Normally every Wednesday I post my unsolicited opinion on something going on in NASCAR that is a major issue. This week, we’re going to do things a little different. First thing that is different? I’m posting on Thursday. Secondly, I’m just going to bring you the latest news in NASCAR, and give a touch more opinion those items. It’s been a rough week at Casa da Tyler, so bear with me.
Return of the 3?
There is a photo as you can see above making the rounds of a Sprint Cup car that is rumored to be Austin Dillon’s 2014 ride. A lot of people have a strong opinion on Austin returning the 3 to Sprint Cup racing. Some people are okay with it, because in a way it stays in the Childress-Earnhardt family. This isn’t like how the legacy of the 43 has been destroyed by sub-par finishes season after season. That I believe is more on the team and less on the driver though.
Some are outright enraged and can’t believe he’s driving Dale’s number. My personal opinion is, yes it’s a bit strange to see that three without Big “E”s name above the door. However, it’s time and Austin’s earned the right to drive it.
NAPA LEAVING MWR
Michael Waltrip Racing and Martin Truex Jr. will lose long time sponsor NAPA Auto Parts at the end of this year. NAPA released a statement saying they do not condone such actions that led to the penalties and fallout from Spin/Pit-Gate at Richmond two weekends ago. I wish this had not happened, because it’s happening to members of MWR that are totally innocent bystanders in this whole mess.
Current statements from MWR and Michael Waltrip himself show that MWR has every intention at remaining a three car organization next season. It’s not going to be easy considering you need a lot of sponsor support. NAPA was a one of a kind sponsor in that they were sponsoring the entire schedule of the 56.
At this time, NAPA hasn’t said if they will move to another team. With teams needing sponsors, they could easily find somewhere to fill the void. There is a driver that carried their logo as they were an associate sponsor of his. He seems to be in need of a sponsor. Perhaps a return to a car with an 8 on it is in order?
Nationwide Insurance leaving NASCAR’s number two series after 2014
Nationwide will begin a heavier sponsorship on the Sprint Cup side of the sport. The cost of this push is that the number two series of the sport is losing its primary sponsor. NASCAR has a year to fix this issue, and I’m positive they will.
Nationwide is going to sponsor the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award along with a stronger at track presence. The push is to be expected as Nationwide had been primary sponsor for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on a few different races. Cup car sponsorship could be a key move, to this decision as well.
Right now there is an epidemic in the Nationwide series with cup stars coming in, a dominating all the races of the season. Just this weekend Kyle Busch led 195 of 200 laps at Chicagoland. Perhaps it’s time NASCAR puts a limit on active points racing cup drivers racing in the lower tier series.
Changes coming to the Sprint Cup schedule?
It was reported there’d be no changes to the Sprint Cup schedule in 2014, now there are rumors that there could be some radical changes. The first is the moving of the finale from Homestead to Phoenix. Another change is Sonoma moves into the chase. Also Road America could take Dover’s spring date and be added to the schedule. The biggest news for the purist of this rumor is that Darlington could get its Labor Day date back and move Atlanta to Mother’s Day weekend.
I support everything about this except Dover losing its first date. I love the racing at Dover and want to see it stay. I could live without two Kansas races though. Just saying.
Outback Steakhouse staying with Stewart-Hass Racing
Outback Steakhouse will be primary sponsor for two races on Kevin Harvick’s number 4 Chevrolet SS in 2014, and 2015. When not on the car in that capacity they will be an associate sponsor on the B-Post. Apparently the Top 10 gets a free bloomin’ onion deal will remain. So every time you see “Happy” in the top 10 in points, go weasel yourself some bloomin’ onion!
Barkdoll out and McDowell in at Phoenix Racing
Steve Barkdoll has left Phoenix racing as its general manager this week. This comes on the heels of Harry Scott Jr. officially controlling and owning the team.
Phoenix Racing again made news when they tapped Michael McDowell to drive the 51 at New Hampshire this weekend. McDowell is an amazing road course racer, and has the potential to be just as good on ovals, if given the chance to prove himself. Here’s hoping New Hampshire goes well for him.
Labonte returns from injury
Bobby Labonte will return to the 47 of JTG Daugherty Racing this weekend at New Hampshire. Labonte has been sidelined for the last month with broken ribs suffered in a bicycling accident.
Patrick goes country
Danica Patrick will be hosting the American Country Awards with country music star Trace Adkins on December 10th in Las Vegas. I have no problems with Danica Patrick, I truly don’t! I think she’s not given a fair shake and in time can be a race winning driver in NASCAR. However, I still hate myself for typing this bit of news.
Random Sports/Non Sports Thought:
Grand Theft Auto 5 is out. I have gotten my hands on a copy today. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go sit in front of my PS3 for hours on end.
Have a question, suggestion or witty comment? Feel free to leave one below! Don’t want to do that? Then the fastest, easiest, and quickest way to interact with me is on Twitter, @tpierc07. I also am on Facebook, but that one you have to work for. Don’t do social media? Then feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com!
So until we meet again just know, I’ll be waiting for you at the next left turn in New Hampshire