Just when this whole 2015 driver substitute situation in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series couldn’t get any more convoluted, Michael Waltrip threw yet another monkey wrench into the whole situation.
For a refresher, in case you need one, and I know that I’ve sure needed a reminder at times, here it goes:
- Brett Moffitt/Michael Waltrip for Brian Vickers in the No. 55
- David Ragan for Kyle Busch in the No. 18
- Chris Buescher for Brett Moffitt for David Ragan in the No. 34.
That third one ind of gets complicated, doesn’t it? And just to think, this list was even a little longer at the start of the season when Kurt Busch still was serving his suspension. At least his return shortened the list. But now, things may start to get complicated again.
I think the aforementioned may be it for recent races. But MWR made official on Tuesday morning that Ragan will complete the 2015 season in the No. 55, that is after team co-owner Michael Waltrip climbs into the car for Sunday’s race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
So, where does this leave the No. 18? Joe Gibbs Racing owner and namesake Joe Gibbs has eluded alluded to putting NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular and part-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Erik Jones in the No. 18 sometime before Busch’s return. There sure looks to be plenty of opportunities to put him in the No. 18 now, doesn’t there?
What’s going to happen at Front Row Motorsports now? When Vickers made a short-lived return early on in the season, Moffitt headed over to Front Row to drive the No. 34, but when MWR recalled him to fill-in for Vickers when Vickers was sidelined, again, FRM called on Xfinity Series driver Buescher to drive the No. 34. Is FRM going to stick with Buescher for the long haul or fall back to the Moffitt plan? The No. 34 team expected to have Ragan back sometime this season, but that doesn’t look to be in the cards anymore.
Here’s what I’m thinking may happen (remember, part of this is only speculation):
- David Ragan for Brett Moffitt/Michael Waltrip for Brian Vickers in No. 55
- Erik Jones for David Ragan for Kyle Busch in No. 18
- Chris Buescher/Brett Moffit for Chris Buescher for Brett Moffitt for David Ragan in No. 34
Okay, I admit, that last one may be kind of a stretch, or exaggeration if you will, of the complexity of this whole situation.
Anybody have any aspirin? I think I’m coming down with a headache. At this point, I’m considering this as some kind of silly season pre-season training.
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