Every year there is quite a bit of churn with drivers changing teams, getting new crew chiefs, sponsors, and so on. It can be hard to keep them all straight, so we’re doing it for you. Here’s an overview of who has moved and to where since the 2012 season. There have been quite a few changes with several teams, so we’ll take a team by team approach this year.
Front Row Motorsports
FRM will run 3 cars full time in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013. The team will continue to get its engines from Robert Yates Racing as well. Sponsorships for the No. 34 & 6 cars are being finalized.
David Ragan – Ragan will drive the No. 34 Ford with Jay Guy returning as the crew chief.
David Gilliland – Gilliland will drive the No. 38 Ford with Frank Kerr as the crew chief.
Josh Wise – Wise will be in the No. 26 Ford which will be sponsored by MDS Transport with Steven Lane as the crew chief.
Roush Fenway Racing
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – The rookie is taking over the No. 17 that Matt Kenseth vacated and will be led by crew chief Scott Graves. Best Buy has signed on to sponsor the car in 12 races. Fifth Third bank and Zest have also signed up to sponsor the car in several races. Even with those sponsorships lined up, it’s been stated that there are about 11 races (30%) still to be sponsored.
Carl Edwards – Edwards will be paired with crew chief Jimmy Fenning for the 2013 season.
The big news for SHR is starting the 3rd full-time team that Danica Patrick will drive. There are rumors about the 2014 season though, and SHR expanding to four cars, making room for Kevin Harvick with a multi-year deal.
Danica Patrick – One of the most hyped additions to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in years is of course Danica. She’ll run her first full-time Cup schedule in 2013. Danica will be in the No. 10 Chevy sponsored by GoDaddy.com
Ryan Newman – Newman signed a 1-year extension to be in the No. 39 car in 2013, but his pit crew won’t be there. His crew chief, Tony Gibson and the crew have been re-assigned to Danica Patrick. Matt Borland will be his new crew chief in 2013. On the sponsor front, Newman has secured a larger commitment from Quicken Loans for the 2013 season. They upped the number of races they will sponsor to 18. This is much needed since the Army had to stop sponsoring in NASCAR because of from Congress to eliminate military sponsorships. In other sponsorship fronts for Newman, WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental and Code 3 Associates will all return as primary sponsors for a combined 10 races.
Tony Stewart – After losing Office Depot as a sponsor Stewart was able to land Bass Pro Shops. They will be the primary sponsor for Tony Stewart’s car for 18 races in 2013 including the Daytona 500. This is a big get for Stewart as he was able to pull the sponsor away from Jamie McMurray, although Bass Pro Shops haven’t ruled out sponsoring McMurray for some races in 2013. Stewart now has only 9 races in 2013 without a sponsor since Mobil 1 is sponsoring the car for 11 races.
Joe Gibbs Racing
Matt Kenseth – Kenseth was one of the biggest changes this year going to JGR, replacing Joey Logano in the No. 20. The car best known for the Home Depot orange will be black and yellow (familiar colors for Kenseth) for 17 races as Dollar General signed on as the sponsor, including the Daytona 500. Jason Ratcliff will stay with the 20 team as the crew chief in 2013.
Kyle Busch – JGR announced that Kyle Busch has signed a multi-year contract extension with them. With the deal Busch will also run 25 races in the Nationwide series for JGR.
Michael Waltrip Racing
Brian Vickers – Vickers will run 9 Cup races for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2013 in the No. 55 Toyota. Vickers will run in both Bristol, Martinsville, and New Hampshire races as well as Kentucky, and the two road courses.
Mark Martin – The old man will run a part-time schedule again in 2013, being the primary driver for the No. 55 Toyota. He will run in 24 of the Cup races plus the Shootout and All-Star race. Martin has announced that 2013 will be his last, but we’ve heard similar words before. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Michael Waltrip – Waltrip will pilot the No. 55 car at both Talladega races as well as the July Daytona race.
Martin Truex Jr. – After a good run in 2012 Truex signed a multi-year extension with Michael Waltrip Racing. The sponsor, NAPA, has also signed an extension with the race team to be the sole sponsor of the car in 2013.
Phoenix Racing obtains chassis from Hendrick Racing. The team has committed to 18 – 24 races and hopes to run in all 36.
A.J. Allmendinger – After being cleared by NASCAR in September of last year Allmending has signed with Phoenix Racing for the 2013 season and will be the primary driver for the No. 51 car. Nick Harrison will be the crew chief.
