Brian-Vickers-July-2013When Brian Vickers took the lead away from three-time champion Tony Stewart in the closing laps of Sunday’s race at New Hampshire, he had one place in mind: Victory Lane.

He hadn’t reached it since August of 2009 at Michigan, and he was determined to get there in this race. He held off many drivers, including Kyle Busch and Stewart on a two lap sprint to the finish to claim the victory.

Besides being a remarkable win in for Vickers’ career, it helped open the flood gates on silly season. Who will go where? What drivers are looking for a ride? These are the most common questions in the garage now, and this past weekend at New Hampshire began all silly season talks.

Newman Out at Stewart-Hass

Friday in Loudon was a day everyone saw coming. No one knew it would be on that specific day, but the news that broke wasn’t really news. It had started out as rumors last season and all co-team owner Tony Stewart did this weekend was confirm it. Newman’s out at SHR after this season and Kevin Harvick’s in.

A change-up is needed on the team that hasn’t seen as much success as it was hoping for. Stewart wanted to sign a driver and really enhance his team going forward.

Kevin Harvick was also looking for a shakeup. He had been at Richard Childress Racing ever since Dale Earnhardt’s death at Daytona in 2001 and after 12 seasons with no championships, he’s headed to SHR.

SHR is committed to running him full-time and that was enough for Harvick to sign the dotted line. He’ll be bringing sponsorship from Budweiser which sets him up with 20 sponsored races. With Harvick coming in, that would put four cars on the team, and Tony Stewart said they were not ready for that. So, someone has to go.

Ryan Newman has been with SHR since the team opened their doors in 2009. He has had three wins with the team and a pair of Chase appearances in 2009 and 2011. Nothing outstanding which likely was why Stewart said they would rather bring in Chase regular Kevin Harvick to have a better shot at winning their second championship.

This will be the team’s first major shakeup in the driver lineup since they brought Danica Patrick in during the 2012 season. Change is usually a good thing, so maybe this adjustment will help out SHR as an organization.

As this season finishes out, everyone involved in this deal will continue to go all out each weekend to help their current teams succeed.

Win Could Give Vickers Enough for Full-Time Ride in 2014

One of the more true rumors swirling around is that Brian Vickers may end up full-time in the No.55 car for Michael Waltrip Racing next season.

The only likely thing that the official word of that deal is waiting on is sponsorship. A sponsor would likely confirm that deal and put Vickers back in the Cup Series full-time. Now, his win at New Hampshire Sunday could come in as a sponsor getter or even just keeping a loyal partner with MWR.

In the select races Vickers runs for MWR, Aarons doesn’t usually put their logo on the hood. On Sunday though, they had their name on the hood and that brought them to victory lane. The likely sponsor candidate for a full-time ride for Vickers is Aarons and when he brought them to victory lane that could be enough for them to jump on board for 2014.

Will they? It all depends on what they want to do.

They have been a loyal partner with Waltrip for years and it wouldn’t make sense to leave the guy now, especially with an opportunity like this one. If Aarons does come on as a sponsor for Vickers, his championship hopes for 2014 greatly increase. He could easily make the Chase and if Aarons does miss out on the deal, then it is greatly their loss.

The fact that he proved he can win in the car they sponsor should be enough for them to sign the deal.

What else could they possibly want? He’s a talented driver who can win with this team and he has now proven that. He has done all he can to get them onboard and now it’s up to them to join the bandwagon and be back on a car in Chase contention.


Written by Jason Schultz at World of Sports Talk


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