Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shell/Pennzoil, Miller Lite and Penske racing gain in 2011, while questions remain as RCR losses a sponsor.

Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Last night before I went to sleep, I read on a few blogs a rumor that predicted this very move of Shell/Pennzoil to Penske Racing with a few driver and number changes. Of course like most rumors I dismiss them, especially this one.

So imagine my surprise when I wake up this morning that this rumor came true. I don’t know what shocked me more, SPEED’s Rudledge Wood would co-host History Channel’s U.S. Top Gear or Shell/Pennzoil leaving RCR and Harvick to Penske Racing and Kurt Busch. Actually believe it or not, this Shell/Pennzoil move.

Basically in a nut shell, in 2011, Kurt Busch will drive the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Penske Racing Dodge while Brad Keselowski will now drive the famous #2 Blue deuce (Miller Lite) Penske Dodge. The move also means Shell and Pennzoil will be the "Official Fuel and Motor Oil Supplier" to the Penske organization in the U.S, what a global move.

So is this a good move for Shell and Pennzoil and Kurt Busch?

Yes, this is a global business move for Shell and Pennzoil as a whole, I mean they will sponsor the #22 Dodge driven by Kurt Busch as well as associate sponsorships promoting Shell V-Power® with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe. Plus it’s a huge move outside of Motorsports as they will be the "Official Fuel and Motor Oil Supplier" to the Penske organization in the U.S. I wish the company well.

As for Kurt Busch, this will be interesting to watch.

Is this a good move for Brad Keselowski driving the #2 Miller Lite Dodge?

As a Rusty Wallace fan, you can imagine what my opinion was not only when Rusty Wallace retired, but he chose Kurt Busch to fill the seat of the famous Blue Deuce. However considering I’m a Brad Keselowski fan, this will be cool to watch. I’m excited to see Brad Keselowski driving the blue deuce in 2011. It’s going to be good to cheer on the blue deuce again after so many years off. Of course that will be along with the #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #14 Tony Stewart.

What about Sam Hornish Jr. as Mobil 1 leaves Penske Racing?

Unbelievably enough, instead of Penske sending Sam Hornish Jr. packing either to the Nationwide Series or back to the IZOD IndyCar Series, Penske Racing is committed to 2011 with Sam Hornish and to find some partners for 2011 to compete with a third team. I don’t agree with this move, Penske has invested a lot in Hornish, but hasn’t got too much for his investment. Face it, some drivers just isn’t going to make it in the Cup Series and Sam Hornish Jr. has been one of them. Sam should go to Nationwide Series or the Indycar Series and race.

Where does this leave Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick in 2011?

I don’t believe that Kevin Harvick is going to be at RCR in 2011. However I do believe that we still haven’t heard the last from RCR and remember Budweiser and several other sponsors are floating around and looking for a home. I believe that RCR will find a new sponsor to replace Shell and Pennzoil and a new driver as well. RCR should try for Mark Martin, he would be perfect for the #29 RCR Chevrolet.

What do think and what’s going to be the next domino to fall in the 2010-2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Silly Season?

Maybe Sprint will leave as title sponsor of the Cup Series, in turn that would allow Verizon Wireless and AT&T will be able to return to the NASCAR Cup Series as Subway signs on to sponsor the Cup Series…one could only hope.