Regan Smith – Smith is scheduled to drive the No. 51 car for the Daytona 500, and up to 9 other races. Guy Roofing Inc. will sponsor the car for the Daytona 500.
Austin Dillon – Richard Childress’ grandson will drive the No. 51 car for Phoenix Racing at the Las Vegas race in March. Tag Heuer will be the sponsor.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. –The Army National Guard has signed an extension to sponsor Earnhardt’s No. 88 car in 2013 for 20 races including the Daytona 500. Steve Letarte will be Jr.’s crew chief in 2013. Earhnardt still has 13 races in 2013 with no sponsorship. The team is looking for one, but team owner Rick Hendrick doesn’t seem too concerned about it.
Jeff Gordon – AARP has renewed its 22 race sponsorship of the No. 24 car through the 2014 season, which is a one-year extension of the original contract. Gordon’s original sponsor, DuPont, has a new name; Axalta Coating Systems, and will be sponsoring Gordon again in 2013 for the 14 races that AARP will not.
Furniture Row is making a larger commitment to winning in 2013 bringing in a pit crew for Kurt Busch, and even hired a pit crew coach. Last year they used and over-the-wall crew from Stewart-Haas Racing. The team also announced that Pete Rondeau was promoted to director of competition from crew chief.
Kurt Busch – Busch has agreed one-year deal to drive the No. 78 Chevrolet in 2013, replacing Regan Smith. Furniture Row will also serve as the primary sponsor. Sealy, Serta, and Simmons Beauty Rest has agreed to be associate sponsors on the 78 car for 20 of the Cup races. Busch’s crew chief will be Todd Berrier.
Wood Brothers Racing
Trevor Bayne – Bayne will continue to make occasional starts in the Sprint Cup Series when the Wood brothers enter the No. 21 Ford in races. Right now Bayne is scheduled to run 12 races for the Wood brothers in 2013 with a possibility of 6 more if they can find funding.
Penske’s switch from Dodge to Ford for the 2013 season helped cement the departure of Dodge from the sport, again. In 2013 Penske will get their engines from Roush Yates Engines.
Joey Logano – After turning down a part-time opportunity to race in the Cup series for Joe Gibbs racing in 2013 Logano signed a multi-year contract with Roger Penske to drive the No. 22 car. Shell-Pennzoil will still be the primary sponsor of the car.
Sam Hornish Jr. – After signing Logano, Hornish was the odd man out and doesn’t have a ride with Penske in 2013, although Penske said if he could find a sponsor he would start a third team for Hornish.
Swan Racing is a new team for the 2013 season, and formerly known as Inception Racing. Engines will come from Triad Racing Technologies.
David Stremme – Stremme will race the No. 30 Toyota in 2013 with Tony Eury Jr. serving as his crew chief, and Swan Energy as the primary sponsor. The No. 30 car will also have Nutrition53 as a primary sponsor for 10 races and associate sponsor for the other 26. Former NFL linebacker, and truly crazy man, Bill Romanowski started Nutrition53 and will be a minority owner in the car.
Michael Waltrip – Swan racing has signed Michael Waltrip to race their No. 30 car in the Daytona 500.
Richard Petty Motorsports
Marcos Ambrose – Ambrose has re-signed with RPM for 2013 driving the No. 9 car as he did in 2012 with Stanley and DeWalt as the primary sponsors. Drew Blickensderfer will be the crew chief for Ambrose.
Aric Almirola – Like Ambrose, Almirola re-singed with RPM for 2013. Almorila will drive the No. 43 car with Smithfield foods (Smithfield, Eckrich, Farmland, etc) as a sponsor for 25 races and the legendary STP sponsoring other races. The U.S. Air Force will also be a primary sponsor of Almirola’s car for 2 races, and associate sponsor the entire season.
Richard Childress Racing
Austin Dillon – Dillon will drive the No. 33 car for RCR at the 2013 Daytona 500. Cheerios will be the sponsor.
Jeff Burton – Since Burton’s crew chief of 2012, Drew Blickensderfer, has left RCR for RPM, Luke Lamber will now be Burton’s crew chief in 2013.
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
EGR announced that they will have Hendrick Motorsports supply their engines for the 2013 season. In 2012 EGR used Richard Childress Racing engines.
Landon Cassill – Cassill and BK racing have parted way and will. Cassill is now looking for a car to race in either the Sprint Cup Series or Nationwide.
Tommy Baldwin Racing
Dave Blaney – Tommy Baldwin changed the number of Dave Blaney’s car from 36 to 7 to honor his father.