There are plenty of good drivers who are up for grabs in 2012. Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray and Martin Truex Jr just to name a few. Here are my thoughts on what goes down.
Matt Kenseth: Matt Kenseth has been at Roush his whole Cup career. That is all he has ever known. And he has loved it. But the 17 has had a hard time seeking sponsorship. Penske racing has shown interest in Kenseth in the past, and a team like Joe Gibbs racing would love to have the 2003 champion.
Does he stay or go? Stays. Jack Roush has already stated that they are working on resigning him.
Kurt Busch: Kurt Busch's behavior got himself excused from the 22 ride at Penske racing. Since then he has been trying to repair his image so he could get on a good team again to showcase his talents. His blow up at Darlington certainly didn't help issues. I think most know that Busch doesn't plan on being with Finch past 2011.
So where does he go? I see Kurt Busch going to Joe Gibbs racing and being in the number 20. How is that going to happen when Home Depot couldn't stand Tony Stewart on his worst days which were far better then Busch's on his worst days? It helps that Kyle Busch is giving him a ringing endorsement and I am sure there will be a behavior clause.
Ryan Newman: Ryan Newman wants to stay at Stewart Haas racing. Tony Stewart wants him to stay at Stewart Haas racing. So what the issue? Sponsorship. Stewart has told Newman that he is free to look around just in case sponsorship doesn't come through. A few teams like Joe Gibbs racing have already given Newman a look.
Does he stay or go? I believe that Stewart Haas will work something out that will allow the Rocketman to stay.
Jamie McMurray: his contract says 2012+ but we've heard that it is up for renewal. Ganassi is wanting to keep Jamie McMurray in the fold. But does McMurray want to stay? Ganassi has been struggling since 2011 and it dosn't appear to be getting any better. This team has been very quiet so one can only assume that both parties want to continue to work with each other. But with rides like the 20 car and 22 available. McMurray might look around a bit. And with his marketability. Any sponsor would be interested.
Does he stay or go? McMurray will stay with Earnhardt Ganassi racing. It appears what is happening with McMurray is what happened to Montoya last year, EGR likes to take their time with contract announcements.
Martin Truex Jr: Another driver that wants to stay and the team wants him to stay. Martin Truex Jr has been very good this season and is sitting sixth in points. Right now it is his best season to date. Yet it has been 181 races since his first and only career win. With some good rides open, Truex Jr could jump ship.
Does he stay or go? Stays. They are both too happy with each other and Truex Jr is only going to get better in the 56.
Marcos Ambrose: While they hope to better be then what they are. Marcos Ambrose and the 9 team are solid. Ambrose seems to have gotten oval racing. But just needs some luck.
Does he stay or goe? Stays. Both parties seems happy with each other overall.
AJ Allmendinger: AJ Allmendinger is still searching for his first career win and something to go right with Penske. He is 24th in points which is certainly not what he or Roger Penske thought would be the case when he was signed up. With some good free agents and Sam Hornish Jr itching to get back to Cup, Allmendinger needs to make something happen.
Does he stay or go? Goes. Allemendinger is a good guy, but Penske doesn't likle to wait for results. Keselowski and Hornish are the exceptions. I see Penske giving Hornish another go at it in the 22 in 2013.
Joey Logano; Joey Loagno has been with the 20 team in whole career. Since he has that rain shorten race win at Loudon and his best finish in points being 16th. He has finished 20th, 16th, and 24th in points. Home Depot up until that point was used to winning races and championships. They cannot be happy.
Does he stay or go? Goes. Logano is a good guy. Gibbs loves him. But Home Depot wants results.
Regan Smith: Regan Smith has more then likely been talking to some other teams. But he believes that Furniture Row is on the up swing and could achieve great things. Furniture Row wants to keep to him. But will Smith be swept away to a big team?
Does he stay or go? Stays. He really has no where to go. Furniture Row is his best bet.
Aric Almirola: Aric Almirola was signed up to a one year deal with Richard Petty Motosports. So far he has done a decent job and is 19th in points ahead of his teammate.
Does he stay or go? Stay. I believe that Petty will give him time to grow.