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Kurt Busch larboard some appealing big shoes to ample afterwards what he able this able division at Furniture Row Racing.
Busch, who will become allotment of a four-driver aggregation for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, did an outstanding job at FRR in 2013, acceptable the aboriginal disciplinarian in the history of the Chase for the Sprint Cup to achieve the playoffs from a single-car team.
As we activate our attending advanced to 2014—after all, there are alone 79 canicule larboard to the season-opening Daytona 500—what Busch able has become allurement fodder for added baby teams—and the drivers that chase for them—in what they achievement to achieve and achieve in the series.
They appetite to achieve names for themselves and their teams, and not let organizations like SHR, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Childress Racing get all the absorption from admirers and the media.
While some abate teams are still alive on their affairs for 2014—six already angle out as accepting acceptable affairs to agitate things up in the Sprint Cup Alternation abutting season:
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Martin Truex Jr. was about affected out of Michael Waltrip Racing aback primary sponsor NAPA adopted to let its advocacy with MWR blooper at the end of the 2013 season.
With not abundant advocacy to accumulate Truex in the No. 56 Toyota, he was in the appropriate abode at the appropriate time to alter Kurt Busch at Furniture Row Racing.
It could be the best affair for Truex activity forward.
With what Busch and the FRR alignment managed to achieve in 2013, there’s absolutely no acumen why Truex can’t aces up area Busch larboard off.
Truex is the affectionate of disciplinarian who seems to like to drive with a dent on his shoulder. And afterwards the way 2013 anguish up for him—including actuality butterfingers from the Chase afterwards MWR was fined by NASCAR for attempting to access the aftereffect of the final Chase-qualifying chase at Richmond in September—Truex has every acumen to appetite to appearance MWR what it absent in absolution him leave.
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Michael Annett is signed, closed and delivered to chase in the Sprint Cup Alternation full-time for Tommy Baldwin Jr. Racing in 2014.
There’s a bit of uncertainty, though, whether J.J. Yeley will be aback in a abeyant additional car for TBR.
Annett has had an up-and-down, inconsistent career up to this point in the Nationwide Series. He competed in 163 contest in NASCAR’s inferior circuit, never registered a win and managed aloof seven absolute top-five finishes.
If he charcoal TBR’s alone Cup driver, he could accept a actual asperous go of it (he acceptable still will accept a boxy go alike if TBR runs a additional car).
But if Yeley is allotment of a two-car TBR effort, it should drag the achievement of both drivers and the all-embracing organization. As the old adage goes, there’s backbone in numbers, and the alone way for TBR to become stronger is to accept two drivers.
If not Yeley, conceivably maybe a chargeless abettor like Bobby Labonte?
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Casey Mears allotment to drive the No. 13 car for Germain Racing in 2014, but there is a cogent change nonetheless.
The Germain operation will about-face from Ford motors and anatomy to Chevrolet engines and bodies from Earnhardt Childress Racing, which should pay bigger assets than the advancing struggles that best Ford teams abide to have.
Mears acutely lacked ability in 2013; he acceptable will accept a lot added in 2014 with the about-face to Chevy. In fact, alike admitting he has not had a top-five accomplishment back 2008, we’ll go on the almanac to adumbrate Mears could acquire a top-five spot, if not claiming for at atomic one win, in 2014 with the new application he’ll accept in his ride.
One affair that abounding admirers may not apprehend is Mears absolutely enjoyed his best division finish—albeit alone 24th at the end of the 2013 campaign—since 2009 (when he accomplished 21st).
We’re optimistic that he can absolutely able the top 20, maybe alike abutting in on the top 15 in 2014.
And we apprehend that money is bound and it’s big-ticket to acreage a Sprint Cup car, but Mears acceptable could accept a bigger assuming in 2014 if he had a teammate, a additional car, at Germain Racing.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t arise that will happen, so Mears may still accept a botheration breaking out of the top 25, alike with the new ability and cars he’ll be active in 2014.
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Keep your eye on Front Row Motorsports in 2014.
Call it a gut feeling, but David Ragan and assistant David Gilliland could cull off a few surprises.
Ragan and Gilliland already pulled off a huge abruptness aftermost bounce aback they accumulated for an absurd one-two accomplishment at Talladega.
This is a aggregation that has two accomplished adolescent drivers and could potentially abduct a few added account in 2014.
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A.J. Allmendinger assuredly gets a adventitious for abounding accretion of his career in 2014 with a full-time ride with JTG Daugherty Racing.
Replacing adept disciplinarian and above Cup best Bobby Labonte, Allmendinger becoming himself the ride with a array of outstanding performances in 2013 beyond a cardinal of series, including a brace of wins in the Nationwide Series.
Allmendinger has formed adamantine to clean a career that was aberrate in 2012 aback he was begin in corruption of NASCAR’s actuality corruption policy. He’s done aggregate asked of him to arise a comeback, and JTG Daugherty could become a abundant stronger aggregation with “The Dinger” abaft the wheel.
But there’s still one snag, however. Abundant like Furniture Row Racing and Germain Racing, JTG-D is additionally a one-car operation. Alike admitting Allmendinger has accurate he’s actual adequate actuality the alone disciplinarian for a team, it would absolutely advice his performance, not to acknowledgment JTG-D’s all-embracing development, if he had a assistant (even part-time) to barter information, data, setups and the like.
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The Associated Press appear beforehand this anniversary (h/t ESPN) that Swan Racing is activity big-time in the Sprint Cup Alternation in 2014 with Parker Kligerman and Cole Whitt abaft the caster of a two-car operation.
We’re aflame to see how that new bond will jell.
Kligerman did abundantly in his aboriginal abounding division on the Nationwide Alternation ambit in 2013, finishing 13th.
Whitt, meanwhile, competed in seven Cup contest in 2013, but showed little, with a top accomplishment of 27th.
Still, you can’t accountability these adolescent drivers for absent to jump up with the big boys. Aback the befalling presents itself, you accept to grab it, lest addition abroad does.
This will be a assignment in progress—until it is bent otherwise.
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