Daytona must be getting closer as Monday was filled with news concerning the quickly approaching NASCAR season. From a deadly duo ready to battle for the Nationwide Series’ Owner’s Championship to a retired driver set to take some laps at Daytona, the day in news never let up.
Sam Hornish Jr. to Compete in 7 Races for JGR’s No.54 Nationwide Series Entry
Sam Hornish Jr. announced today that he will compete in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series races for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2014. He will be behind the wheel of the No.54 car in the events Kyle Busch does not compete in. Hornish Jr.’s first race will be at Talladega in May.
After finishing runner-up to Austin Dillon in the Nationwide Series standings last season, Hornish Jr. was left without a ride for 2014 due to lack of sponsorship. Hornish Jr. will not have a chance at redemption for the driver’s championship but he will play a crucial role in the No.54 car’s owner’s championship bid. The No.54 car came up short on the owner’s title last season but a revamped effort for 2014 makes them an early favorite to capture the crown.
Chase Elliott Partners with NAPA, JR Motorsports for Full-time Nationwide Series Ride in 2014
Chase Elliott was able to announce his plans for the future today. After losing Aaron’s as a sponsor following the 2013 season, Elliott went sponsor hunting in order to continue his racing career. Rick Hendrick and Elliott met with NAPA towards the end of 2013 and now NAPA will sponsor him full-time in his first Nationwide Series season. Elliott will get behind the wheel of the No.9 NAPA Chevrolet in 2014. The deal with NAPA is a multi-year agreement.
Elliott initially broke the record for being the youngest winner in NASCAR history last season until Erik Jones broke the record again in the penultimate race of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season. Elliott competed in a select number of NCWTS events last season, but no Nationwide Series races due to the age limit. The now 18 year-old will be able to compete for the Nationwide Series title in 2014 as he continues building his racing career.
David Reutimann Out at BK Racing, Bowman, Truex Considered Favorites for Ride
BK Racing announced today that they have mutually split ways with David Reutimann. Reutimann had competed for the team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the previous two seasons.
With Reutimann gone, a ride has opened at BK Racing. It is unknown whether BK Racing will terminate the ride or if they will sign a new driver. Alex Bowman tested the No.83 car at Charlotte last month. Bowman will also test the car later this week at Daytona. He is currently without a ride for 2014 and appears as the favorite for the No.83 car.
Ryan Truex’s name has also come up as he will test BK Racing’s No.93 car at Daytona. Truex is currently under contract with Richard Petty Motorsports.
Bill Elliott to Test No.5 for JR Motorsports at Daytona
On the heels of the Chase Elliott announcement, JR Motorsports laid out their testing plans for Daytona International Speedway. With Dale Earnhardt Jr. unavailable, Bill Elliott will be behind the wheel of the car Earnhardt Jr. will pilot at the Nationwide Series season opener in February. Elliott’s last NASCAR venture came in 2012 when he raced a Turner-Scott Motorsports entry in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. According to JR Motorsports, this is a one-time deal.