Wednesday, April 8, 2009

No race this weekend? Who cares, we still get news!

And the latest casualty of the economy has hit NASCAR. Thought it hasn’t been officially announced, the #8 driven by Aric Almirola will be parked until sponsorship is found. Officials at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is expected to make the official announcement in the next 24 hours.

EGR officials haven’t commented on the situation, but sources said a handful of employees have been left go and that number could grow to 50 before it’s all said and done. Currently Almirola is 37th in Owner’s Points heading into the off weekend for Easter. He is 59 points behind rookie Joey Logano, who occupies the last spot for the top 35 guarantee.

The parking of the #8 leaves Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with two full time drivers, Martin Truex Jr and Juan Pablo Montoya. Rumors have been speculating that Truex Jr has a clause in his contract that could free him and his sponsor Bass Pro Shops if he doesn’t have at least two fulltime teammates. However, sources have come out and said this is NOT true,.

The #8 was made famous at DEI when Dale Earnhardt, Jr was behind the wheel. He won 17 races in the care before leaving DEI for Hendrick Motorsports in 2008.

In other NASCAR news, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #44 for Richard Petty Motorsports, now has sponsorship that will keep him on the track until September 12th’s race at Richmond International Speedway. The announcement was made today that Hunt Brothers Pizza will sponsor the #44 for 6 races including the All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Their first race is Talladega on April 26th. Officials at RPM will continue to find more sponsorship to keep AJ on the track for the rest of the 2009 season.

Currently, AJ is 20th in Owner’s Points. He got his first time 5 of the season in the Daytona 500 and recently finished 9th at Martinsville Speedway.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is takes a weekend off for the Easter Holiday, but the Nationwide Series boys are racing at Nashville Speedway on Saturday night. The next race for the Cup guys is next Saturday night, April 18th, 2009 at Phoenix International Raceway.