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McREYNOLDS: Penske to totally revamp new Cup team

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Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

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Rumor has it that may be moving to Morgan McClure since Penske reportedly has bought the Jasper car. It sounds like Kodak may go to the new Penske car, and Truck Series driver will go to that ride as well. Richard Childress recently confirmed my feelings about a racing team with three cars. Race teams are a lot like children. Two is like two, and three is like 10. You've got to be careful because that third team can make a big difference, but who could handle it better than Roger Penske and his group at Penske Racing South? Penske also is thinking of changing the number on that car. I think they were talking about No. 72 to go with the No. 2 and No. 12 cars. When you think about it, it's going to be a completely revamped team with a new owner, a new driver, a new sponsor, a new number and a new manufacturer because now it's going to be a Dodge. And obviously there will be a new crew chief too because Bootie Barker left there last season, and they never really replaced him for the final few races. I don't know if you can say anything will be the same.

Get with the program

Some high-profile, veteran drivers who have won races in the past few years continue to search for rides.
  • is sitting on the sidelines, and I don't know that there's going to be a ride that will open up for him. Of course is going in the 10 ride next year.
  • is without a ride because the 54 car lost its sponsorship to the Roush organization. The 54 team no longer exists, and Bodine is hunting a ride.
  • I'm not sure where is going to end up because is going into the 30 car.
  • At least has the 1 ride next year for one race at Daytona, driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc.
  • has a ride, but his team is still looking for sponsorship for 2004 as well.
  • So you're going to need a program and a scorecard when you get to Daytona.

    Time out for family before testing

    At this time of year, the NASCAR community takes some family time. A lot of holidays are family-oriented, but we get to celebrate very few together with our loved ones. A lot like Thanksgiving, Christmas is a time to be thankful, and I count my blessings every day that God has blessed me, my wife Linda and my three healthy children with health. Very few people get to make a living doing what they enjoy. A lot of people enjoy golfing, but they only are able to do it on the weekends. A lot of people enjoy playing basketball, but they only get to do it every once in a while. A lot of people enjoy fishing, but it's not the way they make a living. The NASCAR community is so fortunate that we can actually make our living at our hobby. I run into fans every single day, and they have several comments. "Boy, we can't wait until racing starts." "We wish it started next week." "We wish you guys at FOX had the whole season." They are all very flattering comments, but it is nice that we can stop and slow down for just a few days, and trust me, when I'm looking at this truck team of ours, it's like a day and a half is all we get. We're going to work until noon on Christmas Eve. We'll try to walk out of there and shut off the lights, but we'll be back in their Friday morning because we're trying to make a Talladega test on January 3 and 4 with two trucks. Hang on everybody. Daytona Speedweeks will be here before you can bat an eye, and Daytona testing -- which is becoming a bigger and bigger event -- starts in two weeks. E-mail Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds

    FOX race analyst Larry McReynolds has more than 25 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, crew chief and broadcaster. He and his fellow Crew Chief Club members take you behind the wall at www.crewchiefclub.com.

    "Larry McReynolds: The Big Picture" is on bookstore shelves now, or you may order your own autographed copy from www.DWStore.com.

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