Silly season continues into the off-season

Darian Grubb is packing his cowboy hat and winning skills -
destination: Joe Gibbs Racing and the No. 11 team of Denny Hamlin.

Who says that the off-season is boring? There has been lots of news and happenings since the checkered flag flew at Homestead just a few shorts weeks ago. 

At the conclusion of the race in Homestead, we learned that championship-winning crew chief Darian Grubb would not be returning to Stewart-Haas Racing in one of the most shocking crew chief changes of the season. Grubb was pursued by many teams but has found a new home just three weeks into his search. After Mike Ford was released from Joe Gibbs Racing, the rumors seemed to point that Grubb would take the position with Hamlin’s team and the announcement came this week confirming this. 

Now, where will Mike Ford head? Maybe a possibility would be to the Penske camp with their yet unnamed driver (who will probably be David Ragan if sources are correct).

Not only are crew chief changes in the news, but drivers are also making headlines in the past weeks. Kurt Busch and Penske Racing have agreed on a “mutual separation” which leaves the former Sprint Cup champion searching for a ride. He reportedly has spoken to James Finch, owner of Phoenix Racing and the No. 51 car. In an ESPN interview, Finch said, "I haven't decided who I am going to put in my car next year. He wasn't necessarily at the top of the list." Finch also said, "He's one of the best there is, but I'm not going to listen to that s--- and pay him money."

Red Bull Racing shut its doors last week after five years in NASCAR's top series, laying off an estimated 150 employees. Sponsor Red Bull had announced this year it was pulling out of NASCAR after the end of the season. Driver Brian Vickers is still without a ride for 2012.

Former Michael Waltrip Racing driver David Reutimann is also on the market heading into next season.

I know I have normally just focused on the Sprint Cup Series, but it seems the silly season is striking in every series. 

Richard Childress Racing’s merger with Kevin Harvick Inc. is sending RCR back into the Nationwide Series. Along with Elliott Sadler (who already drove for KHI), Austin Dillon will be moving into the NNS. Brendan Gaughan was just announced this week as a part-time addition to the Nationwide side of the team, while Tim George Jr. will be running a part-time schedule in the Camping World Truck Series. 

Joe Denette Motorsports signed Ron Hornaday during the final week of the season, and joining Hornaday at JDM will be newcomer Max Gresham, the 18-year old 2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) champion. 

Nationwide Series drivers still in the market for a ride include: Jason Leffler and Blake Koch, while sponsorship could also affect the rides of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Steven Wallace. 

The list of drivers in the NCWTS without rides secured for 2012 are numerous; past champions Todd Bodine and Mike Skinner along with Rick Crawford, Max Papis, Dennis Setzer, Michelle Theriault and Jason White all face uncertainties in the coming months.
Silly season continues into the off-season Silly season continues into the off-season Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, December 11, 2011 Rating: 5