Earlier this week, Joe Gibbs Racing’s NASCAR driver lineup filled out somewhat, specifically for Nationwide Series competition. There had been speculation and unconfirmed reports for months that had Elliott Sadler heading from Richard Childress Racing to JGR for 2013, especially after Sadler revealed that he wouldn’t be returning to RCR next year.
The move to Joe Gibbs Racing was recently confirmed by Sadler, himself, via Twitter. Earlier this week, he tweeted, “As of 145pm sat. I became the newest driver at JGR!”
Sadler’s not the only somewhat new face that’ll be behind the wheel of a JGR entry in Nationwide competition in 2013. The other face isn’t exactly new to the organization. Actually, he’s one of the organization’s Sprint Cup Series drivers and formerly drove for JGR in the Nationwide Series — Kyle Busch.
Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs revealed on Monday evening that Busch would compete in the Nationwide Series part-time in a JGR entry in 2013. Busch drove for the Gibbs organization in Nationwide competition prior to forming his own Nationwide team before the start of 2012. Busch will still have his Kyle Busch Motorsports team in 2013, but as a part-time driver in the series, he’ll be behind the wheel of a JGR entry.
Joe Gibbs Racing will look much different at both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide levels next year. As previously announced, Matt Kenseth will be behind the wheel of the No. 20, replacing Joey Logano, who heads to Penske Racing. As a result, Logano, who drove JGR entries to nine Nationwide Series wins in 2012 will not race for JGR in that series, either. Kenseth joins returning Sprint Cup drivers Busch and Denny Hamlin in JGR’s three-driver Sprint Cup stable.
Sadler joins Brian Vickers, also new to Joe Gibbs Racing, as JGR’s two full-time drivers in the Nationwide Series. Vickers will also continue to compete part-time in the Sprint Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing. Departing the JGR Nationwide program is Brian Scott. Joe Gibbs Racing will field a third car in Nationwide competition that will be driven by drivers including Busch and up-and-comer Darrell Wallace Jr. Hamlin and Kenseth may also drive the third car in select races.
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