A.J. in, Awesome Bill out; Ginn tells Joe to go

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Tom Jensen

Before and during the Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway,'s Tom Jensen provided Instant Analysis. Check out this excerpt as he answered some Silly Season questions.

Chris from Latham, N.Y.: Brian Vickers is going to drive the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry. The Red Bull Team will field the No. 80 Red Bull Toyota Camry in 2007 also. Who do you think will drive the No. 80 Red Bull Toyota Camry In 2007? Tom Jensen: Chris: Champ Car rising star A.J. Allmendinger has had two solid runs in his first two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races and will be in the No. 83 Red Bull Dodge next week at Atlanta, when he makes his Nextel Cup debut. I think he's a slam-dunk for the second Red Bull car next year, and he'll be really, really good.

Red Bull smart to park Bill

Brian from Fort Wayne, Ind.: What is your take on Bill Elliott being set aside at Red Bull Racing for the Atlanta race? It was supposed to have his paint scheme. Who will be the sponsor on the No. 37 car? Tom Jensen: Brian: Great topic you raise. Team Red Bull wants to get some seat time for A.J. Allmendinger in anticipation that he will move to the second TBR Nextel Cup car next year so I don't really blame them for putting him in the No. 83 next week. I don't know yet who Elliott's sponsor will be with the No. 37.

Martinsville photos
Nextel Cup race

Craftsman Truck race

Joe will go, go, go

Marni from Vernon B.C. Canada: I feel really sorry for Joe Nemechek. It's a shame just because Mark Martin is driving for Ginn Racing now that Joe loses his car and sponsor. Just seems like there is no loyalty left anywhere. Why couldn't Martin drive the 13 car? Tom Jensen: Marni: Thanks for being here at FOX. New team owner Bobby Ginn said a couple of weeks ago at Talladega that plan was to move Nemechek to the No. 13 even before Martin was signed. And the reason, Ginn said, was this: The No. 13 will have to qualify for the first five races of 2007 on speed. Starting with the six race of the season, the top 35 in 2007 owner's points will be locked into the field.

Ginn said that since Nemechek is such a strong qualifier, he was the best of the three team drivers to put into a car that isn't guaranteed a spot in the field during the first five races. If Nemechek can get the No. 13 into the top 35 after five races next year, it will be a moot point.

Five alive

Pete from Ontario, Canada: You stated that as soon as Roush loses a sponsor and driver, he will be cut to four teams. The No. 6 lost its sponsor (Viagra) after this ruling. Now the No. 6 has lost its driver. New sponsor AAA for 2006 and new driver for 2007? What is the exact ruling? Tom Jensen: Pete: That's an excellent question. NASCAR has been fairly vague about what specific conditions will trigger enforcement of the four-car limit. Roush Racing President Geoff Smith said last week that the team intends to have five cars through 2009.

Send your questions & comments to Tom

Wait at Yates

Rob from Calmar: Robert Yates Racing stated that their choice for the driver of the 88 car would be a shocker to the NASCAR world, making it sound like a veteran driver would get hired to that car. All we hear about now is two young rookies. That's only a shocker because it's a let down. Hire Ward Burton and turn your program around Yates. Two rookies won't do it. Tom Jensen: Rob: Thanks for the question. We're all waiting to see where Robert Yates Racing and the No. 88 end up next year. It's an open question with no answer yet.

Mayfield waits, too

Scott from Anamosa, Iowa: What is Jeremy Mayfield up to, and will he race in Cup again before the end of the season? Tom Jensen: Scott: Jeremy Mayfield has signed to drive a Bill Davis Racing No. 36 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2007. I've not heard anything about him driving in the Cup Series in any of the remaining four races this season.
Tagged: Bill Elliott

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