Hey there, good morning and good day to all the Gabbers, gawkers, lurkers and others among you. Welcome to my NASCAR update. As of 6pm a storm was about to hit Richmond, VA. All drivers were ordered back to their haulers after the drivers meeting because, rain and high winds were expected. This will either delay the start of the race or it will be rescheduled for Sunday. The suspense to see who gets the wild card spots is beginning to build. Besides that we have driver changes, sponsor woes, and rule reminders.
DRIVERS ON THE MOVE
Joey Logano - This young man is trotting off to Penske Racing to drive the #22 Shell-Penzoil Ford in 2013. His stable mate will be Brad Keselowski in the #2 Miller Lite Ford. Penske is switching over to Ford next year. Joey brings his youth and a squeaky clean image with him to Penske. After enduring Kurt Busch's verbal tirades and the embarrassment of AJ Allmendingers failed drug test Joey's image is a welcome change. His character is already proven.
Joey wanted to stay at Joe Gibbs Racing but when they signed another driver that left Joey without a sponsor. He was offered a fulltime ride in the lower Nationwide series and limited Sprint Cup starts but that was not what he wanted. Brad Keselowski called Joey and told him should put his name in for that ride and he did. So on Tuesday it was announced he got the ride.
Joey is looking forward to working with Brad, having a bigger say in building his cars and the opportunities at Penske Racing. He said,"I weighed all my options and made it clear (to Joe Gibbs) that I wanted a fulltime Cup ride. When this opportunity came up, it seemed like a perfect match."
Penske has not dumped Sam Hornish. He will finish out the last 11 races in the #22 as well as his duties in the Nationwide series. He's still in the running for a championship in the Nationwide. Ideally Penske wants to get more sponsorship to build a 3rd team in Cup so Hornish could be in it but if not he will keep his fulltime Nationwide ride in 2013.
Matt Kenseth - On Tuesday when Matt was introduced at the Joe Gibbs Racing Headquarters as the 2013 driver of the #20 Home Depot - Dollar General Toyota he came in and yelled "SURPRISE!!!!" This was funny because it was the worst kept secret in the NASCAR garage.
Matt says he's still going to be very committed to winning a championship in the #17 that he drives for Roush-Fenway Racing. He doesn't see himself as a lame duck at all. He sits 3rd in the points right now so I'd say he's committed.
He also is looking forward to his move to JGR and to working with Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. He feels they're both winners and will keep the pressure on him to perform.
Denny sees it as a win win for all at JGR. He says Matt knows what he wants in a car and knows how to ask for it. He feels that now that Matt is coming that there will be no excuses that all 3 drivers can't be in the Chase next year. He is willing to step aside to let Matt lead them there.
Kyle is sorry to see Joey leave but has no problem working with Matt. Unless of course they're going for a championship on the last lap at Homestead that is.
Ryan Newman - Got a contract extension for one more year at SHR. When asked if he took a pay cut to stay he said that ticket prices have been adjusted so everything has been adjusted. No word on a sponsor yet but Ryan is confident Sponsors will be found. He's guessing a lot of them.
Ryan started his career at Penske Racing in the #12 in 2002. He beat Jimmie Johnson for rookie of the year honors. It was thought at one point that Ryan would go after the #22 ride when Stewart told him he could look at other options because of sponsorship issues. Looks like Ryan wants to stay at SHR.
Tony Stewart - It was announced this week that Office Depot would not be the primary sponsor on the #14 car of Tony Stewart next year. Office Depot has 22 races and Mobile 1 has 16. Mobile 1 plans to keep the 16 races in 2013.
Mindy Kramer,Senior Director of Communications for Office Depot said,"The changing business landscape warrants a realignment of priorities and resources. That being said, Tony Stewart has been an excellent ambassador for our brand and he has gone over and beyond in everything he has done for our company. Being a part of his legendary 2011 championship run was a moment of tremendous pride for everyone at Office Depot."
