Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Roush Trimming Down Driver Lineup?

Methinks Todd Kluever is on the way out at Roush Fenway. On the entry list at Bristol, Travis Kvapil is listed as the driver of the #16. Usually when Biffle drives the #37, Kluever will be in the #16. Maybe this has something to do with Kvapil racing in the Trucks tomorrow night and getting experience on the track, but it could also be lack of performance from Kluever. Certainly Kvapil is on fire right now, having won his 3 truck races in the last 2 months or so. He seems to be working his way back up the ladder and could end up in a full-time Busch effort next season, or at least a part-time job while continuing in the Trucks. I've thought for some time that if Biffle is gone after this season, Erik Darnell would take over his Cup ride. Given that Roush is selling off one team by 2009/2010 to a new time and providing them with help, Roush could also be looking to get a maximum investment by providing more than one Cup-level driver in the deal by giving Darnell or Kvapil the extra time. Also, Roush still has more than enough talent signed up if he holds on to who I think is his best driver outside of Darnell in Danny O'Quinn, along with Canadian Peter Shephard and sports car driver Colin Braun. Since I like the "what if" scenarios, here is one off the top of my head:

Roush lineup:
6 Ragan (Roush has too much invested in the number and driver to sell this team off)
16 Darnell (He'll compete for ROTY in '08 at the earliest, '09 at the latest)
17 Kenseth (I'd like to think the team's most successful driver would stay with the flagship)
99 Edwards (Also has much invested with Edwards, and given a choice between him and McMurray, I'd take Edwards)

Investors X lineup:
26 McMurray (I still see him as the odd man out in any scenario in which Roush must sell a team)
## Kvapil (Returns to the Cup Series as a teammate to McMurray)

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