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Silly Season Q&A: Four cars for RCR, DEI
Fourth car at RCR?Teresa from Burlington, Iowa: Now that Richard Childress Racing is on the right track, would they consider a fourth driver?
Tom Jensen: Great question. I have heard rumblings, though nothing specific, about RCR adding a fourth car, possibly with Hoiliday Inn as a sponsor. Going to four cars clearly is the direction most of powerhouse teams are heading in so it wouldn't surprise me to see it happen. Perhaps not next year, but certainly by 2008 or '09.
Sadler to DEI?Michael from Lewisburg: Regarding your previous comments regarding a fourth DEI ride, could a Elliott Sadler or Ward Burton be a possibility? Originally being from VA, not far from South Boston, if Virginians have a favorite from another state like an Earnhardt, the VA boys usually aren't far behind in fan support.
Tom Jensen: Michael, thanks for the question. Elliott Sadler has a tremendous number of options right now, including Evernham Motorsports and Bill Davis Racing. He and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are close friends, and I think a fourth DEI car might be an option for Sadler. But he has so many rides to choose from, I'd have to say it's a bit of a longshot. Whatever car he chooses, though, rest assured Sadler will be a very wealthy man next year.
As for Burton, Robert Yates is considering him as an option to replace Sadler in the No. 38, but again, Yates has a lot of choices, too. I will say Burton's odds of having a Cup ride somewhere next year are very good.
Mayfield to Mikey?Rich from Streator, Ill.: What's going on with Jeremy Mayfield? Why isn't he finishing where Kasey Kahne is finishing? I think Evernham needs to go in a different direction in the No. 19 car. Who do you think he will hire and where will Mayfield go?
Tom Jensen: You asked the biggest question of the year. Well, one reason might be that Mayfield's old crew chief, Kenny Francis, and much of his crew moved over to Kahne's car for this season. Mayfield likely will go to drive one of Michael Waltrip's Toyotas next year. Elliott Sadler has been identified as the leading candidate for the No. 19, but he has a whole lot of offers for next year and might well go somewhere else.
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Where's Wimmer going?JJ from Indy: Do you think the No. 4 at Morgan-McClure Motorsports will get better or will Scott Wimmer move on? I know there are a lot of open rides, but would someone take him even though he hasn't done much in his Nextel Cup career?
Tom Jensen: Thanks for the question. It's awfully hard to truly evaluate talent in the back of the field. Scott Wimmer finished 27th and 32nd in his two full seasons with Bill Davis Racing. His replacement, Dave Blaney, right now is 29th in points, which suggests Wimmer was running up to the capability of his equipment, but he hasn't had a top-notch ride. How he would do in a top car is a question no one can answer now because he hasn't been in one. My guess is he'll get another chance somewhere else because drivers are in high demand right now.