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Have we seen the end of HScott Motorsports?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this blog entry eas published, HScott Motorsports has announced it will not compete in 2017.

 

When the checkered flag waved on the Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20, did we see the end of HScott Motorsports? Unfortunately, I’m inclined to believe that may be the case. No, there hasn’t been a gloom-and-doom announcement of team members receiving pink slips or being told that their free to seek employment elsewhere, but the combined multiple announcements of goings-on with the organization are just too much to not get me thinking that the end may be near for the Harry Scott Jr.-owned, two-car race team. This isn’t just about poor performance in 2016, here.

HScott knew it only had the services of Clint Bowyer for one year when Justin Allgaier was canned at the end of the 2015 season in favor of being Bowyer’s one-season layover en route to Stewart-Haas Racing, but Michael Annett’s gone now, too. Whether the decision stemmed from a team call, and Annett decision, or a mutual one. Annett is gone from HScott Motorsports, in favor of a return to the Xfinity Series to drive for JR Motorsports, a team that put two cars/drivers in the first Xfinity chase Championship Four.
Sure, there are plenty of talented drivers out there with which Scott could replace Bowyer and Annett, but the team didn’t just lose both its drivers after Homestead, it also lost both its primary sponsors. Annett is taking his longtime backer, Pilot/Flying J, with him to JRM. The other primary, 5-Hour Energy, isn’t going to SHR with Bowyer, but it is leaving HScott, opting to head over to Furniture Row Racing to fund an expanded effort their for 2017 Rookie of the Year candidate Erik Jones.
Even if I stop there, the future looks pretty dismal for HScott Motorsports. But I’m not finished. More recently, there was the news of a Bowyer lawsuit against the race team. If Bowyer’s claims were legit, he wasn’t paid all he was owed to the tune of something like $2.6 million. I’m guessing there was some meat to Bowyer’s claims. After all, the suit was soon settled. I’m guessing if he didn’t have a case, Scott wouldn’t have been so eager to settle. So, apparently, Scott had difficulty paying Bowyer what he was supposed to, and finally, had to pony-up some of that money to the disgruntled driver, anyway.
HScott Motorsports struggled mightily on the race track in 2016. How could a possible 2017 effort be any better, considering the aforementioned obstacles?
HSCott Motorsports leased one of the charters it used in 2016, while it owned the other. That leased charter has to be returned, as NASCAR rules only allow for one-year leases. That leaves one charter the team could sell, but wouldn’t the sale of that charter pretty much mean the team wouldn’t be planning on using it? And what team would want to sell a charter if it still plans on competing? I’m guessing that charter could be sold to help fund a 2017 effort of racing without a safety net, but I don’t see that happening, either.
I hate to see any race team fold, but to put it bluntly, it looks like HScott Motorsports is screwed. I sure hope I’m wrong.
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on December 4, 2016. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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