The NASCAR Silly Season Has Begun: Martin Truex Jr.'s Name Thrown About

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IApril 4, 2009

FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 03:  Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 3, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)

The NASCAR Silly Season has begun and rumors are starting to swirl around the garage area.

Last weekend at Martinsville it was mentioned that Martin Truex Jr. could replace Joey Logano in the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota over at Joe Gibbs Racing.

That rumor started because Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing has a situation on their hands.

EGR has stated that they will close down the No. 8 car with driver Aric Almirola after this weekend's race in Texas if they don't get a sponsor.

That means many things for both the company and driver Martin Truex, Jr.

When Truex Jr. signed his contract with the team, it states that if he does not have two teammates, he will be allowed to leave the team.

With the No. 8 car closed, the EGR team would only be fielding the No. 1 of Truex Jr. and the No. 42 of Juan Pablo Montoya. 

This could also affect Truex's sponsor, Bass Pro Shops, which also states in the contract they have a performance clause with the team and right now they sit 28th in points after the first six races of the season.

They could potentially head over to the No. 39 car of Ryan Newman since his sponsor, the US Army, is only on the car for 23 events. That deal could happen before the summer begins.

Chevrolet could also be involved because they want all three teams of EGR under the same roof.

Martin Truex Jr. has not said that he is leaving the team; at Texas this weekend, he has said that he is committed to the EGR operation.

"When I give someone my word by signing a contract, if they keep theirs and I keep my mind, there's no reason to ever think about doing anything else, obviously," Truex said.

"Right now, my focus is on getting this car better and moving up in the points. We're back here where we shouldn't be. We've never been back this far before and we've had a tough start to the year."

Last Wednesday, Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs once again said that the team is sticking behind their rookie, Joey Logano.

"Joey's our guy. We haven't had any conversations with anyone," Gibbs said.

"We'd like to have someone in line by summer time, but you have to sit down, look at what partner is available, what driver is available and who would be a good fit for the team. We had [No. 96] Hall of Fame last year, and we don't have it now. So we have room for a fourth team. We'd love to have it."

The fourth team that Gibbs is talking about would come from the No. 02 car that the team will run in a part-time Sprint Cup Schedule later this year.

Farm Bureau has already been announced as the sponsor for six events, and they will also be featured on the cars of Logano and Denny Hamlin for two events later this year.

The No. 02 Farm Bureau car will be run at Lowe's Motor Speedway in October, Texas Motor Speedway in November, and the season finale in Homestead/Miami in November.

No driver has been announced.

After this Sunday's race in Texas, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing will have two weeks, since the Series is off next weekend for Easter before heading to Phoenix, to find sponsorship for the No. 8 car.

If they don't, things could get interesting.