This is the offseason, right? We’re still in a pandemic, correct? You would have never it as since the checkered flag dropped on the NASCAR Cup Series season back on Nov. 8 of last year, the racing news across the world from all fronts have nearly been daily drips.
The past few weeks though, the drips have turned into a full blown gush of them.
We had the Chili Bowl last weekend. The Roar before the 24 is this weekend with the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona next Saturday-Sunday. Then, all eyes are back on Daytona for the 62nd edition of Speedweeks a few weeks after that.
The news should be slowing up some since we’re getting closer and closer to each of the seasons starting, but in all actuality, it’s doing the opposite — it’s getting busier.
This week alone, we’ve had news every day including the big one that NBC Sports will do away with NBCSN by the end of this season. I wrote about how this will affect INDYCAR/NASCAR here.
Cup Series News
Rick Ware Racing announced that Cody Ware and Josh Bilicki would race two of their full time cars. They also announced a partnership for the Daytona 500 with StarCom to have Derrike Cope race their No. 15 entry in the Great American Race.
Speaking of Daytona, Jamie McMurray was confirmed as the driver of the No. 77 Chevrolet with Spire with a joint partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing on that ride again. Also, Ty Dillon was unveiled as the driver of the No. 96 Toyota with the Gaunt Brothers for the Daytona 500 as well.
A day later, Austin Cindric was announced as the driver of the No. 33 Ford for Team Penske for the Daytona 500 in a fourth car.
Head spinning yet?
Well keep up.
We had sponsor news with FR8 Auctions sponsoring Michael McDowell for six races. Cole Custer will have Dixie Vodka for last least two races. Mane ‘N Tail will sponsor Quin Houff on a multi race deal. Schluter Systems was announced as a sponsor for Corey LaJoie for seven races in 2021. Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet with the NAPA paint scheme was updated with a slight new look while also keeping Kelley Blue Book as a sponsor too.
Ally was announced as the title sponsor for the Cup Series’ Nashville date in June.
Then you have Kaulig Racing announcing on Thursday that AJ Allmendinger will make his first Cup Series start since 2018 as he will pilot the No. 16 Chevrolet on the Daytona road course race.
That was just Monday-Thursday.
It wasn’t just the Cup Series with announcements. NXS saw some driver announcements too. Ryan Ellis will race a part time schedule with BJ McLeod Motorsports in the No. 99 entry. Vinnie Miller will also run part time with BJMM too.
Our Motorsports will have Blaine Perkins in their No. 03 Chevrolet part time. He will join Tyler Reddick and other drivers in this ride.
Landon Cassill was announced on Friday to be coming back to JD Motorsports in the No. 4 Chevrolet.
Also, Scott Borchetta said he will have a new team in the series in 2021 with Jade Buford driving the No. 48 car.
David Gilliland Racing announced their plans as Hailie Deegan will run the No. 1 Ford in 2021 with Tanner Gray in the No. 15 Ford. Tanner’s younger brother Taylor who was fined $1k by NASCAR/ARCA for using his phone during their test session last weekend, will drive seven races in the No. 17 Ford as well.
Codie Rohrbaugh will be back in the No. 9 Chevrolet too.
The biggest news from this series of the week came when ThorSport announced on Monday that they’d not be returning to Ford power. All signs are directing towards a return to Toyota for the team. None of the four drivers were announced yet either.
NTT IndyCar Series
A new team was announced on Tuesday with Paretta Autosport will run an all female team with Simona de Silvestro as the driver for this year’s Indy 500. They’ll do so in conjunction with Team Penske.
Rick Ware Racing teased a full time entry coming and should have an announcement soon.
Also, on Friday it was announced that the season opener at Barber Motorsports Park will be moved back a week to April 18.
We had two driver announcements this week with Toby Sowery racing full time with Juncos and Linus Lundqvist with HMD/Global Racing.