets Full-Time Ride with JTG Racing for 2014
A little over a year since his failed drug test and A.J Allmendinger finds himself a new full-time Sprint Cup Series ride. The
road hasn’t been smooth for The Dinger, but it led him to a ride where he could do some magic in. He has competed with JTG Racing in their No.47 car on a few occasions so far this season and overall, Allmendinger has done well. Those good runs have put a contract in his hands. This team will be as competitive as ever next season with Allmendinger’s start on the comeback trail.
It won’t just be for 2014 either. The contract Allmendinger signed is a multi-year one that secures his spot back in the Cup Series over the next few years. The deal may not be with a top-tier team, but considering his past year, its a pretty good one. Look out because The Dinger is back in action starting in 2014.
Kurt Busch Lands at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014
Stewart-Haas Racing has reached a multi-year deal to have Kurt Busch join the organization next season. Rumors started to spread over the last few weeks that Busch was offered a spot on the team. Now, the details have been sketched out and Busch is heading to SHR in a four entry for the team.
The major details regarding the signing haven’t been released, but should in the upcoming weeks. SHR co-owner Gene Haas is having his company, Haas Automation, be the primary sponsor on the car.
This will be the first stable ride that Busch has been in since his days at Penske Racing. Over the past two seasons, he has been in cars for James Finch and Furniture Row Racing, but neither seemed to be satisfactory for the former champion. With this move, he’ll be back in a car that will be a force to contending with each week.
Stewart-Hass Racing will now have four teams next season. Tony Stewart will continue to pilot the No.14, Danica Patrick will be in the No.10, new addition number one of Kevin Harvick will be behind the wheel of the No.4, and now Kurt Busch will be the next team hire. The potential is endless for this team and they will be quite the group of drivers to watch out for come next season.
Car Number- 00?
Everyone but RCR Confirming Austin Dillon’s Move to Cup
This story seems to be knowledge to everyone but the team involved. On multiple occasions, Austin Dillon’s move to the
Sprint Cup Series for 2014 has been talked about. Team-owner Richard Childress even addressed it himself, but no official announcement has been made.
Dillon’s younger brother Ty will be taking over his Nationwide Series ride and his current Nationwide sponsor is going to Roush-Fenway Racing’s Trevor Bayne next season so any move other than to Cup by Dillon would be a complete shock. Childress has said that he has sponsorship for three cars for next season and with only 2 confirmed drivers for 2014, it is likely that the third car he has sponsorship for is going to be Dillon’s.
Only time will tell when that is confirmed, but expect Dillon to be competing as a rookie in the Cup Series next season.
Car Number- 3?
Montoya Moves Out of Earnhardt-Ganassi
Juan Pablo Montoya came to NASCAR back in 2007 and Chip Ganassi picked the former F1 competitor up, but the time
has come for Chip to drop him back down. Two wins highlighted this driver’s career, but other than that, very few moments stand out. Barely making the top twenty in the points most years made his ride all but useful for EGR. A new trek is in-store for Montoya, but can this multi-talented driver remain in the Cup Series? He has options outside of NASCAR, but he wants to continue his stock-car journey.
Only one team stands out as one that could pick him up and that is Furniture Row Racing. With Kurt Busch likely leaving the team, Montoya could find his home there. The team has Kurt Busch flirting with the Chase and they could do the same for him. If not there for Montoya, then likely nowhere in NASCAR.
The Comeback Kid Brian Vickers to be Full-Time at Michael Waltrip Racing
This guy has worked his tail off trying to bounce back to where he once was. After medical issues that had doctors saying he would never race again, his future looked dim, but now with a full-time Cup ride secured, Brian Vickers has proved everyone wrong.
MWR seems like the perfect fit for Vickers since he has been running for them on a part-time basis ever since 2012. When he climbed in the car, he was upfront and a win came earlier this season at New Hampshire. This news was bound to come, but with it being stretched out for so long, it had become a question. That question was soon answered and Vickers is squared away to be back behind the wheel of a full-time Cup ride.
Car Number- #55
No Ride Newman in Active Hunt for New Team in 2014
This season was basically a put-together year for Ryan Newman. Stewart-Haas Racing scrapped together enough
sponsorship for one of the team’s original drivers to compete. He was only signed for one year when his contract ran out at the end of last season and 2013 is his last with the team he’s been with since 2009. SHR decided to head in another direction and that direction doesn’t include Newman.
Now, Newman is in hunt of a new ride. With open seats available in rides that could easily fit Newman, he has options, but it will all come down to who wants the ‘rocket.’ With Harvick departing from RCR and Richard Childress confirming that they are trying to put together sponsorship for a fourth team, Newman could go there and as of now, that looks like the most appetizing option for him. Other potential teams include Furniture Row Racing and EGR who both have open seats.
‘Happy Harvick’ Couldn’t be Happier with Opportunity at Stewart-Hass Racing
The worst keep secret in the garage finally was made official earlier this summer when Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed that Kevin Harvick will be joining their stable starting next season. Rumors of this move came out in 2012, but no one from SHR would give a definite answer on whether this was actually happening.
As we stand right now, it’s 100% official that ‘Happy Harvick’ is moving over to SHR from his longtime team of Richard Childress Racing.
Car Number- #4
Sponsor- Budweiser (21 Races)
By Jason Schultz