While many things have been set in stone for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, many other things have yet to come to fruition for many teams. The following is a team-by-team, driver-by-driver run through of what the 2013 season holds for the high profiled team as well as a few predictions.
#1 – Jamie McMurray – Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
Big news broke in the past week regarding EGR breaking away from their alliance with Richard Childress Racing’s engine shop and getting engines from Hendrick Motorsports. Jamie McMurray will return as driver but do not be surprised to hear if he’s on the hot seat should his season resemble what 2012 has. As with this season and seasons past, sponsorship will be spread around between Bass Pro Shops, McDonald’s along with several other companies.
#2 – Brad Keselowski – Penske Racing
The major change for the 2 team is the switch from Dodge back to Ford. It’s not exactly clear but likely that Penske will be using Roush/Yates horsepower.
#5 – Kasey Kahne – Hendrick Motorsports
No big changes are expected for the #5 team other than the addition of Time Warner Cable for four events.
#9 – Marcos Ambrose – Richard Petty Motorsports
Luke Lambert takes over the role as crew chief for Ambrose with no more additional changes planned for the Petty team.
#10 – Danica Patrick – Stewart-Haas Racing
The most recent breaking news regarding Patrick’s 2013 effort came a few weeks ago when word broke that her crew chief would be veteran, Tony Gibson. Longtime sponsorship supporter, GoDaddy will be on the car the majority if not all of the season.
#11 – Denny Hamlin – Joe Gibbs Racing
No big changes are expected for the 11 team.
#12 – Sam Hornish, Jr. – Penske Racing
Hornish has yet to resign with Penske and given that sponsorship has not been found it’s unlikely Hornish or the 12 team will return to Cup in 2013.
#13 – Casey Mears – Germain Racing
No changes are expected for the #13 team.
#14 – Tony Stewart – Stewart-Haas Racing
Bass Pro Shops takes the place of Office Depot for 18 races while Mobile 1 will be on Stewart’s car for 11 races. This leaves 9 events that the 14 car has yet to find sponsorship for. No other changes are in line for the 14 car.
#15 – Clint Bowyer – Michael Waltrip Racing
Peak Antifreeze joins the 15 as a sponsor.
#16 – Greg Biffle – Roush-Fenway Racing
No changes are expected for the #16 team.
#17 – Ricky Stenhouse – Roush-Fenway Racing
Stenhouse inherits sponsorship from Matt Kenseth in 2012. Rumors circulate that Stenhouse will drive the #6 next season but nothing has been confirmed. Scott Graves will crew chief Stenhouse’s rookie effort.
#18 – Kyle Busch – Joe Gibbs Racing
No changes are expected for the #18 team.
#20 – Matt Kenseth – Joe Gibbs Racing
Other than 2003 Winston Cup champion, Matt Kenseth entering the fold, don’t expect any other changes for the 20 team.
#21 – Trevor Bayne – Wood Brothers Racing
Things seem to be status quo for Bayne and the Wood Brothers team who will run select races in 2013.
#22 – Joey Logano – Penske Racing
Logano joins Brad Keselowski at Penske while the team moves to Ford.
#24 – Jeff Gordon – Hendrick Motorsports
No changes are expected for the #24 team
#27 – Paul Menard – Richard Childress Racing
No changes are expected for the #27 team
#29 – Kevin Harvick – Richard Childress Racing
No changes are expected for the #29 team but it should be interesting to see how things go considering Harvick is set to move to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.
#31 – Jeff Burton – Richard Childress Racing
No changes are expected for the #31 team however if Burton’s performance does not pick up in 2013, it’s likely he could be ousted from the ride at the end of the year.
#34/#38 – David Ragan/David Gilliland – Front Row Motorsports
Nothing is confirmed for either team in 2013 but it’s likely both drivers will return.
#39 – Ryan Newman – Stewart-Haas Racing
Newman will continue to be paired with Matt Borland in 2013 but sponsorship for all 36 events hasn’t been filled yet. With Kevin Harvick set to join the team in 2014 it seems very possible that Newman will be fighting for his job next season.
#42 – Juan Pablo Montoya – Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
Like his teammate, Jamie McMurray, Montoya’s team will be racing with Hendrick engines in 2013. No other changes are likely for the team however Montoya might be a candidate for a new ride should his performance not pick up.
#43 – Aric Almirola – Richard Petty Motorsports
It’s not confirmed as both sides are still working out a contract but it is likely Almirola returns to the team in 2013. Should that happen, don’t expect many other changes given Almirola’s strong performances as of late.
#47 – Bobby Labonte – JTG Daugherty Racing
No changes are expected for the #47 team but Labonte may be on the hot seat if the team doesn’t show improvement during the season.
#55 – Mark Martin/Brian Vickers/Michael Waltrip – Michael Waltrip Racing
No changes are expected for the #55 team.
#56 – Martin Truex, Jr. – Michael Waltrip Racing
No changes are expected for the #56 team.
#78 – Kurt Busch – Furnature Row Racing
No changes are expected for the #78 team.
#83/#93 – Landon Cassill/Travis Kvapil – BK Racing
BK Racing could be scaling back to one team and changing their number to 23. It’s not known if Cassill or Kvapil will return with other candidates such as David Reutimann and A.J. Allmendinger possibilities for the ride(s).
#88 – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – Hendrick Motorsports
Pepsi Cola is scaling back their sponsorship of the 88 team for 2013 to a handful of races. National Guard returns and with Earnhardt’s popularity, there shouldn’t be any trouble getting sponsorship for all 36 races. Could a blue and yellow #88 Wrangler car see the track next year?
#99 – Carl Edwards – Roush Fenway Racing
Jimmy Fennig takes over crew chief duties for Edwards, otherwise there are no other changes planned for 2013.