Bill Davis Racing has been a lightning rod for merger rumors this season. With the loss of Caterpillar as a sponsor on the #22 ride earlier this season, the fate of the Cup team was put into question and subsequently became a likely contender for acquisition. Now as the season winds to an end, the focus has shifted away from the Cup side of the organization to BDR’s thriving truck teams.
On Wednesday, truck series point leader Johnny Benson announced he would not be returning to BDR following the conclusion of this season. Benson’s reason for his decision is not entirely clear, but what is sure is that the team is currently running unsponsored. And without a sponsor, Bill Davis may be unwilling to continue operating that team.
Brian Scott came to BDR late this season from his family’s own Xpress Motorsports. For the remainder of this season Scott was going to run with Davis equipment and then join them full time next year. Now I am hearing that the Scotts, unsure of BDR’s plans or situation for next season are delaying any potential sale of Xpress.
This same uncertainty surrounds Michael Annett, who was in the #22 truck for seven races earlier this season, the last of which came at Loudon. I believe the plan for him was to drive in the Nationwide Series next season. Now this week, Annett is listed on the entry list as the driver of the #9 Germain Toyota Tundra. I find that a little strange.
The team does still have Mike Skinner (despite new rumors floating around about his future) and they just signed Taylor Malsam to drive a “fourth truck” (I am not exactly sure what the makeup of that four truck team would look like) for the team next season. All that said, there is a lot up in the air for the organization. Toyota’s direct financial support, which the team relies heavily on, may be waining. With the exception of Brian Scott’s Albertson’s sponsorship, the team has no non-Toyota full time sponsors.
Now I am not saying BDR is in trouble, or that they won’t be here next year, but I wonder, what is really going on up there? I do know BDR employees are skittish right now, but I guess in a year that is seeing Hendrick lay people off, who isn’t? Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see how everything works out.