Anthony Ballantoni

Looking Ahead

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Looking Ahead: 38 to the "500"

Thursday, January 17, 2013


During the off-season, Looking Ahead gives a snapshot of where drivers finished in 2012 and what’s ahead for them in 2013. We will look at drivers who scored at least 250 points in the Cup Series and those who earned at least 200 points in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.

With 38 days to go until the 2013 season-opening Daytona 500, here are some driver recaps followed by a tentative list of 2013 Sprint Cup Driver/Team lineups.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS):
Dale Earnhardt Jr.  finished 12th in the standings and earned 2245 points.
2012: Drove the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. He sat out two races (Charlotte and Kansas) in October after suffering his second concussion in the prior six weeks. In the 34 starts, he led 358 laps, scored one pole, one victory, 10 top five and 20 top 10 finishes. He had an average start of 15.4 and a 10.9 average finish. In addition, Earnhardt Jr. raced his own JR Motorsports’ No. 5 Chevrolet in four NNS races. He scored two top five and two top ten finishes and had a 9.8 average finish.
Best NSCS start: 1 - Richmond 09/08/12
Best NSCS finish: 1 - Michigan 06/17/12
Last NSCS Win: Michigan 06/17/12.
2013: Earnhardt extended his contract thru 2017 to drive the No. 88 Chevrolet. Steve Letarte is back as crew chief and sponsors Army National Guard, AMP Energy and Diet Mountain Dew will return as well. Dale Jr. will also run a limited schedule in the NNS. He will enter the NNS race at Daytona in his JRM No. 88 Chevrolet and as many as three other starts are planned.

Martin Truex Jr.  finished 11th in the standings and earned 2299 points.
2012: Drove the No. 56 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing. In the 36 starts, he led 434 laps, scored one pole, seven top five and 19 top 10 finishes. He had an average start of 12.1 and a 12.1 average finish.
Best NSCS start: 1 - Texas 04/14/12
Best NSCS finishes: 2 - Kansas 04/22/12 and Kansas 10/21/12
Last NSCS Win: Dover 06/04/07.
2013: Truex and sponsor NAPA extended contracts thru 2015 with Michael Waltrip Racing. Toyota remains thru 2014. Chad Johnston returns as crew chief for the No. 56 team.

Jeff Gordon finished 10th in the standings and earned 2303 points.
2012: Drove the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. In the 36 starts, he led 568 laps, scored two poles, two wins, 11 top five and 18 top 10 finishes. He had an average start of 12.9 and a 14.1 average finish.
Best NSCS starts: 1 - Talladega 05/06/12 and Loudon 09/23/12
Best NSCS finishes: 1 - Pocono 08/05/12 and Homestead 11/18/12
Last NSCS Win: Homestead 11/18/12.
2013: No changes on Gordon’s No. 24 team. Alan Gustafson returns as crew chief. Drive to End Hunger, DuPont and Pepsi return as sponsors.

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS):
Mike Wallace finished 12th in the standings and earned 749 points.
2012: Drove the No. 01 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports. In the 33 races, he led nine laps, had one top 10 finish, an average start of 26.5 and a 21.5 average finish.
Best NNS start: 7 - Daytona 07/06/12
Best NNS finish: 7 - Montreal 08/18/12
Last NNS Win: Daytona 07/02/04.
2013: Wallace will return for another full season in JD Motorsports’ No. 01 Chevrolet.

Joe Nemechek finished 11th in the standings and earned 816 points.
2012: Drove his NEMCO Motorsports’ No. 87 Toyota in 30 races, his No. 97 Toyota in one race and the No. 70 Dodge for ML Motorsports in one other race. In the 32 starts, he led 11 laps, had one top 10 finish, an average start of 23.7 and an 18.7 average finish. Nemechek also attempted all 36 Sprint Cup races and made the show in 31 races. He had a best finish of 28th in those “start-and-park” efforts driving his NEMCO Motorsports’ No. 87 Toyota.
Best NNS start: 14 - Richmond 09/07/12
Best NNS finish: 8 - Richmond 09/07/12
Last NNS Win: Kansas 10/09/04.
2013: No firm plans at this time in either the NNS or Sprint Cup Series but Nemechek will most likely attempt as many races as possible.

Danica Patrick finished 10th in the standings and earned 838 points.
2012: Drove the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. In the 33 races, she led 41 laps, scored one pole, four top 10 finishes, an average start of 14.9 and an 18.8 average finish. Patrick made 10 Cup starts in Tommy Baldwin Racing’s No. 10 Chevrolet in preparation for a 2013 NSCS schedule. Her best finish was 17th at Phoenix.
Best NNS start: 1 - Daytona 02/25/12
Best NNS finish: 8 - Texas 04/13/12
Last NNS Win: None so far.
2013: Patrick is running for Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year in the Stewart Haas Racing No. 10 Chevrolet bringing GoDaddy.com as her sponsor. Tony Gibson will lead the No. 10 crew. Patrick may run a limited schedule in the NNS with Richard Childress Racing (No. 33) if sponsorship can be found.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS):
Cale Gale 12th in the standings and earned 634 points.
2012: Drove Eddie Sharp Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado in 22 races. He led five laps, scored one pole, one win, three top five and eight top 10 finishes and had an average start of 9.6 and a 15.5 average finish. ESR put Gale in two ARCA races in 2012. He finished 13th at Daytona and won the event in Mobile.
Best NCWTS start: 1 - Bristol 08/22/12
Best NCWTS finish: 1 - Homestead 11/16/12
Last NCWTS Win: Homestead 11/16/12.
2013: Gale has stepped out from behind the wheel in 2013. He has assumed the role of crew chief on one of Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado teams (tentatively the No. 30).

