By Racin’ Roger
Around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Garage
All eyes were looking for Jeremy Mayfield to show up at Daytona, in fact there were spurious reports of Mayfield sightings. He was NOT there folks. My sources have said that although Mayfield is eagerly trying to make Chicago, he has no money and is hitting walls trying to find sponsorship. It’s now no secret that he is actively courting buyers of his team and equipment.
The 64 team of Larry Gunselman showed up as a late entry with the sponsorship of Fred’s Discount Stores, but the rained out qualifying sent the team home with empty pockets. They are already making plans to be at Chicagoland this weekend.
Three days after a spectacular last lap crash, Kyle Busch is still not talking to the press. Even the teams post race press release, normally carry a couple of Kyle quotes, carried only crew Chief Steve Addington’s comments.
As expected, Tuesday Michael Waltrip Racing announced the signing of Martin Truex Jr. as the driver of the #56 NAPA Toyota for 2010, with Michael going part time.
McDonald Motorsports has signed Michael McDowell to drive the 81 car at Chicago and Gateway. McDowell’s regular ride, the JTG 47 team has exhausted sponsorship for the season. McDowell remains in the top 10 in points and is searching for a way to stay in the series for the balance of the season.
Reports of trouble between Phoenix Racing’s owner James Finch and driver Mike Bliss. Monday the team announced Bliss’ departure, only to announce he is back on Tuesday.
Braun Racing has parted ways with Burney Lamar in the 32 car. He was replaced at Daytona by Brian Vickers, who will be joined by a combination of David Reutimann, Reed Sorenson and Brian Ickler wheeling the car through the rest of the season. A driver announcement for the Road Course in Montreal and the Phoenix race will be announced at a later date.
ML Racing returns to the Series at Chicago with driver Shelby Howard after missing the last two weeks.
The new Nationwide car will be a fixture for 5 races in 2010, and a lot of the smaller teams are pretty unhappy. Having to build at least 2 completely different cars for 5 races will put a lot of pressure on teams with shoe string budgets. Many wonder if Daytona, which normally pulls a bevy of contenders, will actually have a full field for the season opener.