Everybody’s Talking (But The Parties Involved). If you believe the heavily-stoked rumor mill, Kevin Harvick is leaving Richard Childress Racing at the end of 2013 to race for his buddy Tony Stewart. Thing is, the parties involved are playing it close to the vest, though Happy has said he is preparing for departure. It could get real interesting if 2013 starts poorly- it’s a long run for a lame duck.
Kenseth Departs Roush For Gibbs. The number 20 Home Depot ride will have a new occupant, Matt Kenseth. After 13 full seasons racing for Jack Roush, Kenseth now joins forces with Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. While Kenseth gets ribbed for being robotic, Joe Gibbs will welcome him as a refreshing, calming presence.
Allmendinger Suspended. The move of Kenseth to JGR meant the departure of Joey Logano, who lands in the 22 at Penske Racing, a ride that opened up after the suspension of A.J. Allmendinger after testing positive for a banned substance. Allmendinger quickly submitted with the “Road To Recovery” program and was back in car in short order. The bad news is the affair will likely dash any hopes he has for a top ride.
Image source: Chris Balton via Flickr
Tony Stewart won the NASCAR Championship in 2011 in a dramatic fashion by winning five races in the Chase. It looked like in spite of that he was positioning his race team in order to continue that success by hiring a new crew chief, Steve Addington. Although Tony and the Office Depot team didn’t win the Championship, they were in contention.
Tony Piloted his Stewart Haas Chevy to 12 top five finishes, three more than he did the year before when he won the championship. Eight of those finishes were actually top three including three wins. Tony’s Stewart’s season was more about what he and his team was not able to do. His twelve finishes of 20th or worst were momentum and points killers, he only had seven the year before.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#88 Chevrolet, National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew), Tony Stewart (#14 Chevrolet, Mobil 1/Office Depot), Denny Hamlin (#11 Toyota, FedEx), and Kasey Kahne (#5 Chevrolet, Farmers Insurance) rounded off the top 5.