It’s Let’s Make A Deal Time!

(WOMR file photo)

With the January testing now compete at Daytona, there are still a plethora of questions left unanswered.  The big question that continued throughout testing was whether or not Danica Patrick would be locked into the Daytona 500. Or Mark Martin. Or Trevor Bayne. It likely will be a few weeks before teams know the answer to theses questions.

Now that Red Bull Racing has shuttered their doors, there is a furious scramble for a few of the race teams to inquire into possibly purchasing those available 2011 race points. Red Bull Racing owns the 14th place one points with the #4 car, likewise their #83 car was 25th in 2011.  Those in the hunt for a deal are at least two of the new start-up teams, the Michael Waltrip Racing #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota team, as well as, the Stewart-Haas Racing#10 Chevy.

Both of those race teams are desperately looking to secure points, and thus a guaranteed spot in the starting lineup for the 2012 Daytona 500.

If the Red Bull Racing points are not used to gain an automatic entry/guaranteed  into the Daytona 500, as well as the first fire races of the 2012 season, then there could be a play for the 2011 TRG #71 points.

There has been speculation in the garage area that Stewart-Haas would put together a deal with Tommy Baldwin Racing, possibly for points from the #36 car (33rd in 2011 owner points) to be transferred to Patrick. But it also could include a partnership where TBR would field a #10 car for David Reutimann in the 26 races in which Patrick doesn’t compete, thus allowing that car to continue to earn owner points all season.

MWR attempted to purchase Red Bull for the points and equipment, but that deal fell through. Team co-owner Michael Waltrip said last week no final determination of which two of his three drivers would have the MWR points from 2011, but it is expected those would go to the two drivers competing for the drivers championship – #56-Martin Truex Jr. and #15-Clint Bowyer – while #55-Mark Martin would have to get in the race on speed.

It appears that Richard Childress Racing will enter a fourth car for the Daytona 500 and use its points from the #33 car last year. That fourth car would only run a handful of races throughout the year, possibly with Austin Dillon for select events although RCR could put in a more experienced driver such as Elliott Sadler or Brian Vickers for the Daytona 500.

It is only 39 days til the drop of the green flag for the Daytona 500, and there is still many questions to be answered, puzzle pieces put into place, cars and driver line-ups, and the rest of the fine minutia to be finalized!  So there is still intensity, anxiety, and uncertainty with many of the race teams.

Stay tuned for more of “As The Stomach turns”!


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