Anthony Ballantoni

Looking Ahead

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Looking Ahead:29 to Green Flag

Friday, January 25, 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 29 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):
Tony Stewart finished ninth in the standings and earned 2311 points.
2012: Drove his Stewart Haas Racing No. 14 Chevrolet. In the 36 races, he led 420 laps, scored one pole, three victories, 12 top five and 16 top 10 finishes. He had an average start of 18.3 and a 13.6 average finish. In addition, he drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona (finished eighth). 
Best NSCS start: 1 - Atlanta 09/02/12
Best NSCS finishes: 1 - Las Vegas 03/11/12, Auto Club 03/25/12 and Daytona 07/07/12
Last NSCS Win: Daytona 07/07/12.
2013: Stewart returns in the No. 14 with sponsorship from Mobil 1 in 11 races. He secured Bass Pro Shops as primary sponsor on 18 races. Steve Addington will be back as crew chief for the team.

Kevin Harvick finished eighth in the standings and earned 2321 points.
2012: Drove the No. 29 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. In the 36 starts, he led 256 laps, scored one victory, five top five and 14 top 10 finishes. He had an average start of 14.6 and a 12.1 average finish. In addition, he drove RCR’s No. 33 Chevrolet in 13 NNS races. He scored one pole, two wins, had 10 top 10 finishes and earned a 7.5 average finish. Over in the Truck Series, Harvick started three races in RCR’s No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado. Two starts were from the pole and one from second place. His 5.3 average finish included a win, a third and a 12th place.
Best NSCS starts: 2 - Martinsville 04/01/12, Kansas 04/22/12 and Michigan 06/17/12
Best NSCS finish: 1 - Phoenix 11/11/12
Last NSCS Win: Phoenix 11/11/12.
2013: It was confirmed that this will be Harvick’s last season with RCR (moves to Stewart Haas Racing in 2014). This year the team stays intact with sponsors Budweiser, Rheem and Jimmy Johns. Gil Martin returns as crew chief on the No. 29 as well.

Matt Kenseth finished seventh in the standings and earned 2324 points.
2012: Drove the No. 17 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. In the 36 starts, he led 480 laps, scored one pole, three victories, 13 top five and 19 top 10 finishes. He had an average start of 13.3 and an 11.1 average finish.
Best NSCS start: 1 - Daytona 07/07/12
Best NSCS finishes: 1 - Daytona 02/27/12, Talladega 10/07/12 and Kansas 10/21/12
Last NSCS Win: Kansas 10/21/12.
2013: Kenseth moved to Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of 2012. He will pilot the No. 20 Toyota (replacing Joey Logano who moved to Penske Racing). Home Depot and Dollar General will sponsor the team. Jason Ratcliff will remain as crew chief. Kenseth will also ride-share JGR’s No. 18 Toyota in some Nationwide Series races.

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS):
Brian Scott finished ninth in the standings and earned 853 points.
2012: Drove the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. In the 33 races, he led 11 laps, had two top five and 11 top 10 finishes, an average start of 11.4 and an 18.2 average finish. Scott also drove Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 18 Toyota Tundra in five NCWTS races. He carried a 9.2 average finish which included a win at Phoenix.
Best NNS starts: 3 - Bristol 08/24/12 and Kansas 10/20/12
Best NNS finish: 3 - Dover 06/02/12
Last NNS Win: None so far.
2013: Richard Childress Racing signed Scott for multiple years to drive their No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet. Phil Gould will act as crew chief.

Mike Bliss finished eighth in the standings and earned 902 points.
2012: Drove TriStar Motorsports’ Nos. 44 (mainly), 10 and 19 Toyotas. In the 33 races, he led 12 laps, had one top 10 finish, an average start of 15.8 and a 16.8 average finish. Bliss also made one Sprint Cup start in FAS Lane Racing’s No. 32 Ford (finished 24th). He also qualified for 18 Cup races in Humphrey Smith Racing’s No. 19 Toyota (all start-and-park entries).
Best NNS start: 7 - Chicago 07/22/12
Best NNS finish: 8 - Daytona 07/06/12
Last NNS Win: Charlotte 05/23/09.
2013: No firm plans at this time but it appears he will return for another season with TriStar Motorsports in their No. 19 Toyota. Hal Martin has been hired to drive the No. 44.

