(OK, let me start this off with how I am a rookie writer, so please don't laugh at me too badly. Thank you.)
Michael Waltrip has many options for his 2010 driver line-up.
No one anticipates Mikey returning for a full season, including myself, and I have joined the bandwagon in saying Martin Truex Jr. will drive the No. 55 for MWR in 2010 with NAPA Auto Parts sponsorship.
That's a pretty sold deal. But what's left for Waltrip?
I may be going out on a limb here, but Toyota is still throwing mad amounts of cash at this team, and I anticipate a fourth part-time team starting up with hopes of going full-time in the future.
Waltrip will drive this car (rumored No. 30) at Daytona and other races he chooses, possibly with NAPA sponsorship, like what Mark Martin did at Ginn.
The difference is that Waltrip has the power to decide who will drive beside him.
Scott Riggs and Patrick Carpentier are options.
Riggs has avidly expressed his desire to be competitive, which is possible at MWR. He also has said he only wants a full-time entry after being kicked out at Stewart-Haas and also running at Tommy Baldwin Racing.
A full-time ride is not available at MWR—yet—and he becomes less and less of a commodity as the years go by.
The difference with Carpentier is that he will race anywhere, anytime, for any length of races.
He has that passion, which makes him desirable for potential suitors. And after his 11th-place finish at Infineon, he stock rose.
Other options are those in the Nationwide Series, such as Kelly Bires, Scott Lagasse Jr., Bryan Clauson, and Brad Coleman.
All are options for part-time developmental contracts. Any of which are possible.
And of course there are two blatantly obvious drivers who could also find seat time here: Trevor Bayne and Ryan Truex.
If these two run, don't except more than one or two races a piece. They both need a lot more development, and Waltrip as the business manager would not thrust these two into Cup without proper training.
Even if it means the Truex's racing together on the same team a lot sooner than people expect.
What you've all been waiting for...
My prediction for the 2010 Michael Waltrip Racing (including JTG-Daugherty) line-up:
No. 00: David Reutimann
No. 47: Marcos Ambrose
No. 55: Martin Truex Jr.
No. 30: Michael Waltrip w/ Kelly Bires & Bryan Clauson. Patrick Carpentier will drive this car in the road races.
Who knows if this will happen? Only time will tell.
(I hope you have enjoyed my first article, and I hope you continue to read. Thank you.)