In the Silly Season Mix: Three Teams and Two Drivers
Photo by Spencer Rearick / TheRacingExperts.Com
Does Ryan Newman stay at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2013?
By Jonathan Fjeld
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer's.
The 2012-2013 NASCAR Silly Season has shaped up to one that has produced nothing but surprises & intrigue so far.
With Matt Kenseth leaving Roush and A.J. Allmendinger released from Penske after being suspended indefinitely from NASCAR, a quality ride is open at Penske for 2013.
Drivers like Joey Logano & Ryan Newman, both in the last years of their current contracts are among the big ticket free agents that may have various offers.
Recently updates have come to us and new players have gotten into the silly season mix.
Here's the latest scoop in this silly season:
There are reports from many sources in the garage area, including Bob Dillner at SPEED, that Furniture Row Racing could be adding a 2nd team and making a make switch to Dodge.
What is intriguing the most is about a month ago, I spoke to someone who had talked with a Dodge representative about their 2013 plans. The rep said they had a team but could not say anything further.
Could Furniture Row be the team? And for a driver seeking a ride to drive in 2013, could they possibly benefit from an expansion of FRR?
Over at Penske Racing, Joey Logano is possibly being considered and it seems as if he could be the lead candidate for the 22 ride. If Logano were to leave JGR's No. 20 for the Penske No. 22, it could open the door for a driver "on the outside looking in" to replace him.
Since Matt Kenseth announced he was leaving Roush Fenway Racing at 2012's end, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was named his replacement.
With Joey Logano's possibly going to Penske, fans & media alike are seeing something happening.
Unfortunately with nothing being said, we may not know the real story for a couple more months. For now, all we can do is speculate and wait. I mean, isn't that the fun of NASCAR's silly seasons?
Ryan Newman has had his name thrown around at in the free agent market. Rumored to be a contender for the 22 at Penske, Newman looked like he would be gone from Stewart-Haas Racing at 2012's end, with his contract being up.
Recently Tony Stewart has said he is looking at having three teams for the upcoming season. Of course with Tony & Ryan currently at SHR and Danica joining full-time for 2013, that it would be the team right there, right?
A big blow came with the U.S. Army announcing they would end their sponsorship with NASCAR & SHR. The U.S. Army currently sponsors Newman for a third of the season.
With that sponsorship gone for 2013, it would be interesting to see who would step up and fill those races. Otherwise, it could end up being like a Matt Kenseth deal this year where he ran unsponsored but had Ford EcoBoost/Ford Racing decals and a special paint scheme to run the races with.
If it doesn't work out, Kurt Busch has come up as a possible replacement for 2013 to drive the #39 for SHR.
Busch, a current Chevy driver for Phoenix Racing, would be fit in over there. Stewart & Busch are both passionate about racing and don't take much bull from anyone. With this combo, they could work together, produce great results from it, and help Kurt get back to being the old Kurt who contended for wins & championships.