Cole Whitt finished seventh in the standings and earned 994 points.
2012: Drove JR Motorsports’ No. 88 Chevrolet. In the 33 races, he led 22 laps, had four top five and 14 top 10 finishes, an average start of 13.3 and a 14.0 average finish. He also made five start-and-park Sprint Cup entries; three in Turn One Racing’s No. 74 and two in Joe Falk Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolets. He piloted Hillman Racing’s No. 27 Chevrolet Silverado truck in one race at Talladega and and earned a 13th place finish.
Best NNS starts: 2 - Michigan 06/16/12 and Daytona 07/06/12
Best NNS finishes: 4 - Talladega 05/05/12, Daytona 02/25/12 and Michigan 06/16/12
Last NNS Win: None so far.
2013: Whitt will not return to JRM’s No. 88. No firm plans at this time.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS):
Johnny Sauter finished ninth in the standings and earned 678 points.
2012: Drove ThorSport Racing’s No. 13 Toyota Tundra in 22 races. He led 11 laps, scored two wins, six top five and nine top 10 finishes and had an average start of 11.0 and a 13.8 average finish. Sauter also made one Sprint Cup start-and-park entry in NEMCO Motorsports No. 97 Toyota.
Best NCWTS start: 2 - Kentucky 09/21/12
Best NCWTS finishes: 1 - Texas 11/02/12 and Texas 06/08/12
Last NCWTS Win: Texas 11/02/12.
2013: Sauter will return with Curb Records sponsoring the No. 13 Toyota. Joe Shear Jr. will also be back as crew chief.

Justin Lofton finished eighth in the standings and earned 710 points.
2012: Drove Eddie Sharp Racing’s No. 6 Chevrolet Silverado in 22 races. He led 183 laps, scored one pole, one win, four top five and 13 top 10 finishes and had an average start of 13.5 and a 12.3 average finish.
Best NCWTS starts: 1 - Texas 06/08/12 and Chicago 07/21/12
Best NCWTS finish: 1 - Charlotte 05/18/12
Last NCWTS Win: Charlotte 05/18/12.
2013: Lofton will return to ESR’s No. 6 Chevrolet with Lofton Cattle as sponsor but will not run a full season. He is also attempting to go for the championship in Robby Gordon’s newly formed Stadium Super Truck Series.

Nelson Piquet, Jr. finished seventh in the standings and earned 747 points.
2012: Drove Turner Motorsports’ No. 30 Chevrolet Silverado in 22 races. He led 317 laps, scored four poles, two wins, nine top five and 15 top 10 finishes and had an average start of 6.6 and a 10.8 average finish. Piquet entered two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races in 2012; won at Bristol from the pole and finished 17th at Richmond. Turner put him in their No. 30 Chevrolet in two NNS races; he won the Elkhart Lake road race from the pole and finished 21st at Bristol.
Best NCWTS starts: 1 - Rockingham 04/15/12, Pocono 08/04/12, Texas 11/02/12 and Phoenix 11/09/12
Best NCWTS finishes: 1 - Michigan 08/18/12 and Las Vegas 09/29/12
Last NCWTS Win: Las Vegas 09/29/12.
2013: Piquet will not return to the No. 30 truck but will move up to the Nationwide Series. It is not firm but it looks like he will be in Turner Scott Motorsports No. 30 Chevrolet Camaro.

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

Car

Driver

Sponsor

Make

Owner

1

Jamie McMurray

Cessna/McDonald’s/Bass Pro Shops/LiftMaster/Banana Boat

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

??

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/Hertz

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

32

Terry Labonte

C&J Energy (4 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/STP/U.S. Air Force/Medallion Financial

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

?? (4 races)

Chevrolet

Phoenix Racing

51

Austin Dillon

TAG Heuer  (Las Vegas only)

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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