Bill Davis Racing is the latest NASCAR operation to cut back its staff. Although Davis has said he will run for the truck series championship again next year as well as field a full-time Sprint Cup entry, no sponsorship for either endeavor seems on the horizon. This year's truck champ Johnny Benson will move to Red Horse Racing next year and BDR's Cup pilot Dave Blaney is unsure about his future as well. With the merger between BDR and GEM now off, the road ahead looks rough for Bill and Gail Davis.
Ray Evernham has gone from crew chief to team owner to television announcer. Now he's about to embark on a new career - track owner. Evernham has purchased East Lincoln Speedway, a small North Carolina short track. He plans on running the weekly dirt track in 2009 and has sold virtually all of his interest in the Gillett Evernham Motorsports team, which will still carry his name next year. But Evernham plans to focus on his new track venture and an enhanced role on ESPN.
Speaking of ESPN, the network is working with another NASCAR television partner in FOX to try and cut costs for televising NASCAR races in 2009. While viewers most likely won't notice anything drastic, at-track personnel, less cameras and maybe some shared resources between the networks are said to be in the works as television looks to save production money in the wake of falling NASCAR ratings.
PETTY TURNING LEFT AND RIGHT
It appears Kyle Petty's NASCAR racing days are numbered and that he will make good on his promise to become a sports car racer next season. Petty tested a Grand American Road Racing Daytona Prototype again last week and is close to a deal to compete in the entire 14-race series next season. Petty will most likely run a handful of Sprint Cup races with sponsor Wells Fargo on board, but whether those are with his family's team or not remains to be seen. Petty will do six TNT races again next year as a booth analyst and is said to be relishing the fact he won't have to be on the 36 race Sprint Cup grind any longer.
Jack Roush is trying to get fellow NASCAR team owners to sign a contract promising a complete ban on testing in 2009. NASCAR has mandated that teams stop testing at sanctioned tracks, but that would not prohibit sessions at other tracks around the country not under the sanctioning body's rule or from building their own test facilities. But Roush's idea is reportedly being met with less than enthusiastic response from some of the sport's big name owners which leads me to believe places like Rockingham Speedway, New Smyrna Speedway, Virginia International Raceway and Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway will be busy testing tracks next season.