NASCAR Racing 2009 Cast of Characters

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It’s been a long off-season and a lot has happened. So, instead of telling everyone who is who during my review of the Daytona 500, I’m going to tell you before my review. There are a lot of new faces and numbers. Even new Teams for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Dale Earnhardt Inc. merged with Chip Ganasse to become Earnhardt Ganasse. They have #1 Martin Truex, Jr., #8 Aric Almirola and from Ganasse #42 Juan Pablo Montoya. They will be driving Chevys. Ganasse gave up his #41 car and now Jeremy Mayfield took that number and started his own Toyota Team. Former DEI driver Regan Smith will drive #78 for Furniture Row Racing.

Hendrick Motorsports let Casey Mears go and now Mark Martin will drive the #5 car. Casey went over to Richard Childress Racing, to drive the #07 car that Clint Bowyer drove last year. Clint will drive the new fourth car, #33 with Cheerios as the Sponsor. #31 had Sponsor AT&T last year, but Sprint won’t let them be a sponsor after 2008. So, Jeff Burton will drive the Catepiller car this year.

Tony Stewart joined Haas GNC Racing and now is the owner of Stewart Haas Racing. Tony will drive the old A. J. Foyt #14 car. And his team mate is Ryan Newman, driving his old #39. They will drive Chevys and are getting support from Hendrick. At Joe Gibbs Racing, the #20 will be driven by Rookie Joey Logano. David Stremme will drive the Penske car #12 that Ryan vacated.

On the Ford side, with Yates Racing, they merged with Hall of Fame Racing. The #38 driven by David Gilliland is gone. The points go to new driver Paul Menard, driving #98. Travis Kvapil is still in the #28, but his points will go to HOF driver #96 former Champion, Bobby Labonte. The Wood Brothers and their #21 car will race only a partial schedule this year with former Champion Bill Elliott in the #21. #6 David Ragan has new Sponsor UPS.

Richard Petty Enterprises merged with Gillette Evrenham and is now Richard Petty Motorsports. They still have #9 Kasey Kahne and #19 Elliott Sadler. Petty’s #43 will be driven by Reed Sorenson. And #44 will be another Petty car with the Petty blue paint scheme driven by A.J. Allmendinger. If they can secure Sponsorship, they will race the full Season.

Over in the Toyota camp, Red Bull Racing let Almendinger go near the end of the 2008 season. Rookie Scott Speed will replace Allmendinger, but he gets a new number. He will drive #82 this year. JTG Daugherty Racing has Marcos Ambrose from the NASCAR Nationwide Series driving the #47. Former Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin started his own Team with Scott Riggs as the driver in the #36. David Reutimann is back in his old #00 with Michael Waltrip Racing.

John Andretti will be driving the #34 car. And has secured points to get him into the top 35. Former Champ Terry Labonte will drive #66 Toyota in the Daytona 500, and then Dave Blaney will take over. Joe Nemechek has his own Team #(1)87, however he failed to make the Daytona 500. NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski attempted to get into the Daytona 500 in the #09 car.

The others who failed to get into the Daytona 500 are: #08 Boris Said, #(1)27 Kirk Shelmerdine, #(1)71 Mike Wallace (there will be no Wallace or Petty in the Daytona 500), #37 Tony Raines, #73 Mike Garvey, #(1)75 former Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope,#(1)23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Mike Skinner, #51 NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Kelly Bires, #(1)46 Carl Long, #64 Geoff Bodine and #(1)57 Norm Benning.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. See you after the race.

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