Friday, September 7, 2007

2008 Announcements Abound

Let's recap the highlights of the week:

Casey Mears to the #5 in 2008, Tony Eury Jr. leaving DEI and joining Dale Jr. at Hendrick - I like this on both counts from an unbiased perspective. The #5 team is good, Mears is capable, and the continuation of the #5 - a historic number for Hendrick - is fine by me.

J.J. Yeley to drive the #96 for Hall of Fame Racing; HOF gets new owners - This was a bit of a surprise, but it makes sense now given the new owners have west coast connections and Yeley is a west coast guy. I thought he was set to drive for RCR next year, but with the sponsorship problems there this is a safer move.

Joe Gibbs Racing moves to Toyota - SPEED Channel gave this one the live coverage treatment. Some people are upset at the evil Toyota stealing a good Chevy team, but it's a good move for both sides. Gibbs won't be competing with Hendrick, RCR, DEI, etc. for the top knowledge and Toyota has a crown jewel team.

Mark Martin and Aric Almirola move to the #8 - When Mark Martin's final biography is written, imagine how this will look: intended to retire after 2005. Deferred for another season in 2006, planned to enter Truck Series full-time. Left Roush Racing to join Ginn Racing in 2007, nearly won Daytona 500. In mid-2007 Ginn bought by DEI, Martin moved to #8 car for 2008. Oh, and Almirola isn't a bad driver either.

David Stremme not renewed by Ganassi - This is mainly because Coors will not return to the #40, so Stremme as of right now has no ride because the car has no sponsor. If I'm Ganassi, I'm looking for a new sponsor and a new driver.

AT&T returned to it's rightful place on the #31 - The lawsuit of 2007 is over. A settlement was reached with the parties involved so that AT&T will be the primary sponsor of the #31 through the end of 2008. While not perfect, it beats a dragged out court proceeding any day. I'll have more on this one next week sometime.

Robert Yates Racing going through massive transition for 2008 - Instead of the law firm name, I'll just stick with Yates. The big part is that Robert Yates is retiring and putting his son in charge of the whole shebang. Robert has been in the sport for a long, long time and if this is what he wants to do, good luck to him. This piece also states that Roush Fenway will be taking a more active role to help the team (isn't this why the merged with the open wheel team?) in as many ways as possible, and to boot the #88 will be driven by Travis Kvapil. I think Kvapil to the #88 is good as long as the cars perform better than they have this year.

This one's a rumor, but I'll include it anyway, Gillett Evernham is wasting no time making moves. The target? Petty Enterprises. Supposedly the Petty name would remain intact, but I don't think that makes much sense. It's like buying a sports team and calling the offense one name and the defense another. Anyway, Evernham already gives support to the team so I don't think it would that much of a change.

1 comment:

vroom said...

Great summary...FranceCar is spinning like a top!