Anthony Ballantoni

Looking Ahead

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Looking Ahead: Down to 27 days

Sunday, January 26, 2014


 

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 27 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):
Kasey Kahne finished 12th in the standings and earned 2283 points.
2013: Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet SS. In 36 starts, he scored two wins, 11 top-fives, 14 top-10s and led 677 laps. He had an 11.6 average start and a 16.2 average finish. He also drove JR Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro in 11 Nationwide Series races; averaged a 10.5 start coupled with an 11.2 average finish.
Best 2013 NSCS starts: 2nd at Phoenix on March 3, Bristol on March 17 and Loudon on September 22
Best 2013 NSCS finishes: Wins at Bristol on March 17 and Pocono on August 4
Last career NSCS win: Pocono Raceway on August 4, 2013.
2014: Kahne returns to the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS. Kenny Francis also returns as crew chief for the team.

Ryan Newman finished 11th in the standings and earned 2286 points.
2013: Stewart Haas Racing No. 39 Chevrolet SS. In 36 starts, he scored one win, two poles, six top-fives, 18 top-10s and led 128 laps. He had a 15.6 average start and a 16.0 average finish. He also drove Turner Scott Motorsports No. 34 Chevrolet Silverado in the inaugural Camping World Truck Series dirt track race at Eldora Speedway; started 10th and finished third. In the Whelen Modified Tour, Newman piloted the Mike Curb Records No. 7 Chevrolet in three races; started on the pole in one and averaged a 4.0 finish overall.
Best 2013 NSCS starts: Poles at Indianapolis on July 28 and Loudon on September 22
Best 2013 NSCS finish: Win at Indianapolis on July 28
Last career NSCS win: Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 28, 2013.
2014: Newman was released by Stewart Haas at the end of 2013. He will be driving the Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS with Luke Lambert in the role of crew chief for the team.

Kurt Busch finished 10th in the standings and earned 2309 points.
2013: Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Chevrolet SS. In 36 starts, he scored one pole, 11 top-fives, 16 top 10s and led 448 laps. He had a 13.2 average start and a 14.7 average finish. He also drove the Phoenix Racing No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro in three Nationwide Series events at Daytona and Talladega; wrecked in one, scored a fourth place in the other two.
Best 2013 NSCS start: Pole at Darlington on May 11
Best 2013 NSCS finishes: 2nd at Richmond on September 7 and Kansas on October 6
Last career NSCS win: Dover International Speedway on October 2, 2011.
2014: Busch left the No. 78 team at the end of 2013. He will drive the Stewart Haas Racing No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS this season. Daniel Knost has been promoted from race engineer on the SHR’s No. 39 team to crew chief for Busch’s No. 41 team.

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS):
Nelson Piquet Jr. finished 12th in the standings and earned 861 points.
2013: Turner Scott Motorsports No. 30 Chevrolet Camaro. He scored five top-10s, and had a 16.0 average start and a 17.7 average finish. Piquet also drove one Camping World Truck Series race in TCM’s No. 30 Chevrolet Silverado (finished 19th) and another in NTS Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet (wrecked, finished 31st).
Best 2013 NNS starts: 5th at Auto Club on March 23 and Mid-Ohio on August 17
Best 2013 NNS finish: 8th at Kentucky on June 28
Last career NNS win: Road America on June 23, 2012.
2014: No firm plans to return to the TSM No. 30. There are rumors that he might be running full-time driving the NTS Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet Silverado in the Camping World Truck Series in 2014. Ron Hornaday was released as driver of the No. 9 just before the 2013 season finale.

Alex Bowman finished 11th in the standings and earned 884 points.
2013: RAB Racing No. 99 Toyota Camry. In 32 starts he scored two poles, two top-fives, six top-10s, led 14 laps and had a 12.1 average start and a 16.5 average finish.
Best 2013 NNS starts Pole at Texas on April 12 and Texas on November 2
Best 2013 NNS finish: 3rd at Daytona on February 23
Last career NNS win: None so far.
2014: Bowman has moved up to the Sprint Cup Series full-time. He will drive the BK Racing No. 23 Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry (was the No. 93 in 2013) and will compete for Rookie of the Year honors. Dave Winston will serve as Bowman’s crew chief.

