After the 2008 season, we decided to look back over the season and see how we did in terms of reporting on rumors and breaking some news. In the end, we got eight correct, had two pushes, screwed one up, and had three rumors outstanding. With 2009 behind us, I thought it would be fun to again do the same thing. I’m going to start with the three bits we had outstanding, and then we’ll move into 2009.
Fastenal to RCR: After the info we heard, we thought this one was in the books. Even Jayski reported at one point that this was going to happen, even mentioning a driver lineup. But in the end, Fastenal ended up at JR Motorsports for the ’09 season. Scratch this one.
Rule Changes Coming to the Truck Series: NASCAR did indeed make changes to the Truck Series rules for 2009, and we were close. We first reported they were only going to allow only four crew members over the wall and that they would initiate a hard card limit. They did indeed limit both, but we missed the crew limit by one. It was five members over the wall and not four. I’m still giving us the point here. Plus one for the Insiders.
BDR Employees Laid Off: This indeed was true, and what was left of BDR was turned into Triad Racing Technologies. TRT supplies teams with Toyota engines, chassis, and some other services. Plus one for the Insiders.
First Crew Member Tests Positive: In my post following the Daytona 500, I let you know that I’d heard NASCAR had caught it’s first offender of the new substance abuse policy. We found out a short time later that it was a Mayfield Motorsports employee, and he was suspended indefinitely from NASCAR. It was strange foreshadowing for the summer to come and drug testing. Plus one for the Insiders.
RMM Cuts Salaries: Early in the season, we heard that Randy Moss Motorsports had cut it’s employees salaries by as much as 35%. While no official announcement was ever put out, this was indeed true. The budget for the #5 Tundra for Mike Skinner was limited at best, which led to the cuts. Plus one for the Insiders.
Trouble At Trail: 2009 was supposed to be the first season for minority owned Trail Motorsport. But what started off with much fan fare and press, fizzled before it ever got started. We first told you in April about the problems internally at Trail. On it’s own, the team never fielded a race car at a Truck Series, Nationwide Series, or Cup Series event. Plus one for the Insiders.
Kyle Busch, Team Owner in 2010: We were the first to tell you about Kyle Busch’s plans to start his own NASCAR team for the 2010 season. In July, we reported that construction was ongoing on a new race shop for Kyle and that he, Johnny Benson, and Brian Ickler may drive for the new team. Busch will indeed have a team in 2010, with two full time trucks. One for himself and Brian Ickler, and another for Tayler Malsam. If sponsorship can be found, Benson may run a third truck. Plus one for the Insiders.
Parker Kligerman, Wyler Racing, & Michael McDowell: In September we told you that ARCA driver Parker Kligerman would run some NNS races for Penske, that Wyler Racing may be closing up shop, and that Michael McDowell would run at New Hampshire for Thorsport Racing. Kligerman ended up running at Kansas and Homestead for Penske Racing. Wyler did make it to the end of the season, but from what we know just barely. As of today, there is no word on Wyler Racing’s 2010 plans. And finally, McDowell did run at NHMS for Thorsport. He ran the #98 truck, that was painted up like a police car. We will call that plus two and minus one for the Insiders.
Your Favorite Team and a Funded Driver: While we did write a post mentioning a rumor, we wrote the post more as commentary then actually reporting the rumor. The post itself was about John Wes Townley and his impending move to Richard Childress Racing. Townley will indeed race for RCR in 2010, and will compete full time in the NNS in the #21 Zaxbys Chevrolet. Since we didn’t call the driver out, nor did we get anything wrong, I’ll give us a push.
Rick Ren Gone from KHI: We told you before Homestead that Kevin Harvick Inc. crew chief Rick Ren was leaving at the end of the season, possibly to take a managerial role at Kyle Busch’s new team. This rumor was actually denied publicly by Kevin Harvick, but in the end turned out to be true. Ren will serve as the Director of Operations for KBM this season. Plus one for the Insiders.
Eric Phillips to KBM: To add to this stout lineup for 2010, we were the first to tell you about Eric Phillips leaving Randy Moss Motorsports for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Phillips will serve as crew chief for the #18 truck piloted by Busch and Brian Ickler for this season. We were certainly all over the KBM stuff in ’09. Plus one for the Insiders.
Biffle and Baker Curb: And last but not least, after it was reported by SceneDaily.com that Baker Curb was working on a deal with a Cup driver for the 2010 NNS season, we told you that Cup driver was Greg Biffle. Biffle will pilot the #27 Red Man Ford Fusion for Baker Curb this season in an undetermined number of races. Plus one for the Insiders.
Looking back over all the rumors, I think we had another pretty good year. We got eleven right, missed two calls, and had one push. So over the last two years, that makes us 19-3-3 on the scoreboard. We certainly don’t know it all or hear it all, and we also won’t report every rumor we hear. But I think this shows that when you hear a rumor from TNI, odds are pretty good it’s true. What do you think?