Talks are ongoing to on both sides to reach a deal that maybe Office Depot could be on the car in a lesser capacity. Tony has painted his winged Sprint dirt cars with Office Depot - Mobile 1 - Coca cola logos as a freebie to his sponsors. This is just one example of how Tony has gone over and beyond for his sponsors.
DUPONT IS SELLING NOT TRADING PAINT
Well they do that all the time but in early 2013 they will be selling the Dupont Performance Coatings division for $5 Billion in a cash deal to Carlyle Group. A global asset management firm.
Dupont plans to retain te rights to the Dupont oval logo. All employees of the sold portion will become employees of of the new company under Carlyle.
Dupont plans to move out of oil based products and into advancing agriculture, nutrition and renewable resources. Wonder if this means they're going to grow corn, make ethanol and replace Sunoco as the fuel of choice for NASCAR races? Certainly sounds that way.
LOWES IS A GIVER
Lowes is giving $133,000 to The American Red Cross for Hurricane Isaac disaster relief. Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports plan to add an additional $48,000 to that.
If you would like to help out, Lowes will be taking donations at the cash registers at all Lowes locations. To date Lowes and their customers have donated $23 Million to The American Red Cross for disaster relief.
NASCAR RULE REMINDER
Starting at Chicagoland Speedway, it will be mandated that the truck trailing arm front mounting bushing assembly will not allow more than a 1/4" of movement in either direction. This means that the moving rear axle is now banned. Teams were experimenting with this grey area in the rule books and NASCAR while watching. Some teams got a distinct advantage as the rear moved with the front of the car to allow better turning. The #27 team of Paul Menard went a bit too far and was penalized heavily. NASCAR feared for Menards safety as well as other drivers and felt it's time to step in and remind the teams of the tolerances and that changes to the 2013 rule book are coming to address this.
Kohn Darby of NASCAR said," This doesn't change any rules that we've already had. It reconfirms how far the teams can go with their rear suspension set ups. Teams have found that with a car's rear axle steer more is better as it helps with aero and gets the cars through the corners faster. We are just reminding the teams what the limitations are and that they can not go past these limitations. We will likely address this further in our 2013 rule book."
ON TO THE CHASE
We have 5 drivers with one win and 1 driver with 2 wins who are between 10th and 20th place. Kasey Kahne has 2 wins so he definitely has a Chase spot. If Tony Stewart knocks himself out of the 10th spot he's still in but he won't get the bonus points for the 3 wins he has. Bonus points are for the drivers in the top ten. If your getting a wild card spot then the wins are your payment to be in the Chase.
Jeff Gordon - He needs a win or he needs for Kyle Busch to finish 13 points or more behind him. He said if he's first coming to the checkers and Kyle is in 2nd he knows what's coming next and is ok with it. He says he's treating this like it IS the championship.
Kyle Busch - He has to win or score 13 or more points than Jeff Gordon. He says it's every man for himself. If you don't make the Chase your just another car making circles.
Ryan Newman - For Ryan at this point, he has to win and Gordon & Busch have to have bad luck. He says he'll be racing clean even though he has to win this race.
Marcos Ambrose - The Aussie is just plain honored to even be in the running for a wild card. He says he'll do everything he can and hope to be there at the end.
Paul Menard - He to win and hope for mayhem to take out Gordon and Busch. Just happy to be there.
Carl Edwards - Carl has no wins and he needs a MIRACLE. In fact he said he'll take what he can get. He hopes for rain delays, oil on the track, crazy cautions, drivers going four wide into turn 1 and cars running out of fuel. Whatever it takes. This sounds like a job for Mayhem or a car load of evil clowns.
So we shall see. Will there be a race tonight or will it be rescheduled for Sunday afternoon? With the rain coming it will wash all the rubber off the track. Hamlin said on Twitter that he felt we were going to have a tire management race. I'm looking forward to one like what Carl wants. So I guess I got to go see if it's delayed or rescheduled.
Hope your Sunday NFL viewing is all you hoped for. I plan to watch my Steelers. GO STEELERS!!!! Better get my pom poms ready.
Have an awesome day and thanks for stopping by......