Brian Vickers finished 10th in the standings and earned 970 points.
2013: Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota Camry. Vickers had to sit out the final three races due to a blood clot found in his leg. In 30 starts he scored 13 top-fives, 18 top-10s, led 122 laps and had a 9.0 average start and a 12.0 average finish. He also made 17 Sprint Cup starts; sharing the Michael_Waltrip Racing No. 55 Toyota Camry (14 races) and filling in for injured Denny Hamlin in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota Camry (3 races). Vickers scored one win (Loudon in the No. 55) and averaged an 18.9 finish in the NSCS races.
Best 2013 NNS start: 1st at Las Vegas on March 9 (not a pole, qualifying rained out)
Best 2013 NNS finishes: 2nd at Dover on June 1 and Loudon on July 13
Last career NNS win: Dover International Speedway on September 20, 2003.
2014: Vickers moved up to Sprint Cup, taking over the MWR No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry as the full-time driver. Billy Scott has been named the crew chief for the team.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS):
John Wes Townley finished 11th in the standings and earned 641 points.
2013: Red Horse Racing No. 7 Toyota Tundra. In 22 starts he scored seven top-10s and had a 17.9 average start and a 14.9 average finish. He drove the Venturini Motorsports No. 25 Toyota Camry in two Nationwide Series races (best finish was 17th). Townley also piloted Venturini’s Nos. 15 and 55 Toyota Camrys in five ARCA Racing Series events. He won the ARCA season opener at Daytona and averaged a 13.2 finish for the five races.
Best 2013 NCWTS start: 3rd at Kentucky on June 27
Best 2013 NCWTS finishes: 6th at Chicago on September 13 and Homestead-Miami on November 15
Last career NCWTS win: None so far.
2014: Townley was hired to drive the Wauters Motorsports No. 5 Zaxby’s Toyota Tundra full-time in 2014. Mike Beam is his crew chief. Townley will also be driving a limited ARCA Racing Series schedule.

Timothy Peters finished 10th in the standings and earned 683 points.
2013: Red Horse Racing No. 17 Toyota Tundra. In 22 starts he scored two wins, four top fives, 11 top-10s and led 227 laps. He had a 12.8 average start and a 13.3 average finish.
Best 2013 NCWTS starts: 3rd at Martinsville on April 6, Charlotte on May 17 and Eldora on July 24
Best 2013 NCWTS finishes: 1st at Iowa on July 13 and Las Vegas on September 28
Last career NCWTS win: Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 28, 2013.
2014: Peters returns to the Red Horse Racing No. 17 Toyota Tundra. Marcus Richmond has joined Red Horse Racing as crew chief for the No. 17 team.

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

Car

Driver

Sponsor

Make

Owner

1

Jamie McMurray

Cessna / LiftMaster / McDonald’s

Chevrolet

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite / Alliance Truck Parts / Wurth

Ford

Team Penske

3

Austin Dillon

Dow / Cheerios / Bass Pro Shops /

American Ethanol

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 / Snickers / 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

Team Penske

23

Alex Bowman

Dr Pepper / Burger King

Toyota

BK Racing

24

Jeff Gordon

Drive to End Hunger / Axalta / Pepsi

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

26

Cole Whitt

Swan Energy / Lean 1 / Nutrition53

Toyota

Swan Racing

27

Paul Menard

Menard’s

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

30

Parker Kligerman

Swan Energy / Lean 1 / Nutrition53

Toyota

Swan Racing

31

Ryan Newman

Caterpillar / Quicken Loans /

WIX Filters / Kwikset

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

32

Terry Labonte

(Daytona 500 only)(sponsor unconfirmed)

Ford

Go Fas Racing

33

Brian Scott

NP (Daytona 500 only) Shore Lodge

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

33

?Landon Cassill

NP (Cassill/Raines may also share 40)

Chevrolet

Joe Falk Racing

33

?Tony Raines

NP (Cassill/Raines may also share 40)

Chevrolet

Joe Falk Racing

34

David Ragan

CSX / Farm Rich / Taco Bell

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

38

David Gilliland

Love’s Travel Stops

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

41

Kurt Busch

Haas Automation

Chevrolet

Stewart Haas Racing

42

Kyle Larson

Target

Chevrolet

Chip Ganassi Racing

43

Aric Almirola

Smithfield Foods / STP / U.S. Air Force / GoBowling.com

Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports

47

AJ Allmendinger

Bush’s Baked Beans / Clorox /

Kingsford Charcoal / House-Autry Mills

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

77

Dave Blaney

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Ford

Randy Humphrey Racing

78

Martin Truex Jr.

Furniture Row

Chevrolet

Furniture Row Racing

83

Ryan Truex

Borla Exhausts / Burger King / Dr Pepper

Toyota

BK 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

Roush Fenway Racing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part-time/Questionable teams

 

 

21

Trevor Bayne

NP Motorcraft / Quick Lane

Ford

Wood Brothers Racing

35

(no driver named)

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

36

?J.J. Yeley

(Yeley unconfirmed)

Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing

40

?Landon Cassill

NP (Cassill/Raines may also share 33)

Chevrolet

Joe Falk Racing

40

?Tony Raines

NP (Cassill/Raines may also share 33)

Chevrolet

Joe Falk Racing

52

Bobby Labonte

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Chevrolet

Phoenix Racing

66

Michael Waltrip

(Daytona 500 only)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

66

Jeff Burton

(Select races)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

92

Brian Keselowski

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Ford

(name change coming)

 

 

NP=Not eligible for points in Sprint Cup

 

 

 



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



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