2012: Silly Season Heating Up!

Trevor Bayne

(WOMR file photo)

As previously reported, the demand for the Penske Racing #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge driver’s seat for the 2013 season has fired up the 2012 “silly season”.

With the Penske Racing camp putting out the press release that Sam Hornish,Jr. will fill that seat for the foreseeable future in 2012.  There still is the search for the ideal fit for that team for 2013.  And as I have reported, if  Joe Gibbs Racing fails to secure sponsorship for the, yet unannounced, fourth team for Joey Logano, then, Logano would be the odds on favorite to leave JGR, to fill the seat in the Penske Racing #22 Shell/Pennzoil car.

However, if JGR gathers enough sponsorship to field a fourth race team, then quite possibly Penske Racing would entertain the thought of putting the 2011 Daytona 500 winner, Trevor Bayne, in that seat.  This idea will gather more steam, and become much more realistic, because Penske is changing manufacturers from Dodge to Ford in 2013.  Adding credibility to this idea is that Bayne is under contract to Roush-Fenway Racing, the frontline NASCAR Ford team, and for the last two seasons Roush-Fenway has loaned Bayne out to the Wood Brothers Racing, another Ford  team.

From the Chevy camp

Furniture Row Racing, the Denver, CO based team owned by Barney Vissor, has been expressing an interest in fielding a second team in the Sprint Cup level for 2013.  Furniture Row Racing’s General Manager, Joe Garone, has leaked out to the media that he has had some conversations with the 2004 Sprint cup champion, Kurt Busch, piloting a possible second team for that organization.  That could be a very interesting venture for Funiture Row Racing!

There has been some rumblings in the garage area about the contract negotiations between Ryan Newman and Stewart-Haas Racing.  The U.S Army has notified SHR that they will be leaving NASCAR at the end of 2012.  That leaves SHR in a very precarious position, and now must scour corporate America for some much-needed sponsorship money for the Stewart-Haas Racing #39 Chevy that Newman pilots.

In light of the fact that the U.S. Army is vacating NASCAR at the end of the season, and that Newman’s contract is expired at the end of this season, there is some talk that Newman could find himself driving a Richard Childress Racing Chevy next season.  I am not sure which driver would be the odd man out at RCR, or if RCR would try to expand, once again, to a four car team for 2013.  If that idea were to come to fruition for next year, it would make for some interesting water cooler talk.

And fire just keeps getting hotter!



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