Anthony Ballantoni

Looking Ahead

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Looking Ahead - Only 9 to go

Thursday, February 16, 2012


During the off-season, Anthony Ballantoni and Rotoworld.com keep you up-to-date on what’s happening with NASCAR. Looking Ahead gives a snapshot of driver moves, new teams, new sponsors and other general NASCAR news. With 9 days to go until the 2012 season-opening Daytona 500, here are some recent updates followed by a tentative list of 2012 Sprint Cup Driver/Team lineups.

Cup team updates:
- Ryan Pemberton hired as crew chief on the Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 36 team for Dave Blaney. Pemberton started out sweeping floors at Roush Fenway Racing and worked his way up to a NSCS crew chief in 1997. Most recently, he served as crew chief for Brian Vickers at Red Bull Racing. During his career as a NSCS crew chief, he compiled two wins, 21 top-fives, 92 top-10s and 15 poles. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet will be primary sponsor of the No. 36 at Daytona.
- SUBWAY® restaurant chain has expanded its partnership with Carl Edwards from three races in 2011 to six races starting in 2012. The first race this year for the No. 99 SUBWAY® Ford will be March 4 in the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ at Phoenix; returning March 25, at Auto Club Speedway; June 3, Dover; July 7, Daytona; Sept. 2, Atlanta and Oct. 7, at Talladega Superspeedway.
- Landon Cassill is going racing at Daytona International Speedway with the new BK Racing team, at the wheel of a No. 83 Toyota purchased from the former Red Bull Racing team. “We’re going to announce a sponsor in the near future,” said Cassill. “At this point, I can tell you that Doug Richert will be the crew chief.”
- Kasey Kahne will be ready for the Feb. 18 Budweiser Shootout, the Feb. 26 Daytona 500 and all of Daytona Speedweeks after undergoing successful outpatient knee surgery on Feb. 10th. An MRI revealed a torn meniscus and following an arthroscopic procedure he was released from an outpatient facility in Charlotte, N.C.
- Hillman Racing and Aaron’s Inc. announced that two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will drive the No. 40 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota in the 2012 Daytona 500. The race will mark Waltrip’s 75th start at Daytona in one of NASCAR’s top three touring series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World trucks) – the most of any driver.
- HendrickCars.com will be primary sponsor during Speedweeks in Daytona for Phoenix Racing and Kurt Busch in the Feb. 25 Nationwide Series race and Feb. 26 Daytona 500. It will continue with primary sponsorship of JR Motorsports and driver Cole Whitt in the March 17 Nationwide event at Bristol, Tenn. In addition, HendrickCars.com will be a major associate sponsor of the Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet with driver Elliott Sadler in NASCAR’s biggest race, the Daytona 500.
- Bill Elliott, past Sprint Cup Champion and Daytona 500 winner, will pilot the NEMCO Motorsports #97 Toyota for the Daytona 500. This synergy will bring Front Row Joe, Joe Nemechek and Million Dollar Bill, Bill Elliott together as a powerful pair to kickoff the 2012 NASCAR season.
- Eco Boost will serve as the primary paint scheme when defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. makes his Daytona 500 debut in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford Fusion. EcoBoost will also be featured for select races on the No. 17 Fusion of Matt Kenseth throughout the 2012 Sprint Cup campaign. EcoBoost will also appear on the Mustang race cars of Stenhouse Jr. and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Trevor Bayne for select races on the 2012 Nationwide Series schedule.
- Just as they did to begin the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season last year, FAS Lane Racing announced they are heading to Daytona for the 2012 season opening race with Terry Labonte. The two time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will pilot the #32 C & J Energy Services Ford in the running of the Daytona 500.
- Rick Ware Racing and Poynt.com (free mobile app.) have finalized a deal to run Timmy Hill for the 2012 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year. Mike Wallace will drive the car in the Daytona 500. Timmy Hill, the 2011 Nascar Nationwide Rookie of the Year, will be at Daytona in his Poynt Nationwide Ford. Timmy will start driving the #37 full time at Fontana or Texas. RWR has joined forces with Larry Gunselman's Max Q Motorsports #37 for the full season.
- Michael McDowell will pilot the No. 98 Ford Fusion for Phil Parsons Racing (PPR) for the entire 2012 Sprint Cup season. Phil Parsons merged the assets of his PPR team with Whitney Motorsports during the offseason. The No. 98 Ford Fusion will run with Roush Yates Racing power under its hood.

