The dust has settled for Billy Ballew Motorsports. Gone is Rowdy Busch and Miccosukee Resorts and Gaming.
Since 2005, Busch has run 62 races for the team compiling 16 wins, 35 top fives, 49 top 10s, four poles, and led 2414 laps.
Billy Ballew's been involved in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series since 1996, in a part-time role, and only Shane Hmiel in 2004 ran a full-time season.
He's had numerous drivers who've run races in his flagship No. 15 truck through the years, and it wasn't until 2006 that he started a second truck—being the No. 51.
It's a move that doesn't really hurt the team. You still have veteran crew chief Richie Wauters, plus the very experienced No. 51 team and they are one of the best in the trucks.
But BBM has a gem of a driver in Aric Almirola, who ran 16 races for the team and did an excellent job driving for them.
He actually took a one race deal, turned it into a permanent full-time ride, and almost broke through to victory lane a couple of times this season.
It's a no-brainier for Billy Ballew. Just pair up Almirola with Wauters and the 51 team, and you have a championship contender for the 2010 season.
If he does pair them up, look for Almirola to have a breakout season were he'll win multiple races and I have him as one of my picks to win the title in 2010.
Let's not forget it's been rumored that Graceway Pharmaceuticals is coming back for the 2010 season, possibly paired with Almirola.
We'll probably know by the end of this week if they'll be back, or if another sponsor will be on Almirola's Tundra, and if it will be the No. 15 or No. 51.
The good news is that Ballew, also depending on sponsorship, will have Ted Musgrave replacing Busch. And they may have Steven Wallace running a part-time schedule in 2010.
Most likely it will be Musgrave, who Ballew has a good relationship with. He's a former champion, and brings a lot of experience to the team.
They won't replace crew chief Doug George until they know for sure sponsorship can be found, if that can be done in this tough economy.
I know Ballew would love to pair Musgrave with Wauters, but I like the option of pairing the wily veteran crew chief with Almirola much better, and Ballew could just become a champion owner by the move.
It'll be nice to see Musgrave back behind the wheel and racing in the Truck Series. I'm excited for Almirola as I really do think he's going to have a huge breakout season in trucks.
So life is good for owner Billy Ballew and his team, and they fare just fine with Rowdy Busch.
Photo Credit: billyballewmotorsports.com