It’s certainly an exciting time in the NASCAR industry right now with the new season just around the corner. With new teams, new manufacturers, and even new tracks, there’s plenty to look forward to. And at the same time, there are a few things you may need to get used to as well. Here are just a few of them.
New Teams, New Engines, And New Tracks
It’s always exciting when a new team arrives at the forefront of NASCAR. With so many teams having fallen by the wayside over the years, it’s great to see new owners stepping up and putting their money where their mouths are. This year is no different as we have seen several new teams enter the fray. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest news and rumors surrounding NASCAR right now.
Roush Fenway Racing
The most high-profile team to enter the fray this year is undoubtedly Roush Fenway Racing. If you’ve been around the NASCAR industry for even just a little while, you’ll know who they are. Most recently, they’ve been a dominant force in the Monster Energy Cup Series, winning 10 out of the 12 events that they attended this year. That’s an incredible record given how many events the NASCAR calendar has for racing. They’ve also been a force in open-wheel racing, winning the Indy Car Championship in 2008 and 2009. Things don’t look like they’re going to change much this year as they bring along a loaded cast of sponsors and plenty of money to bankroll the operation. While they’ve never been a huge organization in the NASCAR Cup Series, this year could be a big change for them as they look to make a splash in that arena as well.
Toyota, Ingenio, And Ford Motor Company
Another team on the upswing is Toyota. After years of mostly being a supporting actor in NASCAR, they’re finally going to take the stage by storm this year. With a brand-new truck that’s going to be at the heart of their campaign, the Motor Company has been hard at work getting everything in place. They’ve brought on board several big-name sponsors to help them make a statement in this year’s NASCAR standings and bring in some extra cash flow as well. They’ve also got one of the biggest stars in the industry in Clint Bowyer as their driver. With a victory in the Daytona 500 in 2009, the momentum is certainly on their side.
Michael Waltrip Racing
You’ll often hear people say that Michael Waltrip Racing is the best team in the garage. And while that may be true in the open-wheel world, it’s a whole different ballgame in NASCAR. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a spot on this list. This year, Michael Waltrip Racing will field two full-time teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. With the backing of his family’s company, this will be the team’s 8th season on the NASCAR scene. And what a run they’ve had. The most recent success for Michael Waltrip Racing came back in 2012 when they won the Daytona 500 in what was the culmination of a flawless season. They’ve also won the last six NASCAR races in a row, including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600. Despite this incredible run of success, the team has decided that it’s time for something new and will be backing away from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the end of this season.
These are just a few of the big stories surrounding NASCAR right now. In addition to these top teams, we’ve seen several new teams enter the fray. While it can be exciting to see new teams come on the scene and add a little something different to the sport, it’s also important to remember that at the end of the day, NASCAR is still NASCAR. And as much as we would all like to see new faces in the sport, we need to make sure that we keep some of the old favorites around. Thankfully, we still have some of the best organizations in the business supporting the sport in the most incredible way. So while we’re all eagerly awaiting the return of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, let’s not forget about some of the great things the industry has already given us this year!