On Thursday details came out that Michael Waltrip Racing and Jay Robinson Racing have formed a partnership which will create a scenario where the No. 66 Toyota will race the full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2014.
Michael Waltrip Racing has cut back to two full-time teams in 2014 after a tumultuous 2013 season involving the "Spin-Gate" incident. Clint Bowyer in the No. 15 and Brian Vickers in the No. 55 will be MWR's full-time drivers. The team announced that they would run a third No. 66 entry in a partial schedule a while ago with Michael Waltrip and Jeff Burton behind the wheel.
Thursday it was announced that Waltrip will drive the car in the Daytona 500 and the May Talladega race and Burton would drive the car for six to eight races with his first being on March 9th at Las Vegas. For those races the No. 66 will run under the MWR banner.
The partnership with Jay Robinson Racing creates the scenario where the No. 66 will be run under the JRR banner for the remainder of the season. Robinson has named veteran driver Joe Nemechek as the driver for those races.
Also on Thursday Joe Nemechek's NEMCO team which in 2013 teamed in a partnership with Jay Robinson Racing announced that they have formed a new team named Identity Ventures Racing after taking on new business partners. Robinson will be the managing partner for the team, with Scott Eggleston as the crew chief, and Joe Nemechek the driver.
It was announced that the team will be a Toyota team and use Race Engines Plus as their engine supplier. NEMCO-JRR used the No. 87 last season and it is not known how the deal with Michael Waltrip Racing will fit into this deal. Will the Identity Ventures Racing team use the No. 87 and field a different driver than Nemechek when he is in the No. 66 or will the IVR team be the No. 66 when MWR is not using it but maybe use a second number like 87 for Nemechek when MWR uses the 66?
That will be the question. This scenario is not out of the ordinary in the Sprint Cup Series. Last season Richard Childress Racing and Circle Sport Racing ran a similar program with the No. 33 Chevrolet. Austin Dillon drove the car in five races and for one race Brian Scott drove the No. 33 under the RCR banner. In the other 30 Cup races the No. 33 ran under the Circle Sport name with either Landon Cassill or Tony Raines behind the wheel.
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