Nationwide Series updates:
- Go Canada Racing will become GC Motorsports International and continue to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with drivers from both Canada and the United States.  2012 will begin with David Ragan, last season’s winner of the Coke Zero 400 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, behind the wheel (of the No. 67) at Daytona. Andrew Ranger will also return to the Nationwide team this year. Andrew will compete in a number of Nationwide Races Including the series only Canadian race, the Napa Auto Parts 200 in Montreal.
- NNS veteran crew chief Brad Parrott will head the Tommy Baldwin Racing team of young drivers, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Truex and Bobby Santos, in an eight-race schedule for the No. 36 Chevrolet. Parrott brings more than 20 years of knowledge to the rookie NNS program.
- Pat Tryson will join Front Row Motorsports as the crew chief for David Gilliland's No. 38 Ford. Tryson comes to FRM with more than 15 years of experience atop the pit box and race-winning credentials, earning victories with drivers Kurt Busch, Elliott Sadler and Mark Martin. He most recently worked for Michael Waltrip Racing, where he served in crew-chief and consultant roles.
- JD Motorsports will field a second car for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Mike Wallace will continue to drive the #01 Chevy. The second car will have several drivers in the seat including Danny Efland and Darryl Harr; with the possibility of Mike's daughter, Chrissy Wallace, driving if marketing partners can be found. Efland will drive the #4 Chevy for JD Motorsports in the upcoming NNS race at Daytona.
- Jason Bowles will pilot the American Majority/PledgeToVote.com No. 81 for the entire 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. In this crucial election year, American Majority Racing will work hard to engage NASCAR fans by getting them to register and “Pledge to Vote” while Jason and the team race for Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year honors.
- NASCAR has assigned Benny Gordon the No. 24 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD300 and the remainder of the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Season. The No. 24 Toyota Camry has been purchased by Benny Gordon Racing from Michael Waltrip Racing. The team name is Horizon Sports Marketing, the drivers will be Benny Gordon, Amber Cope, and Angela Cope.
- Go Green Racing announces the return of Matt Frahm as one of their drivers for select races in 2012. In his first NNS race last season at New Hampshire, Frahm finished an impressive 26th. The young rookie backed up his strong début with a 25th place finish in his second outing at Indianapolis.
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s No. 6 Ford Mustang will be sponsored by Kellogg Company and its Pop-Tarts and Rice Krispies Treats brands for the Nationwide season opener at Daytona as he begins the defense of his 2011 NNS title. In his four career starts at Daytona, Stenhouse has one top-five and two top-10 finishes.
- Ingersoll Rand will be the primary sponsor on Cole Whitt’s No. 88 Chevrolet on May 26 at Charlotte. Whitt is in his first season at JR Motorsports. Whitt joins Danica Patrick as the two JRM drivers competing for a Nationwide Series championship in 2012.

