The Charlotte Observer’s Jim Utter reported earlier in the week about the potential exit of Miccosukee from NASCAR. The Florida Indian Tribe was set to sponsor a truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports and Nationwide and Cup Series teams for Phoenix Racing.
For Kyle Busch Motorsports, the potential move by the tribe would certainly cause headaches. In their first year of NASCAR competition having a sponsor pull out this close to the start of the season is nothing short of irritating. That said they can sustain and have said they will run the season regardless of what the tribe decides to do.
For the other team caught in what could be a bad situation, things are a little more dire.
Miccosukee entered NASCAR with James Finch’s Phoenix Racing and Geoff Bodine in 2002. In recent years the tribe’s sponsorship has been vital to Phoenix’s operation.
With that sponsorship and hard work they managed to have a good 2009. Through several drivers they performed pretty well in the Nationwide Series, including a win at Charlotte, and they scored their first and only Cup win and some solid finishes with Brad Keselowski.
In 2010 the team is planning to run the #09 Cup car with Aric Almirola and a full-time Nationwide schedule with James Buescher. Those plans though are now likely in flux.
For James Finch and Phoenix Racing, and for that matter Aric Almirola and James Buescher, this really is very unfortunate should it come to fruition. Sure Finch has done some starting and parking in the Cup Series, but when he’s been able to, the teams have run.
As with most things, money makes the world go round. That’s especially true in NASCAR. While there is a chance if funding falls through the teams will continue (I suspect Buescher may continue), this puts them at a severe disadvantage with little time to find a replacement.
Hopefully for the sake of Phoenix Racing and all of its employees and drivers everything works out.
Rolex 24 at Daytona
We’re still about a week away from NASCAR taking the track at Daytona, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see racing sooner. The 24 Hours at Daytona starts Saturday and I know I for one can’t wait.
The 24 hour sports car race features drivers from a wide spectrum of the North American racing community. Drivers like Dario Franchitti, AJ Allmendinger, Max Angelelli, and of course Jimmie Johnson among many others will compete head-to-head in the endurance race.
Despite a field that normally spreads out pretty far, last season the event had it’s closest ever finish with the #68 Brumos Porsche team just edging out the #01 Ganassi team. Not far behind on the same lap was the other Brumos Porsche team and the Suntrust Racing team. Not too bad after 24 hours.
This year will be interesting. The Suntrust Team of Angelelli / Lamy / Taylor / Taylor are on the pole with the Michael Shank and Ganassi teams in the next four positions. Ganassi will definitely be a wild card after switching to BMW in the off-season. Check out full qualifying results here.
The racing kicks off at 3 p.m. EST on Speed and continues beginning at 7 a.m. on Speed Sunday. Check it out!