As the teams and drivers inch every closer to the opening race at the Daytona International Speedway, more news has been released. NASCAR announced another partner extends their deal, Richard Childress has a new deal, AJ Allmendinger might have a ride for 2013, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch will each do some Nationwide Series races, and there’s a new driver in the Nationwide Series ranks.
NASCAR and ExxonMobil have extended their billing as the ‘Official Motor Oil of NASCAR’ through 2017. This is the 11th consecutive season in which Mobil 1 has been an official partner of NASCAR. Not too much commentary can be done on this, but good for Mobil 1. I personally like Valvoline, but to each their own.-NASCAR PR
Richard Childress has been added as an ambassador for TAG Heuer Eyewear. He joins his grandsons Austin and Ty Dillon on the list of ambassadors. Also in the press release was confirmation that Austin will drive a TAG Heuer Eyewear sponsored Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing at Las Vegas. -Richard Childress Racing PR
Fox Sports’ Lee Spencer reports that AJ Allmendinger will be in the seat of the Phoenix Racing Chevrolet at Phoenix, Bristol, Auto Club, and Martinsville. That schedule might grow if sponsorship is found. I think it’s a good move for Allmendinger, he will be able to do more with that team in a more humble way that Kurt Busch did. Regan Smith will run Daytona and Austin Dillon (mentioned above) will be at Las Vegas for the team. –Fox Sports
Speaking of Kurt Busch and Phoenix Racing, they will join forces again in 2013. No, not in the Sprint Cup Series, but the Nationwide Series running the three restrictor plate races, Fox Sports reports. Busch gave James Finch a win last year at Daytona in the Nationwide Series. The team and Busch seem to excel in those races, so it’ll be fun to see them go for broke. –Fox Sports
Another Sprint Cup driver dropping down for a handful of races in 2013 will be Matt Kenseth. He will drive a #18 Reser’s Fine Foods sponsored Toyota at Phoenix, Texas, Charlotte, Richmond, and Kansas. –Matt Kenseth PR
RAB Racing with Brack Maggard announced that 19-year old Alex Bowman will run the full 2013 season in the Nationwide Series for the team, reports SPEED. He will be paired with crew chief Chris Rice and run the #99. Which is a lot better than all those years they ran the #09, any zero number is just stupid in my opinion. Not mentioned is how this affect’s Kenny Wallace’s 2013 plans as he got bounced out of this ride every few races last year due to lack of sponsorship. –SPEED
Stories and commentary compiled by Michael Metzger