Camping World Truck Series updates:
- Rick Crawford announced that he is set to run the NCWTS season opener at Daytona (No. 73 Chevrolet). Crawford, in his role as promoter for Mobile International Speedway, has been immersed in planning and organizing the upcoming ARCA Mobile 200 [March 10th at MIS], will also don his helmet for the upcoming NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
- Veteran NCWTS owner Mike Mittler, owner of MB Motorsports, based in Wright City, Missouri, called Caleb Roark to say that he would like for him to drive the MB Motorsports Ford entry at Daytona, and other selected events on the 2012 schedule.
- Zachry Holdings, Inc. will sponsor David Starr to compete full time for the 2012 NCWTS season beginning February 24 in Daytona.  Starr will run the No. 81 Zachry Toyota Tundra for Arrington Racing under the direction of crew chief, Doug Howe; car chief, Mike Davis; and general manager, Tom Davis.
- Paulie Harraka will drive the No. 5 Wauters Motorsports Ford F-150 in the 2012 NCWTS. The team will pick up owners points from Randy Moss Motorsports (ran the No. 5 in 2011).
- Red Horse Racing added rookie of the year contender John King behind the wheel of the No. 7 Toyota Tundra. King has seven previous starts in the NCWTS including Bristol, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Martinsville and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
- Jason White and GunBroker.com will once again partner for the 2012 NCWTS. White will pilot the No. 23 GunBroker.com Ford with horsepower being supplied by Roush Yates Engines. Doug George has joined the organization as Crew Chief for the No. 23 Ford. George is a veteran within the NCWTS with 113 career races as Crew Chief including two career victories with driver Kyle Busch.
- Mike Skinner will return to the series for the first time in nearly a year, driving the No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado for Eddie Sharp Racing in the 2012 season opener at Daytona.  Skinner failed to qualify for last year’s NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona in a Sharp entry, before finishing 24th the following week at Phoenix. Those were his only two Truck Series outings of 2011, but he made 21 Sprint Cup starts for a number of teams, including Germain Racing, FAS Lane Racing, Tommy Baldwin Racing and Gunselman Motorsports.
- Anderson’s Maple Syrup will serve as primary sponsor of the No. 9 Chevrolet Silverado for five races with four-time NCWTS Champion, Ron Hornaday. The 2012 campaign with Anderson’s includes the season opener at Daytona, as well as events in Dover, Chicago, Bristol and Talladega. Anderson’s will also share associate sponsorship of the No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado of Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Max Gresham.
- John Wes Townley was suspended by RAB Racing as he faces DUI charges in Georgia. Townley was arrested following a crash. He was disoriented, seemed intoxicated and was bleeding from his feet. His car, a 2012 BMW, had run off the roadway and hit a telephone pole. "Obviously, this is an unfortunate situation," team owner Robby Benton said. "However, we have to react to the severity of the incident accordingly."
- The NextEra Energy Rescources 250 at Daytona will mark the third straight attempt for the Ray Hackett Racing team. Derek White will be behind the wheel of the #76 Ford F-Series truck. He will be making his first career start at the historic 2.5 mile superspeedway. Backing White's effort will be Native owned company, Warrior Gaming Associates.         
- Clay Greenfield will be driving the #68 Dodge in the NCWTS race on Friday, February 24, 2012. “I have never raced at Daytona but I am looking forward to the whole experience. We have a good motor from Ernie Elliot to go with this truck that finished 3rd in the 2010 Daytona race. Gene Patient has assembled a small but very talented group of guys that are more than capable of building a winning truck.” Greenfield said.
- Bryan Silas will be locked into his third appearance at the “World Center of Racing” as the driver of the T3R Motorsports No. 99 Rockingham Speedway Ford F-150. The 24-year old Silas, a Rookie of the Year candidate will be guided by veteran crew chief Cal Boprey. Silas, who recorded his first career stock-car victory at Rockingham in the CARS Pro Cup Series (formally known as the USARacing Pro Cup Series) last November, is determined that his team has the capabilities of keeping a healthy on-track presence this year.
- While Cale Gale will spend the season making a bid for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title in the NCWTS, he will be at Daytona getting as much seat time as possible while pulling double duty. Driving both ESR’s No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet Silverado in the NCWTS and the No. 6 Rheem Chevrolet in the ARCA Racing Series, Gale is expected to compete in 450 miles of racing during Speedweeks in Daytona.
- Turn One Racing announced today that the 2006 CASCAR Super Series Champion J.R. Fitzpatrick has been named driver of the No. 60 Chevrolet in the NCWTS.  Fitzpatrick replaces Cole Whitt, who finished ninth in the series standings last year and has since moved on to compete full-time at JR Motorsports.

