Anthony Ballantoni

Looking Ahead

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Looking Ahead: 55 days to go

Sunday, December 29, 2013


 

During the off-season, Looking Ahead gives a snapshot of where drivers finished in 2013 and what’s ahead for them in 2014. We will look at drivers who scored at least 400 points in the Cup Series and those who earned at least 250 points in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.

With 55 days to go until the 2014 season-opening Daytona 500, here are some driver recaps followed by a tentative list of 2014 Sprint Cup Driver/Team lineups.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS):
Casey Mears finished 24th in the standings and earned 719 points.
2013: Germain Racing No. 13 Ford. In 36 starts, he had one top-10, led eight laps, and had a 26.9 average start and a 24.2 average finish.
Best 2013 NSCS start: 10th - Talladega 10/20
Best 2013 NSCS finish: 9th - Daytona 7/6
Last career NSCS win: Charlotte Motor Speedway 5/27/2007.
2014: Mears returns to the No. 13 GEICO team. The team switches to Chevrolet SS with engines supplied by Earnhardt Childress Racing. Bootie Barker returns as crew chief.

Denny Hamlin finished 23rd in the standings and earned 753 points.
2013: Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota. Even though Hamlin continued to recover from a back injury suffered in 2012, in 32 starts in the No. 11, he scored one win, five poles, four top-fives, eight top-10s and led 363 laps. He had a 10.0 average start and a 21.0 average finish. He also entered one Nationwide Series race in the JGR No. 20 Toyota; started 18th and finished second at Fort Worth. Hamlin drove teammate Kyle Busch’s No. 51 Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville; started on the pole, led 45 laps and finished sixth.
Best 2013 NSCS starts: Pole - Auto Club 3/24, Charlotte 5/26, Dover 6/2, Bristol 8/24 and Martinsville 10/27
Best 2013 NSCS finish: Win - Homestead 11/17
Last career NSCS win: Homestead 11/17/2013.
2014: Hamlin returns as driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry with Darian Grubb continuing as crew chief for the team.

Marcos Ambrose finished 22nd in the standings and earned 872 points.
2013: Richard Petty Motorsports No. 9 Ford. In 36 starts, he had one pole, six top-10s and led 71 laps. He had a 17.4 average start and a 19.9 average finish. Ambrose also drove Richard Petty’s No. 9 Ford Mustang in the Nationwide Series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car event; started 19th and finished seventh.
Best 2013 NSCS start: Pole - Watkins Glen 8/11
Best 2013 NSCS finish: 6th - Michigan 8/18
Last career NSCS win: Watkins Glen 8/12/2012.
2014: Ambrose returns to RPR’s No. 9 Stanley Tools Ford Fusion. Drew Blickensderfer continues as crew chief.

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS):
Brad Sweet finished 22nd in the standings and earned 420 points.
2013: JR Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro. In 17 starts, he scored four top-10s, had a 15.9 average start and a 19.3 average finish.
Best 2013 NNS start: 6th - Michigan 6/15
Best 2013 NNS finish: 6th - Michigan 6/15
Last career NNS win: None so far.
2014: No firm plans at this time.

Cole Whitt finished 21st in the standings and earned 426 points.
2013: TriStar Motorsports No. 44 Toyota Camry. In 15 starts he scored four top-10s, led three laps and had a 17.9 average start and a 15.7 average finish. Whitt also made seven Sprint Cup starts for Swan Racing in the No. 30 Toyota Camry.
Best 2013 NNS start: 9th - Kentucky 6/28
Best 2013 NNS finishes: 8th - Road America 6/22 and Watkins Glen 8/10
Last career NNS win: None so far.
2014: Whitt will be moving up to Sprint Cup driving a Toyota Camry for Swan Racing as a teammate to Parker Kligerman. One will be driving the No. 30 and the other car may be numbered the No. 26. Both drivers will be competing for Rookie of the Year honors.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS):
Brennan Newberry finished 19th in the standings and earned 452 points.
2013: NTS Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado. In 21 starts he scored one pole, one top-10 and had a 19.3 average start and a 22.5 average finish. He also made one NASCAR K&NPS-East start in NTS Motorsports’ No. 29 Chevrolet; started 16th, finished 30th (overheating). Newberry also drove the NTS No. 93 Chevrolet in three ARCA Racing Series events earning two top-10s (averaged a 7.0 finish).
Best 2013 NCWTS start: Pole - Daytona 2/22
Best 2013 NCWTS finish: 10th - Pocono 8/3
Last career NCWTS win: None so far.
2014: No firm plans at this time but will most likely drive the family-owned NTS No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado in most NCWTS races.

