Anthony Ballantoni

Looking Ahead

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Looking Ahead: One More Week!

Sunday, February 16, 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 7 days to go until the 2014 season-opening Daytona 500, here are the recaps of the final top three drivers in each series followed by a final “tentative” list of 2014 Sprint Cup Driver/Team lineups.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS):
Kevin Harvick finished 3rd in the standings and earned 2,385 points.
2013: Richard Childress Racing No. 29 Chevrolet SS. In 36 starts, he scored four wins, one pole, nine top-fives, 21 top-10s and led 269 laps. He had a 15.3 average start and an 11.2 average finish. He made 11 Nationwide Series starts in RCR’s Nos. 33 and 21 Chevrolet Camaros averaging a 7.4 finish including a win at Atlanta. He also drove the NTS Motorsports Nos. 14 and 24 Chevrolet Silverados in the two Camping World Truck Series races at Martinsville; best finish was a 25th. Harvick is also the defending winner of the 2013 Sprint Unlimited non-points race at Daytona.
Best 2013 NSCS start: Pole at Kansas on October 6
Best 2013 NSCS finishes: Win at Richmond on April 27, Charlotte on May 26, Kansas on October 6 and Phoenix on November 10
Last career NSCS win: Phoenix International Raceway on November 10, 2013.
2014: Harvick left RCR at the end of 2013. He will pilot the Stewart Haas Racing No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS. Rodney Childers will be his crew chief. Harvick has also signed on to drive the JR Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro in at least 13 Nationwide Series events.

Matt Kenseth finished 2nd in the standings and earned 2,400 points.
2013: Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota Camry. In 36 starts, he scored a series-best seven wins, three poles, 12 top-fives, 20 top-10s and led 1,783 laps. He had a series-best 8.7 average start and a 12.1 average finish. He drove JGR’s No. 18 Toyota Camry in 16 Nationwide Series races scoring two victories and earning a 7.8 average finish.
Best 2013 NSCS starts: Pole at Kansas on April 21, Richmond on April 27 and Homestead-Miami on November 17
Best 2013 NSCS finishes: Win at Las Vegas on March 10, Kansas on April 21, Darlington on May 11, Kentucky on June 30, Bristol on August 24, Chicago on September 15 and Loudon on September 22
Last career NSCS win: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Loudon) on September 22, 2013.
2014: Kenseth returns to the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry with Jason Ratcliff returning as crew chief as well. Kenseth will also drive JGR’s No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry in at least 17 Nationwide Series races. The NNS No. 18 may not be used in 2014.

Jimmie Johnson earned 2,419 points and is the 2013 NSCS Champion.
2013: Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet SS. In 36 starts, he scored six wins, three poles, 16 top-fives, series-best 24 top 10s and led series-best 1,985 laps. He had a 9.8 average start and a series-best 10.7 average finish. Johnson drove the JR Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro in the Nationwide Series at Phoenix (finished 12th).
Best 2013 NSCS starts: Pole at Martinsville on April 7, Pocono on August 4 and Phoenix on November 10. He started 1st at Pocono on June 9 but that was not a Pole since qualifying was rained-out.
Best 2013 NSCS finishes: Win at Daytona on February 24, Martinsville on April 7, Pocono on June 9, Daytona on July 6, Dover on September 29 and Texas on November 3.
Last career NSCS win: Texas Motor Speedway on November 3, 2013.
2014: Johnson will again pilot the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Lowe’s Home Improvement Chevrolet SS with Chad Knaus returning as crew chief for the team.

NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS):
Regan Smith finished 3rd in the standings and earned 1,108 points.
2013: JR Motorsports No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro. He scored two wins, eight top-fives, 19 top-10s, led 219 laps and had a 10.8 average start and an 11.0 average finish. Smith also drove the Phoenix Racing No. 51 Chevrolet SS in six Sprint Cup races averaging a 16.3 finish. His best result in the No. 51 was sixth place at Talladega.
Best 2013 NNS start: 2nd at Iowa on August 3
Best 2013 NNS finishes: Win at Talladega on May 4 and Michigan on June 15
Last career NNS win: Michigan International Speedway on June 15, 2013.
2014: Smith will return to the JR Motorsports No. 7 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet Camaro. Ryan Pemberton has been named new crew chief for the team.

Sam Hornish Jr. finished 2nd in the standings and earned 1,177 points.
2013: Penske Motorsports No. 12 Ford Mustang. In 33 starts he scored one win, four poles, 16 top-fives, a series-best 25 top-10s, led 603 laps and had a 6.0 average start and a 9.0 average finish. Hornish also drove Penske’s No. 12 Ford Fusion in the Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. He started 4th was involved in a five-car wreck and was credited with a 37th place finish.
Best 2013 NNS starts: Pole at Chicago on July 21, Watkins Glen on August 10, Kentucky on September 21 and Homestead-Miami on November 16

Bristol on March 16
Best 2013 NNS finish: Win at Las Vegas on March 9
Last career NNS win: Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2013.
2014: Penske and Hornish parted ways on good terms at the end of 2013 after 300 races together which included an IndyCar championship. He does not have a full-time ride in 2014. Joe Gibbs Racing signed him to drive seven Nationwide Series races in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry. Kyle Busch will drive the other 26 races in the No. 54. Hornish’s first start will be May 3 at Talladega.