Jason White finished 11th in the standings and earned 635 points.
2012: Drove 22 races in the GB Racing No. 23 Ford F-150. He led 66 laps, had two top five and five top 10 finishes and had an average start of 16.5 and a 15.4 average finish. White drove in one Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway for FAS Lane Racing. He finished 31st in the No. 32 Ford.
Best NCWTS start: 2 - Talladega 10/06/12
Best NCWTS finish: 2 - Michigan 08/18/12
Last NCWTS Win: None so far.
2013: White has sponsorship for at least the Daytona race in GB Racing’s No. 23 Ford but the rest of the season in not firm at this time.

Miguel Paludo finished 10th in the standings and earned 668 points.
2012: Drove 22 races in Turner Motorsports’ No. 32 Chevrolet Silverado. He led 67 laps, scored one pole, one top five and five top 10 finishes and had an average start of 11.3 and a 13.9 average finish. Paludo also entered the Elkhart Lake and Watkins Glen road course races in the Nationwide Series driving Turner Motorsports Chevrolets. His best finish was a 13th at The Glen.
Best NCWTS start: 1 - Daytona 02/24/12
Best NCWTS finish: 5 - Homestead 11/16/12
Last NCWTS Win: None so far.
2013: Paludo will return to Turner Scott Motorsports and will again pilot the No. 32 Chevrolet Silverado. Jeff Hensley returns as crew chief.

2013 Sprint Cup Lineup - Full-time teams(Tentative)

Car

Driver

Sponsor

Make

Owner

1

Jamie McMurray

McDonald’s/Bass Pro Shops/LiftMaster

Chevrolet

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite

Ford

Penske Racing

5

Kasey Kahne

Farmers Insurance/Quaker State/Great Clips/Time Warner Cable

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

7

Dave Blaney

Farmers Insurance/Quaker State/Great Clips/Time Warner Cable

Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing

9

Marcos Ambrose

DeWalt/Stanley Tools/Black & Decker

Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports

10

Danica Patrick

GoDaddy.com

Chevrolet

Stewart  Haas Racing

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

13

Casey Mears

GEICO

Ford

Germain Racing

14

Tony Stewart

Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1

Chevrolet

Stewart Haas Racing

15

Clint Bowyer

5-Hour Energy/Peak Motor Oil

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

16

Greg Biffle

3M

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Best Buy/Zest/First Third Bank

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

18

Kyle Busch

M&M’s/Snickers/Double Mint/Interstate Batteries

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

20

Matt Kenseth

Home Depot/Dollar General

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

22

Joey Logano

Shell-Pennzoil

Ford

Penske Racing

24

Jeff Gordon

Drive to End Hunger/DuPont/Pepsi

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

26

Josh Wise

MDS Transport

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

27

Paul Menard

Menard’s

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

29

Kevin Harvick

Budweiser/Rheem/Jimmy Johns

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

30

Michael Waltrip

(Daytona 500 only)

Toyota

Swan Racing

30

David Stremme

Swan Energy

Toyota

Swan Racing

31

Jeff Burton

Caterpillar/Cheerios

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

32

Ken Schrader

Federated Auto Parts (10 races)

Ford

FAS Lane Racing

34

David Ragan

Peanut Patch (4 races)

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

37

J.J. Yeley

??

Chevrolet

Max Q Motorsports

38

David Gilliland

??

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

39

Ryan Newman

Quicken Loans/Haas Automation/Outback Steakhouse

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

Kroger/Kingsford/Kimberly-Clark/Herr’s/BUBBA Burger

Toyota

JTG Daugherty Racing

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

51

Regan Smith

Guy Roofing (only the Daytona 500)

Chevrolet

Phoenix Racing

51

AJ Allmendinger

?? (Phoenix plus unknown others)

Chevrolet

Phoenix Racing

55

Mark Martin

Aaron’s (24 races)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

55

Michael Waltrip

Aaron’s (3 races)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

55

Brian Vickers

Aaron’s (9 races)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

56

Martin Truex Jr.

NAPA Auto Parts

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

78

Kurt Busch

Furniture Row

Chevrolet

Furniture Row Racing

83

David Reutimann

Burger King/Dr. Pepper

Toyota

BK Racing

88

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Army National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew/AMP Energy

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

93

Travis Kvapil

Burger King/Dr. Pepper

Toyota

BK Racing

98

Michael McDowell

K-LOVE Radio, Curb Records

Ford

Phil Parsons Racing

99

Carl Edwards

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

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

 

2013 Sprint Cup Lineup - Part-time/Questionable teams

Car

Driver

Sponsor 

Make

Owner

12

Sam Hornish Jr.

??

Ford

Penske Racing

21

Trevor Bayne

Motorcraft/Quick Lane

Ford

Wood Brothers Racing

33

Austin Dillon

Honey Nut Cheerios

Chevrolet

Joe Falk Motorsports

52

??

??

Toyota

Hamilton Means Racing

79

??

??

Ford

Go Green Racing

87

Joe Nemechek

AM FM Energy LLC

Toyota

NEMCO Motorsports

92

Brian Keselowski

(Daytona 500 and possibly others)

Toyota

Brian Keselowski Racing

95

Scott Speed

??  (20 races)

Ford

Leavine Family Racing



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



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