Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cup silly season begins...

Domino #1 - Talented underachiever Martin Truex Jr. gets out of the moldering corpse of DEI (Earnhardt-Ganassi) and goes to take over the NAPA rida at Waltrip.

Domino #2 - DeWalt drops #17 sponsorship - a surprise after 10 years. Former series champ and current Daytona champ Matt Kenseth loses his sponsrship.

Domino #3 - Crown Royal moves from the #26 car to the #17, leaves Jamie McMurray out of a ride. Since Roush Fenway has to get down to 4 cars next season (they have 5 now - the #6, #16, #17, #26, and #99) and have the other 4 sponsored, that means the #26 is toast unless they can get a sponsor and move them to Yates Racing (a captive affiliate like Stewart-Haas is to Hendrick).

Domino #4 - Hot rumor as of today is that Reed Sorenson will be pulled from the #43 at Petty and AJ Allmendinger will be moved in. Then the $44 (which was only partially sponsored) will be shut down, leaving RPM with the #9, the #19, and the iconic #43. Good move - Sorenson is a respectable driver but vanilla, and Allmendinger is a real talent (Red Bull would have a race win for Vickers by now if they'd kept AJ in the #82 instead of the useless tool that Scott Speed is). Kasey Kahne brings his cougar fans anywhere he might go, and Elliot Sadler isn't much of a driver but he's a good presence for the sponsors. Kind of like a younger, slightly more talented Mikey Waltrip.

All the rest of the season's drama will be resolved pretty much by the time the Chase kicks off in Loudon a month and a half from now. Will Stewart-Haas get a third car? Will Danica come to NASCAR? Where does Brad Kesolowski go? Has Shrub lost his mojo? Who's going to drive the #1 car now, and is the Bass Pro Shops sponsorship worth driving for the mess that is EGR?

These and other questions answered (eventually) on "As the Sprint Cup Turns (left)..."