Austin Dillon earned 1,180 points and is the 2013 NNS Champion.
2013: Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro. In 33 starts he scored seven poles, 13 top-fives, 22 top-10s, led 557 laps and had a 5.0 average start and an 8.8 average finish. He also made 11 Sprint Cup Series starts for multiple teams in the Nos. 14, 33 and 51 Chevrolets. He averaged a 23.1 finish with a best of 11th at Michigan. Dillon drove for three different teams in three Camping World Truck Series races. His best finish was a victory in the inaugural dirt track race at Eldora Speedway driving the RSS Racing No. 39 Chevrolet Silverado.
Best 2013 NNS starts: Pole at Charlotte on May 25, Dover on June 1, Iowa on June 9, Michigan on June 15, Kentucky on June 28, Daytona on July 5 and Kansas on October 5
Best 2013 NNS finishes: 2nd at Iowa on June 9, Kentucky on September 21 and Charlotte on October 11
Last career NNS win: Kentucky Speedway on September 22, 2012.
2014: Dillon has moved up the Sprint Cup Series. He will bring back the iconic No. 3 Chevrolet formerly driven by the late 7-time Cup Series Champion Dale Earnhardt. It will run as the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Dow/Cheerios/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS. Gil Martin will be Dillon’s crew chief in 2014. For first start in 2014, Dillon has already qualified on the pole for the February 23rd Daytona 500. He and Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Chevrolet) are the two drivers locked into the season-opening event. The remainder of the field will be determined by the two Duel 150 qualifying races to be held on February 20th.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS):
James Buescher finished 3rd in the standings and earned 761 points.
2013: Turner Scott Motorsports No. 31 Chevrolet Silverado. In 22 starts he scored two wins, two poles, four top-fives, 14 top-10s, led 145 laps and had a 7.8 average start and a 10.1 average finish. He drove the TSM No. 34 Chevrolet Camaro in four Nationwide Series races; best finish of 2nd at Daytona, averaged a 10.5 finish in all four events. He also drove the 22 Racing No. 24 Dodge in one Canadian Tire Series race. He started 17th, blew the engine and was credited with a 31st place finish.
Best 2013 NCWTS starts: Pole at Kansas on April 20 and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on September 1
Best 2013 NCWTS finishes: Win at Michigan on August 17 and Iowa on September 8
Last career NCWTS win: Iowa Speedway on September 8, 2013.
2014: Buescher has signed a multi-year deal to move up full-time to the Nationwide Series driving the RAB Racing No. 99 Rheem Toyota Camry. Chris Rice will be crew chief for the team.

Ty Dillon finished 2nd in the standings and earned 764 points.
2013: Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado. In 22 starts he scored two wins, one pole, nine top fives, 12 top-10s and led a series-best 501 laps. He had a 6.4 average start and a 10.4 average finish. Dillon drove RCR’s No. 33 Chevrolet Camaro in nine Nationwide Series races. He averaged a 16.3 finish in those races including a best of 7th at Bristol. He also piloted the Fitzpatrick Motorsports No. 4 Chevrolet in two NASCAR Canadian Tire Series races; best finish of 7th at Bowmanville.
Best 2013 NCWTS start: Pole at Las Vegas on September 28
Best 2013 NCWTS finishes: Win at Charlotte on May 17, Kentucky on June 27 and Texas on November 1
Last career NCWTS win: Texas Motor Speedway on November 1, 2013.
2014: Dillon has moved up to the Nationwide Series replacing his brother Austin Dillon who, in turn, moved up to the Sprint Cup Series. Ty will drive the RCR No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Camaro. Denny Stockman Jr. will return as crew chief for the No. 3 team.

Matt Crafton earned 804 points and is the 2013 NCWTS Champion.
2013: ThorSport Racing No. 88 Toyota Tundra. In 22 starts he scored one win, seven top fives, series-best 19 top-10s and led 87 laps. He had a 10.0 average start and a 7.9 average finish. Crafton also drove the Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet Camaro in three Nationwide Series races; finished 3rd, 10th and 3rd.
Best 2013 NCWTS starts: 5th at Rockingham on April 14 and Las Vegas on September 28
Best 2013 NCWTS finish: Win at Kansas on April 20
Last career NCWTS win: Kansas Speedway on April 20, 2013.
2014: Sauter will return to the ThorSport Racing No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra. Carl Joiner will also return as crew chief for the No. 88 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 / Accell Construction

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 / Charter/

AAA Mid-Atlantic / Kansas Strong

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 / Skittles / DoubleMint /

Interstate Batteries

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

20

Matt Kenseth

Dollar General / Home Depot

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

22

Joey Logano

Shell-Pennzoil / AAA / Hertz /

AutoTrader.com

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 / Speed Stick GEAR

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

36

Reed Sorenson

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing

38

David Gilliland

Love’s Travel Stops

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

41

Kurt Busch

Haas Automation / State Water Heaters

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

44

J.J. Yeley

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Chevrolet

Xxxtreme Motorsport

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

HScott Motorsports

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

88

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Army National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew / Kelley Blue Book

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

95

Michael McDowell

K-LOVE

Ford

Leavine Family Racing

98

Josh Wise

Ambient Edge (Las Vegas only)

Chevrolet

Phil Parsons Racing

99

Carl Edwards

Fastenal / Aflac / UPS

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part-time/Questionable teams

 

 

12

Ryan Blaney

NP SKF

Ford

Team Penske

21

Trevor Bayne

NP Motorcraft / Quick Lane

Ford

Wood Brothers Racing

35

Eric McClure

NP Hefty (Daytona 500 only)

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

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

HScott Motorsports

66

Michael Waltrip

PEAK BluDEF (Daytona 500 only)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

66

Jeff Burton

(6 to 8 races beginning at Las Vegas)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

66

Joe Nemechek

NP LandCastle Tile (27 to 29 races)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

87

Joe Nemechek

NP (Daytona 500 and when not in No. 66)

Toyota

Identity Ventures Racing

92

Brian Keselowski

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Ford

(name change coming)

93

Morgan Shepherd

NP (Daytona 500 only)

Toyota

Faith Motorsports

 

 

NP=Not eligible for points in Sprint Cup

 

 



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



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