While the Richard Petty Motorsports to Toyota rumors and denials continue to swirl, two other race teams are looking at swapping manufacturers. Literally.
Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, who runs Chevrolets, is looking at a possible switch to Toyota. Meanwhile, Team Red Bull, who runs Toyotas, is looking at a possible switch to Chevrolet.
I know. That’s a lot to take in, especially after just two sentences. So allow me to break down each teams’ possible plan.
First, Earnhardt-Ganassi, with drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Martin Truex Jr. EGR hasn’t had a terrible year, as Montoya is currently in the Chase. However, EGR expects to be affected by General Motors cutting support to its teams, prompting them to at least take a look at other options.
One of those options, which is the most likely, is a switch to Toyota. It is also very likely that Truex will be on his way out of EGR after this year, as his contract will have expired, leaving Montoya as the team’s sole driver.
A possible option is that EGR could operate as a satellite team for Joe Gibbs Racing, much like Hall of Fame Racing did. President of JGR, J.D. Gibbs, has mentioned that he would consider a fourth car, and Montoya had been rumored to fill the seat of JGR’s #20 car last year. So a merger between EGR and Gibbs is also a possibility.
Those are EGR’s potential options. Now onto the curious case of Team Red Bull, who wants to make an opposite switch; from Toyota to Chevrolet.
My question is, if Earnhardt-Ganassi is switching from Chevrolet to Toyota because they’re afraid that they’ll be affected by GM’s cutbacks, why would Team Red Bull switch from Toyota to Chevrolet and put themselves in danger of being affected by such cutbacks?
I do not feel that I can justify that any more than I can justify them firing AJ Allmendinger in favor of Scott Speed. But I will try my best.
Team Red Bull appearently is looking at switching to Chevrolet because their contract with Toyota expires after this year, and they are not sure if Toyota wants them back, even though Toyota says it does.
Now that’s team manager Jay Frye’s excuse. Here is the media’s opinion.
The media thinks that Team Red Bull(that includes Frye) wants to switch to Chevrolet so they can get engine support from Hendrick Motorsports, much like Stewart-Haas does. But with all those other Chevy teams out there who don’t get support from Hendrick, what makes Team Red Bull so special?
They have Frye, who used to be Ginn Racing’s manager. Ginn got engine support from Hendrick. At least, until they folded.
Of course, Ginn Racing folded due to lack of sponsorship, and certainly Team Red Bull, who sponsors its own cars, couldn’t fold in the same manner. Right?
Remind me what the sponsors on those Ginn cars were again?
Of course, I don’t want Team Red Bull to fold. I think Brian Vickers is one of those drivers who keeps getting better and better, and eventually, he may compete for the championship. I hope he does.
Just doing my job, pointing out the facts.
It’s certainly a bizarre situation when two teams actually want to swap manufacturers. But that’s why they call it Silly Season.