A week ago, Clint Bowyer and Richard Childress said that a deal was close to completion. However, it was Carl Edwards who made the big announcement that he was staying with Roush Fenway Racing.
On Friday, Juan Pablo Montoya indicated that he was all but signed up with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for 2012 and beyond. Still, Bowyer remains unsigned.
Bowyer clearly wants to stay at RCR, and it appears obvious that Childress wants to keep Bowyer around. But, there seems to be a holdup of some sorts. Is it a complete sponsorship package? Is Bowyer hesitant to commit now that there could be an open seat at Joe Gibbs Racing? Whatever the case may be, many thought that a deal would be in place by now.
Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr are not leaving their respective situations, but they have been the center of the report that Danica Patrick is making the move the NASCAR on a full-time basis. She will likely drive full-time for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, while driving a partial Sprint Cup schedule for Stewart-Haas Racing. Of course, GoDaddy.com would be the sponsor for Patrick.
When asked if he could say if he is working on a program for Patrick, Stewart simply responded with, “Nope, nope.”
Expect Patrick to become the third driver for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Speaking of Stewart-Haas Racing, Ryan Newman is a free agent, but no one is talking about him. That is because he is running well, and is a close friend of the bossman. Newman will probably finish his career as Stewart’s teammate as long as sponsorship allows.
Brian Vickers should be a little worried. Jay Frye has been silent about his venture into taking over the Red Bull operation that is ceasing to exist following the 2011 season. Vickers could end up at Michael Waltrip racing, and Red Bull could remain the sponsor, as they’ve worked with MWR before in the Nationwide Series with Scott Speed. Of course, this is just speculation.
NAPA supposedly sought out Joe Gibbs Racing, so is it possible that Martin Truex Jr’s team could be faced with sponsorship issues? Probably not in 2012, but if Truex continues to run in also-ran fashion, the company may abandon their long-standing relationship with Waltrip.
The Edwards signing was a relief for Jack Roush, but that is not the end of his silly season. He still must decide what to do with David Ragan in the No. 6 team. While Ragan won at Daytona, he has been an absolute disappointment since taking over for Mark Martin in 2007. UPS could remain with Roush, but possibly with another driver such as Edwards or Matt Kenseth.
Martin also remains without a ride for 2012. He will turn 53 years old in 2012, so what are the chances he will land a championship caliber ride? Probably not very high.
Stay tuned, as silly season still has many pieces out of place.