Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Did Someone Mention 2007 Announcements?

All the items I could find listed here with my comments:

Haas Racing opens new shop, will run two teams

Wasn't Gene Haas arrested and stuff?  Anyway, it appears that Johnny Sauter and Bootie Barker will team up for the #70.  I was hoping Johnny would jump to Robert Yates myself.

Robert Yates secures sponsorship for #88

Rumored, of course, to be a Mars brand.  That narrows it down, considering there are about 50 different brands owned by the company.  I would love to see a return of this car to the track:

Although it probably end up being Pedigree or M&Ms deux.  That wouldn't be all bad as long as they switched the scheme up, maybe go with the peanut or peanut butter on the 88.  There are a myriad of possibilites.  The same can be said for potential drivers. 

Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle to share Brewco Busch ride

It isn't a Roush car for Jamie, but it is a Ford.  I'm sure there is Roush technology on the car as well.  Biffle has driven for this team in the past two seasons and they're a solid team.  He'll spend most of his Busch time in the #16 with Todd Kluever since it appears Jamie will drive this car more than Greg.  Interestingly Brewco calls it the #66 but it has already been stated that RWI will get the number back in 2007.  I suspect the team will return to it's old Timber Wolf number of 37 or possibly the 26 or 28 in an upset.

J.J. Yeley to drive the #1 Phoenix Racing Chevy

Interestingly JGR couldn't get a sponsorship deal together for J.J. so he will compete in the #1 with teammate Mike Wallace in the #7.  There is a chance that Yeley could run the full schedule if he is in contention for the championship.  I think that could easily be a possibility.  As for the Gibbs program...

Tony Stewart, Aric Almirola, and Denny Hamlin in the Gibbs Busch program

Almirola will split time in both the #'s 18 and 20 next season with Stewart in the #18 and Hamlin in the #20 in part-time efforts for both.  According to JGR another development driver will be in the #18.  Somehow, I think Almirola will end up driving that car more often than not.  This could be a prequel to a full-time ride in Busch in 2008 along with some Nextel Cupstarts.  It remains to be seen how many races Stewart will drive in the #18.

Travis Kvapil to drive the #6 Truck for Roush Racing

All in all, I like the move.  I'm not a fan of Kvapil after he lucked into the 2003 championship in the series but I take the stance of "when a former champion is available, you sign him."  Reportedly the Canadian from Driver X Pete Shephard will drive the #50 but nothing official.

David Gilliland, Richard Johns team up in #25 freecreditreport.com Busch car

Gilliland, yes.  Richard Johns?  Who?  Could be another Cale Gale (mechanic-turned-driver) but that remains to be seen.  Ford's Busch program is actually looking pretty good with Rensi, Brewco, ppc, and of course Roush.

Biagi-DenBeste announces the greatest sponsor, Kibbles 'N Bits!

I cannot wait to see Kibbles 'N Bits on the track next season with Auggie Vidovich and the #4 team.

Eric McClure to drive for Johnny Davis with Hefty sponsorship

The quintessential underdog team actually has a full-time driver and sponsor.  Will it help?  I think it'll help a bit if they team up with Morgan-McClure which, of course, will happen.

To close, I find it unbelieveable that Danny O'Quinn has no sponsor and may not have a ride in 2007 after defeating John Andretti for the Busch Series Rookie Of The Year title.  I have some hope because his deal this season wasn't put together until December last year but come on... the kid has talent.  He won ROTY even after sitting out two races.  I don't think a part-time deal like Kluever has will work either.  He needs to run full-time and I think if Roush can't make it happen, someone else will.

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