Mark Martin Is Expected To Drive Part-Time For MWR In '12
NASCAR driver Mark Martin is "expected to drive a part-time 2012 Sprint Cup schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing in the No. 00 Toyota currently driven by David Reutimann," according to sources cited by David Newton of ESPN.com. Sources said that team owner Michael Waltrip "likely will drive all or a portion of the four restrictor-plate races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway." MWR's lineup for '12 will be Martin, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. Sources said that an announcement "could come Friday at Texas Motor Speedway." The No. 00 at MWR "has a primary sponsor for next year in Aarons" (ESPN.com, 11/1). Martin’s business manager Benny Ertel said that Martin "has no deal completed with any organization at the moment." Martin recently said of the '12 season, "It is sponsorship driven, where I land and what I do. ... I am still hoping it is November or December and not January (when I finalize a deal)" (SCENDAILY.com, 11/1).
PARTIAL SPONSOR: Stewart-Haas Racing yesterday unveiled the paint scheme for the Quicken Loans No. 39 car Ryan Newman will drive in '12. The Detroit-based mortgage lender signed a nine-race agreement with Stewart-Haas valued at more than $4M a year. At the announcement of the deal, team co-owner and driver Tony Stewart said that decisions by the U.S. Army and frozen snack brand Tornados to reduce the number of races they sponsored opened up an opportunity for Stewart-Haas to sign Quicken Loans (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal). Newman's car "still needs additional sponsorship to fill out the entire 2012 season," and SHR "could announce another new partner as early as this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/2).
THEN THERE WERE THREE: ESPN.com's Newton reported Roush Fenway Racing "expects to shrink from four full-time Sprint Cup cars to three in 2012." RFR President Steve Newmark said, "The most likely scenario is three. We're still plugging away at the fourth, but we all recognize the realities that when you're this late in the season it makes it more difficult to secure that." Carl Edwards' No. 99 car and Greg Biffle's No. 16 car are the only ones "fully sponsored for next season." Matt Kenseth's No. 17 car "has no sponsorship for 2012, and Newmark said 'nothing is eminent' but added RFR is prepared to run that car unsponsored if necessary." Newmark said that RFR "hopes to field two Nationwide Series cars, with at least one of them fully sponsored" (ESPN.com, 10/30).