This year has been a particularly brutal one for car counts in the Camping World Truck Series. While there usually is a full field, many teams choose to start and park. Looking at 2010 though things are looking up for the truck series.
Richard Childress Racing is expected to field at least one team in 2010 for team owner Richard Childress’ grandson Austin Dillon. The last time RCR fielded a full time truck series team was 1999. There have also been rumblings that Tim George Jr. will drive a second truck for RCR. As the original championship team in the series, it is exciting to see RCR make a return.
Newcomer organization Turner Motorsports (they will make their debut this weekend) also has plans to run one full time and one part time team in 2010. Ricky Carmichael has said he will jump from Kevin Harvick Inc. to the team to run the full season. In addition to running the #1 car in the Nationwide Series, James Buescher is also expected to run at least 19 races for the team.
And then there’s Kyle Busch Racing (or whatever it’ll be called). While nothing has been announced they are rumored to be running at least two teams in 2010. We’ve heard they might also field a third part time truck for Kyle. With some of the talent they are rumored to be bringing in, this team could be a force very quickly.
In addition to the above teams, Mario Gosselin has said he will run the full 2010 schedule with sponsorship from MyTireMonkey.com. Gosselin’s a two time USAR Pro Cup Champion. This year’s ARCA Re/Max champion Justin Lofton has also said he will go truck racing full time next season with primary sponsorship from his father’s cattle company.It’s uncertain where he’ll end up.
Most existing organizations while not necessarily locked up for 2010, are expected to maintain their truck counts. Just to name a few, Randy Moss Motorsports has said they will be back with Mike Skinner in 2010 and they hope to continue fielding a second truck. Kevin Harvick Inc. has said they will return next season with one full time and one part time truck. And Thorsport has re-signed Johnny Sauter for 2010 and will return with Matt Crafton as well.
Uncertainty does still remain with a few regulars though. Wyler Racing needs to find sponsorship to run the full 2010 schedule; something Stacy Compton says they’re still $500,000 short of. Circle Bar, which will lose James Buescher this year, may be down to just one team next season if a funded driver is not found. At Red Horse Racing the number of teams also looks heavily dependent on sponsorship. Team owner Tom DeLoach has said Timothy Peters will be back though.
Obviously the loss of Roush Fenway is difficult for the series. 2010 will be the first time since its’ inception that Roush won’t compete. Their scaled back efforts this season though made the loss, less difficult to deal with.
Perhaps this post is coming a little too early because there are still quite a few guys who don’t have anything locked up yet, but I’m optimistic 2010 will be a strong year for the series. With ratings up and competition consistently good, I’m looking forward to next season.
Rick Ren Leaving KHI?
We’ve been hearing quite regularly for the last few weeks that crew chief Rick Ren will leave Kevin Harvick Inc. at the end of the season. He’s rumored to be heading to Kyle Busch’s new team to serve in a general manager type role.
As we first reported in July Kyle Busch is expected to start a team fielding two or more Camping World Truck Series teams and possibly a Nationwide Series team in 2010.
Rick Ren joined KHI in 2007 after a stint with Johnny Benson at the now defunct Bill Davis Racing. Since joining the team, he and Ron Hornaday Jr. have racked up 16 wins and one championship (a second looks inevitable this season). He has more than 30 years experience in NASCAR.