Ross Chastain finished 18th in the standings and earned 484 points.
2013: Brad_Keselowski Racing No. 19 Ford F-Series. In 14 starts he scored two poles, led 229 laps, had four top-fives, seven top-10s and had a 9.1 average start and a 10.0 average finish.
Best 2013 NCWTS starts: Pole - Iowa 9/8 and Phoenix 11/8
Best 2013 NCWTS finishes: 2nd - Iowa 9/8 and Phoenix 11/8
Last career NCWTS win: None so far.
2014: No firm plans at this time but will probably not return to the No. 19. Tyler Reddick (ARCA driver) has been hired to drive 15 races for the team in 2014 and full-time in 2015.

2014 Sprint Cup Lineup - Full-time teams(Tentative)

Car

Driver

Sponsor

Make

Owner

1

Jamie McMurray

Cessna/Textron/McDonald’s

Chevrolet

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite

Ford

Penske Racing

3

Austin Dillon

Dow/Cheerios/Bass Pro Shops

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

4

Kevin Harvick

Budweiser/Jimmie Johns/Outback Steakhouse

Chevrolet

Stewart  Haas Racing

5

Kasey Kahne

Farmers Insurance/Great Clips/Time Warner Cable/PepsiMax

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

7

Michael Annett

Pilot Flying J

Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing

9

Marcos Ambrose

DeWalt/Stanley Tools/Twisted Tea

Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports

10

Danica Patrick

GoDaddy.com/Aspen Dental

Chevrolet

Stewart  Haas Racing

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx/Sports Clips

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

13

Casey Mears

Geico

Chevrolet

Germain Racing

14

Tony Stewart

Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1/Code 3 Associates

Chevrolet

Stewart Haas Racing

15

Clint Bowyer

5-Hour Energy/Peak Motor Oil

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

16

Greg Biffle

3M/American Red Cross

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Nationwide Insurance

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

18

Kyle Busch

M&M’s/Interstate Batteries

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

20

Matt Kenseth

Dollar General/Home Depot

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

22

Joey Logano

Shell-Pennzoil/AAA/Hertz

Ford

Penske Racing

24

Jeff Gordon

Drive to End Hunger/Axalta/Pepsi

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

?26

Cole Whitt

(or Parker Kligerman)

Toyota

Swan Racing

27

Paul Menard

Menard’s

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

?30

Parker Kligerman

(or Cole Whitt)

Toyota

Swan Racing

31

Ryan Newman

Caterpillar/Quicken Loans/WIX Filters

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

32

Terry Labonte

(Daytona 500 only)(sponsor unconfirmed)

Ford

FAS Lane Racing

33

Landon Cassill

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Chevrolet

Joe Falk Racing

34

David Ragan

Taco Bell

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

38

David Gilliland

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

41

Kurt Busch

Haas Automation

Chevrolet

Stewart Haas Racing

42

Kyle Larson

Target

Chevrolet

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing

43

Aric Almirola

Smithfield Foods

Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports

47

AJ Allmendinger

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Chevrolet

JTG Daugherty Racing

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

51

Justin Allgaier

Brandt

Chevrolet

Phoenix Racing

55

Brian Vickers

Aaron’s Dream Machine

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

78

Martin Truex Jr.

Furniture Row

Chevrolet

Furniture Row Racing

87

Joe Nemechek

NP (sponsor unconfirmed)

Toyota

NEMCO Motorsports

88

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Army National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

95

Michael McDowell

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Ford

Leavine Family Racing

98

Josh Wise

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Chevrolet

Phil Parsons Racing

99

Carl Edwards

Fastenal/Aflac/UPS

Ford

Leavine Family Racing

 

 

NP=Not eligible for points in Sprint Cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part-time/Questionable teams

 

 

21

Trevor Bayne-NP

Motorcraft

Ford

Wood Brothers Racing

35

(no driver named)

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

36

?J.J. Yeley

(Yeley unconfirmed)

Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing

66

Michael Waltrip

(Daytona 500 only)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

66

Jeff Burton

(Select races)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

83

?David Reutimann

Burger King (Reutimann unconfirmed)

Toyota

BK Racing

93

?Travis Kvapil

Burger King (Kvapil unconfirmed)

Toyota

BK Racing

??

Brian Keselowski

K-Automotive (Car number unconfirmed)

Ford

Brian_Keselowski Racing

??

Bobby Labonte

(Car number, sponsor unconfirmed)

Chevrolet

Phoenix Racing

 

 

NP=Not eligible for points in Sprint Cup

 

 

 



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



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