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Martin Truex Jr. is now looking for a ride for the 2014 season.
NASCAR Unveils 2014 Schedule
On Tuesday, NASCAR released its much anticipated 2014 schedule. Not surprisingly, it looks fairly similar to the schedule used during the 2013 season. All 10 Chase race venues remain the same and stay in the same order as this year. For the fourth consecutive year, Chicago will host the first event of the postseason.
Only four races are switching dates. Texas Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Martinsville Speedway and Kansas Speedway all see their spring dates changed, but none by more than a week or two. For the first time in track history, Kansas Speedway will host a Sprint Cup Series race during the 2014 season.
Michael Waltrip Racing to Scale Back in 2014
Fallout from the Richmond scandal continues for Michael Waltrip Racing. After learning that Martin Truex Jr.'s primary sponsor NAPA will leave the team following 2013, MWR began a frantic search for financial help to ensure Truex's 2014 season was safe.
With no sponsor's stepping up to replace NAPA, team owners Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman have decided to scale back from three full-time teams to two for the upcoming season. The team will run a third entry in select events.
The decision officially leaves Truex without a ride for 2014, though he has been notified by the team that he is free to begin negotiating with other teams should the opportunity arise.
Kenseth and Johnson Continue to Battle Atop the Point Standings
For most of the night at Charlotte last weekend, it appeared that Jimmie Johnson would leave NASCAR's home track as the new point leader. His car was at or near the top of the leaderboard all night long while his primary championship rival, Matt Kenseth, had all he could do to get himself into the top 10.
Kenseth and his team remained patient and continuously worked on the car, and Kenseth ultimately worked his way into contention.
A controversial caution with under 30 laps remaining is what potentially cost Johnson the race win as he was the leader at the time. Johnson restarted third but got loose as the green flag waved. He slipped back to seventh but rallied for a fourth-place finish. Kenseth, meanwhile, finished one spot better than Johnson.
The finish allowed Kenseth to add one point to his championship lead. Entering Talladega, the 2003 series champion leads Johnson by four markers.