NASCAR silly season for 2015 is kind of, sort of underway. Why do I say, “kind of, sort of?” Because movement hasn’t actually been announced, at least not officially. The rumor mill is in full operation, though. And at the center of it all seems to be Joe Gibbs Racing.
Speculated movement at Joe Gibbs Racing isn’t limited to driver lineup, either. There are sponsor shake-ups going down at JGR, that is if you believe the speculation. Reputable NASCAR news sources are claiming to have unnamed inside sources for the report, and you know what they say, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
This year’s rumor mill started with Roush Fenway Racing drivers Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards. Nobody’s really talking about Biffle anymore, since he’s, reportedly, re-upped with RFR. No big news there. Edwards, though, is a different story.
First, Edwards was reported as heading to Joe Gibbs Racing at season’s end, because JGR is, again supposedly, adding a fourth team in 2015. But this is a story that keeps on giving, so to speak; It’s speculation that just keeps growing.
Soon after the unconfirmed reports of an Edwards move to Joe Gibbs Racing came, also unconfirmed, reports of a sponsorship shake-up. Those reports had Edwards taking Kyle Busch’s M&M’s sponsorship. But never fear, Busch fans. Nationwide Series team sponsor Monster Energy is, supposedly, making the move to Sprint Cup to replace M&M’s as Busch’s primary sponsor. While unconfirmed sources are saying this and that, though, nobody seems to know whether the No. 18 is sticking with Busch or going with M&M’s in that supposed scenario. Either way, if these reports are on the up and up, Busch and Edwards took to be set in regards to ride and sponsorship.
Then there’s JGR driver Matt Kenseth. Reports have longtime Joe Gibbs Racing sponsor The Home Depot leaving the team when its contract expires at the end of the year. But I wouldn’t worry about Kenseth and any possible sponsor issues, either. I’m wondering if The Home Depot will even be missed any more than a big associate sponsor.
The Home Depot seems to have been, at least somewhat, pasing itself out of the sport, anyway, by selling off a lot of its races to Dollar General. I have to admit, I didn’t even really notice until a photo search this morning. To accompany a story for another news outlet, I was looking through photos the site had permission to use, and there were plenty, but to find an adequate one with The Home Depot as primary sponsor was a struggle. No. I ended up going back to 2013 and then gave up and settled on one that just had The Home Depot on the rear of the car. That leads me to believe that The Home Depot won’t be all that sorely missed and will be replaced by Dollar General.
Really, other than the non-news of a Biffle renewal at Roush Fenway, the only non-JGR-related silly season questions seem to surround Marcos Ambrose and raise the question of whether he’ll continue in NASCAR or head back to V8 Supercars. There is talk about Kasey Kahne’s future, but that’s silly season talk for next year, as he’s still under contract through 2015. Now, it’s all about Joe Gibbs Racing.
Here’s an online poll for you. Do you think JGR will even miss The Home Depot? Answer here
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