2012 Sprint Cup Lineup - Full-time teams(Tentative)

Car

Driver

Sponsor

Make

Owner

1

Jamie McMurray

Bass Pro Shops/McDonald’s/LiftMaster

Chevrolet

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite

Dodge

Penske Racing

5

Kasey Kahne

Farmers Insurance/Quaker State

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

9

Marcos Ambrose

DeWalt/Stanley Tools

Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports

10

Danica Patrick

GoDaddy.com (10 races)

Chevrolet

Stewart  Haas Racing

10

David Reutimann

?? (26 races)

Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

13

Casey Mears

GEICO

Ford

Germain Racing

14

Tony Stewart

Mobil 1/Office Depot

Chevrolet

Stewart Haas Racing

15

Clint Bowyer

5-Hour Energy

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

16

Greg Biffle

3M/Meguiar’s

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

17

Matt Kenseth

Valvoline/Best Buy/ EcoBoost

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

18

Kyle Busch

M&M’s/Interstate Batteries

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

20

Joey Logano

Home Depot/Dollar General

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

22

AJ Allmendinger

Shell-Pennzoil/AAA

Dodge

Penske Racing

23

Robert Richardson Jr.

??

Chevrolet

R3 Motorsports

24

Jeff Gordon

Drive to End Hunger/DuPont

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

27

Paul Menard

Menard’s

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

29

Kevin Harvick

Budweiser/Rheem

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

30

David Stremme

??

Toyota

Inception Motorsports

31

Jeff Burton

Caterpillar/Wheaties/BB&T

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

32

Ken Schrader

Federated Auto Parts (9 races)

Ford

FAS Lane Racing

32

Terry Labonte

C & J Energy Services (Daytona 500)

Ford

FAS Lane Racing

34

David Ragan

Taco Bell

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

36

Dave Blaney

Accell Construct/Ollie’s Bargain Outlet

Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing

37

Timmy Hill

Poynt.com

Ford

Gunselman Motorsports

38

David Gilliland

ModSpace/Maximum Human Performance

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

39

Ryan Newman

U.S. Army/Tornados/Quicken/Aspen/WIX   

Chevrolet

Stewart Haas Racing

42

Juan Pablo Montoya

Target

Chevrolet

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing

43

Aric Almirola

Smithfield Foods

Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports

47

Bobby Labonte

Little Debbies/Kroger/Kingsford

Toyota

JTG Daugherty Racing

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

49

J.J. Yeley

??

Toyota

Robinson-Blakeney Racing

51

Kurt Busch

TAG Heuer/Phoenix/HendrickCars.com

Chevrolet

Phoenix Racing

55

Mark Martin

Aaron’s (25 races)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

55

Michael Waltrip

Aaron’s (5 races)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

56

Martin Truex Jr.

NAPA

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

78

Regan Smith

Furniture Row

Chevrolet

Furniture Row Racing

83

Landon Cassill

??

Toyota

??

87

Joe Nemechek

AM FM Energy LLC

Toyota

NEMCO Motorsports

88

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Army National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

98

Michael McDowell

Red Line Oil

Ford

Phil Parsons Racing

99

Carl Edwards

Fastenal/UPS/Kellogg’s/Best Buy/Subway

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

 

2012 Sprint Cup Lineup - Part-time teams(Tentative)

Car

Driver

Sponsor

Make

Owner

09

Kenny Wallace

American Ethanol

Toyota

RAB Racing

6

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

EcoBoost

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

7

Robby Gordon         

Speed Energy Drink

Dodge

RG Motorsports

19

Tim Andrews

?? (10-12 races)

Ford

Go Green Racing

21

Trevor Bayne

Motorcraft (16-18 races)

Ford

Wood Brothers Racing

33

Austin Dillon

American Ethanol

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

33

Brendan Gaughan

South Point Hotel&Casino

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

33

Elliott Sadler

General Mills/Kroger

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

40

Michael Waltrip

Aaron’s Dream Machine

Toyota

Hillman Racing

50

T.J. Bell

Green Smoke

Toyota

LTD Powersports

52

??

??

Toyota

Hamilton Means Racing

81

Scott Riggs

??

Ford

Whitney Motorsports

95

Scott Speed

??  (15 races)

Ford

Leavine Family Racing

97

Bill Elliott

??

Toyota

NEMCO Motorsports



Tony Ballantoni runs the NASCAR coverage at RotoWorld.com.
Email :Anthony Ballantoni



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