Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Silly Season Chips Are On The Table

It's June, which means Silly Season rumors are in full swing. When I was a younger man, I was all about breaking something or posting something before anyone else... not that it mattered, but it was personal satisfaction (not to mention no one read what I had to say back then). Yet now, I'm more content to kick the tires a bit, keep my ears open... but my mouth shut. One of the first chips to fall was Caterpillar going to Jeff Burton and RCR. I had prior knowledge, but I was prohibited from speaking out. Oh well. That's the extent of my "insider" knowledge about what was happening this year. At any rate, I'll kick some of the tires:

Mark Martin to Hendrick's #5 Chevy
This one appears to be true, and I don't know if people really understand how weird it is to type Mark Martin, Hendrick, and Chevy in the same sentence. This one does indeed look to be happening, the remaining question is whether A.) Mark makes 1 more title run, and if not, then B.) The co-driver of the car: Landon Cassill or Brad Keselowski. I myself still find Cassill to be a pompous punk, and Keselowski's grown on me this season. Which means the likelihood of Cassill taking over is pretty certain. This isn't the last rumor for BK...

Tony Stewart hires Brad Keselowski as teammate for the soon-to-be renamed Haas CNC Racing
This one may have some legs as well, since more and more people are talking as if the Stewart driver/owner package is a done deal. That would leave open the #20 car, belonging to this kid...

Joey Logano takes over Gibbs #20
Joe Gibbs Racing is on top of the NASCAR world right now, with 4 drivers in 2 series that run top 5 and win - weekly. Some have questioned adding Logano to this mix, but I'm not worried. Logano has quickly built a relationship with Denny Hamlin, who seems to relish the role as a mentor of sorts to the youngster.

These next few are idle speculation from yours truly..

Casey Mears becomes 4th RCR driver in #33
I remember seeing something about RC liking Mears, and with the previous scenario with Martin, I could see Casey fitting in to the RCR camp.

Martin Truex Jr. leaves DEI for Penske Racing
Anybody else get the feeling Truex really, really wants to leave DEI? I thought so. I think Penske's #12 team needs a fresh start that will benefit both parties, despite winning the Daytona 500 this season. Truex has talent, but it hasn't been properly displayed for a while now.

Dan Wheldon jumps to Ganassi #41 replacing Reed Sorenson
As a Reed Sorenson supporter, I think the best case for all involved is a break. I get the feeling Reed needs a kick in the butt, and downgrading to the Nationwide Series for a year or two may do him a world of good. Look what it's done for David Stremme this season. Ganassi can do everything but run a Cup team, which is why he'll avoid doing what he needs to do: put a veteran in one of these cars that can give direction.

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