With all the top and mid-level “free agents” signed to deals, Smaller Sprint Cup teams have began announcing plans for the 2012 season. The news has come quickly from a variety of teams in the last few days though some have not finalized driver lineups or sponsors.
Michael McDowell has signed on to stay with Phil Parsons Racing. The team has merged with Whitney Motorsports and will run Ford Fusions supplied from Roush Yates engines. McDowell told Yahoo that the team had sponsorship which would allow them to run full races for the first five events of the season. Still no word on where the sponsorship dollars will come from or what number the team will have on the car. Parsons has run the #66 in recent years while Whitney ran the #46 and #81 (part time) last season.
Not long after the McDowell news came out there was other news from lesser teams. One team planning to run some Sprint Cup races in 2012 is Go Green Racing. Last season the team ran the full Nationwide schedule with a variety of drivers in the #39 Ford Mustang. A few weeks ago the team announced Joey Gase as the driver of that car for 2012 with hopes of running another team with a revolving door of drivers.
This week Go Green Racing made news when they annouced that Paul Andrews, crew chief of Alan Kulwicki’s 1992 championship season, will sit atop the pitbox of the #19 Ford Fusion in the Sprint Cup series starting with the Bristol race. The car will be driven by his son Tim Andrews. Tim will also run some of the teams Nationwide races in the second car #37 with Dave Ingram being the crew chief.
The Wood Brothers have also annouced their plans for 2012. Trevor Bayne will again drive the car. Last season Bayne won the season opening Daytona 500 in what was his second career start at the Cup level. Things didn’t go as well for the rest of the season as Bayne struggled on many of the tracks but he will be behind the wheel again this year. The Wood Brothers will have sponsorship from the Air Force, Ford Motocraft and a few others but plan to run less then 20 races for the year. Bayne is also hoping to run some Nationwide races and with Carl Edwards’ decision to not run in that series he may be able to get a few additional runs in there.
Tommy Baldwin Racing has a plan in place to run Ryan Blaney, son of Dave, for six races at the Nationwide level this year. Blaney will drive the #36 SealWrap Repair Tape Chevy. He will also drive six NASCAR K&N Pro Series races for the team.