Silly season just got a lot sillier.
Tuesday morning brought the news that Brian Vickers would drive the no. 55 Aaron’s Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing full-time in 2014. He currently shares the ride with Mark Martin and owner Michael Waltrip.
Rumors flew earlier this season that Vickers would fill the seat, but sponsorship needed to come about. After winning at Loudon, New Hampshire, Aaron’s jumped on it, now signed on to sponsor all 36 races for the next two years.
It was also confirmed that this deal will force Vickers to leave the no. 20 he runs in the NASCAR Nationwide series for Joe Gibbs Racing. That’s an available spot for next year.
But, there will be another empty seat coming at the end of the season, and it isn’t in Nationwide. News broke late Tuesday afternoon that Juan Pablo Montoya won’t return to Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing in the no. 42. Felix Sabates, co-owner of EGR, confirmed the move on SiriusXM NASCAR, saying the team was looking at “other options” for Montoya with their organization. That could mean a return to IndyCar with Ganassi.
The no. 42 must be filled, and Kyle Larson’s name has been tossed around already. I believe it’s more likely that we’ll see Ryan Newman in that car; Richard Childress Racing was set on him, but it’s sounding like they’ll take Kurt Busch instead. Besides, Kyle Larson would need another year or two in Nationwide to run competitively in a stock car.
As for the no. 20 in the Nationwide series, that’s a pickle. My gut say Darrell Wallace Jr., but he may need more experience, like Larson. But, who knows?
Things are a-changing in the Cup and Nationwide series, and it’ll only get crazier from here.