With Richard Childress saying the door had all but closed on contract talks with Clint Bowyer it’s questionable if his race team has four full time cars in 2012. While the bosses’ grandson Austin Dillion is making the move up the ladder to the Nationwide Series his Sprint Cup schedule is to be limited to a handful of rides in a part time car with the number #98.
Thus far no one has been asso0ciated with RCR’s open seat other then Bowyer. You also have to wonder that if Clint Bowyer wasn’t attracting many sonspor hits how much would the likes of a one year and done driver such as Brian Vickers?
Mark Martin had been linked to the newly forming third team at Stewart Hass Racing, as it’s looking for a way to ensure that Danica Patrick won’t have to worry about qualifying during her part time Cup schedule next year. Tony Stewart has said that he would love to have Martin but sponsorship dollars have been hard to come by.
Would that be any better for Martin at RCR? Martin was close to finally winning a championship in 2009 but has dropped off significantly since then and has just 19 top-10’s since then compared to the 21 he had that season. Last year he finished 13th in the points, this year he’s 16th. In terms of points he’s closer to 20th position then he is to climbing up to 12th.
There is also the contention of people who believe that Bowyer and teammate Jeff Burton’s struggles this year are a result of the recent expanding of RCR to four cars. They point to similar struggles in 2009.
I personally have a tough time believe that because Kevin Harvick is still competitive. Harvick has three victories this year and while all could be a result of being in the right place at the right time, he had to have a car that could put him in that position. With a 7th at Atlanta and a win last week at Richmond he appears to be past the mid season swoon.
Jeff Burton has been a non contender for the title for years, and even seeing him compete for a win now require you to pop in a video tape and see the old Exide Batteries car ride around the track. Bowyer, even when he was making the Chase, was always on the bubble of being in or out. Further the bulk of the members of the new crew for Paul Menard are transfers from the team he ran with at Richard Petty Motorsports last season.
All of the Sprint Cup teams would love to have four cars but if the dollars aren’t there to pay for it then it can’t happen.