Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, and More: What's Next for NASCAR in 2009?
If you're like me, this year's NASCAR Silly Season is confusing the heck out of you.
If you're not like me, you probably don't have a color coded chart sitting next to you. Luckily I do, so here's my summary of what's currently going on this Silly Season:
•Could stay with Gibbs through 2009 and still buy into Haas CNC.
•Could leave Gibbs after 2009 and drive for his own team, but he could also leave Gibbs after 2008 and do the same.
•If he does leave Gibbs, Stewart is expected to be teammates with fellow Hoosier Ryan Newman. However, if he doesn't this could either leave Newman at Penske or bring him and other rumored driver Martin Truex, Jr. to the new team.
Stewart could begin running a third car after 2009, as he has a champion's provisional to fall back on.
•Sponsors: Office Depot is officially signed with Stewart for when he moves to Haas, and Old Spice is expected to be an associate sponsor.
•Most likely he'll be leaving Penske after 2008.
•Rumored to be going to Haas and Stewart team; may depend on what Stewart ends up doing over at Gibbs.
•May also be a candidate for the fourth Childress team.
•If he does stay with Penske, reports say Alltel will be on the car in 2009.
•Sponsors (if he joins Stewart's new team): Burger King (?), Jack Daniels (If they leave RCR?). Nothing is confirmed.
Martin Truex, Jr.
•Could be leaving DEI, as he hasn't picked up an option for 2009.
•May be a candidate for the fourth Childress team.
•May also be a Haas-Stewart driver, depending on what Stewart does for 2009.
•Sponsors (if with Stewart): Bass Pro Shops (?), Jack Daniels (?). Nothing is confirmed.
•Expected to stay with Roush Fenway Racing, at least through 2009.
•AAA is leaving the team after the 2008 season.
•Possible sponsors: UPS (?), Valvoline (?). Nothing is confirmed.
•Wanted contract extension, but hasn't gotten it yet. With rapid Ganassi cuts, could he be next?
•Could be a candidate for fourth Childress team.
•May also be a candidate for the Penske 12, DEI 1, and the third (rumored) Yates team.
•Possible sponsors: Bass Pro Shops (with DEI?), Alltell (with Penske?), General Mills (with RCR?), Yates—unknown.
•The future of Joe Gibbs Racing.
•Could replace Tony Stewart in 2009 if Stewart leaves.
•Gibbs has discussed a fourth car—Logano could be in that car in 2009 if Stewart stays.
•Possible sponsors (with fourth team): Visa (?), Coca Cola (?). Nothing is confirmed.
•Expected to re-sign with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
•Menard is rumored to be leaving for Yates Racing.
•If he doesn't stay with DEI, the third (rumored) Yates car and the fourth Childress car could be possibilities.
•Could also move to the No. 1 if Truex, Jr. leaves.
•Sponsors (if Menard leaves): Jack Daniels (?). Nothing is confirmed.
•The struggling owner-driver could be looking for an investor—George Gillete's son?
•No sponsors confirmed for 2009.
•Possible sponsor (if none are resigned): Jack Daniels (?). Nothing is confirmed.
•Fields cars for David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil.
•Menard is apparently talking to Yates about moving his sponsorship there (most likely to the unsponsored Travis Kvapil).
•There is talk of a third car, but could that just be the fifth Roush Fenway car they're getting in 2010.
•If not, possible drivers could be Sorenson, Casey Mears, Paul Menard, or even David Reutimann if Waltrip doesn't get sponsorship for him.
•Possible sponsors (for third team): Jack Daniels (?), UPS (?).
Bill Davis Racing
•In need of sponsorship for the 22 of Dave Blaney and the 23, which also needs a driver if they do in fact go to two teams in 2009.
•Michael Annett and Scott Speed are possible drivers.
•Possible sponsor: Jack Daniels (?).
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