Who Moved Where? Recapping the NASCAR Silly Season Before the 2012 Daytona 500

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Who Moved Where? Recapping the NASCAR Silly Season Before the 2012 Daytona 500
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

It wasn't even 2011 when we figured out that 2012 was going to be a season of significant change in the Sprint Cup garage.

After all, Kasey Kahne announced all the way back in April 2010 that he would be joining Hendrick Motorsports for the 2012 season, struggling through two "my-heart's-not-totally-in-it" seasons with Richard Petty Motorsports and Team Red Bull before finally joining the top team in NASCAR for this season.

But we had no idea how long this silly season would be. In an atmosphere where driver contracts for the next season are usually signed in the summer, the fact that a top-tier driver like Clint Bowyer had to wait until October to sign a new deal was surprising.

More shocking still was Penske Racing's decision to release Kurt Busch in December in favor of A.J. Allmendinger, and Busch's subsequent move to Phoenix Racing. And while smaller outfits usually don't put together deals until soon before the season, the fact that BK Racing, the organization formerly known as Team Red Bull, waited until mid-February to announce even its team name was incredibly last minute.

Beyond that, however, plenty of teams also experienced crew chief upheaval. In fact, no fewer than 12 full-time teams will see a different person atop the pit box in 2012, and at least half of them have very real Chase aspirations.

In short, to anybody who hasn't been paying attention these past few months, the Sprint Cup garage looks drastically different than it did at Homestead last November.

On this, the day of the Gatorade Duels, we're here to help catch you up on who went where, with every driver change and significant crew chief moves for full-time teams (because you all already know about Danica Patrick). Without further ado...

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