Monday, June 29, 2009

Truex Leaving EGR, Bass Pro Staying

Martin Truex, Jr., is expected to announce next week that he will leave Earhhardt-Ganassi Racing to drive for Michael Waltrip Racing next season. Even if Truex bolts, however, EGR President Steve Lauletta said this week that he expects his major sponsor -- Bass Pro Shops -- to remain with the team.

Lauletta confirmed that EGR has not re-signed Truex for 2010, but declined to comment on whether Aric Almirola or another driver would replace Truex at the wheel of the #1 Chevrolet.

Denials Aplenty: Hendrick Motorsports has strongly denied an internet report claiming that Dale Earnhardt, Jr., will be farmed out to a new JR Motorsports Sprint Cup team next season to make room for Danica Patrick.

The website reported yesterday that the battle for Patrick’s services has boiled down to Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing, with Hendrick “now the heavy favorite to sign Patrick.” Mulhern reported that the Patrick-Hendrick negotiations are “very close to being a 'done deal,'” and that Patrick could take Earnhardt's spot at Hendrick Motorsports, with Junior moving to a new JR Motorsports Cup operation.

NASCAR is denying another Mulhern report claiming that the sanctioning body is considering dramatic cuts in next year’s Camping World Truck Series schedule, and could abolish the series outright. NASCAR Vice President Steve O'Donnell reportedly addressed those rumors in the pre-race drivers’ meeting at Memphis Motorsports Park, assuring teams that NASCAR has no plans to scale-back or eliminate the series in 2010. He said he expects to see new owners, drivers and tracks on the series next season.

Milwaukee Mile Short On Cash: Updating a story we first reported last week, the Milwaukee Mile still owes NASCAR money from the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races held there two weekends ago.

Wisconsin Motorsports head Claude Napier declined to talk specifically about the situation this week, but acknowledged that the legendary speedway will lose money this year. In his words, “I don't want to get into specifics about what we owe and what we don't owe. We are working very closely with NASCAR and in particular we are working on the future."

NASCAR has reportedly paid its teams for the two events, and is working closely with the track to resolve the issue. Spokesmen for the IRL IndyCar Series have refused to say whether their teams have been paid for an event there the same weekend.

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