Tuesday, December 15, 2015
In 2015 Ben Rhodes drove the #88 for JR Motorsports in part time form sharing a ride with Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. among others. Ben Rhodes raced in 10 of the 33 races in 2015 but at the end of 2015 Ben Rhodes announced he would not return to JR Motorsports in 2016 and before today his racing future was in question. Today Ben Rhodes revealed that he would be replacing Johnny Sauter at Thor Sport Racing in 2016 driving the #41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet Silverado. In 2014 Ben competed in 4 Camping World Truck Series Races including a 5th at Phoenix. The 2014 K&N Pro Series Champion will drive full time with Thor Sport in 2016 with Teammates Matt Crafton and possibly Cameron Hayley. (Koelle, 2015)
If you go by how drivers finished in each of the first two seasons under the new Chase for the Sprint Cup format, you'd find some interesting surprises.
Most positions gained (2014 vs. 2015 and number of spots gained):
The biggest gainer from 2014 to 2015, by far, was
Martin Truex Jr., who finished 20 places higher in the standings in 2015 (4th) than he did in 2014 (24th). After failing to make the Chase in 2014, Truex not only made it in 2015, but also went on to enjoy a career-best single-season finish and performance.
Newly crowned Sprint Cup champion #18-Kyle Busch jumped the second largest number of spots (nine) in the standings from 2014 (10th) to 2015 (1st, including missing 11 races due to injury).
#27-Paul Menard 21 - 14 = +7 positions
#1-Jamie McMurray 18 - 13 = +5
#55-David Ragan 32 - 27 = +5
Most positions lost (2014 vs. 2015 and number of spots lost):
#31-Ryan Newman 2 - 11 = -9 places
#47-AJ Allmendinger 13 - 22 = -9
#20-Matt Kenseth 7 - 15 (missed 2 races because of suspension) = -8
#11-Denny Hamlin 3 (missed 1 race because of injury) - 9 = -6
#16-Greg Biffle 14 - 20 = -6
Read More at (NBC Sports)
In 2016 the #7 Chevrolet SS for Tommy Baldwin Racing will have a familiar name on it as today at the NASCAR Hall Of Fame Tommy Baldwin Jr. and Driver Alex Bowman announced that a sponsorship deal has been met with Toy State for the 2016. Toy State of course just revealed a new Licensing Deal with NASCAR to make new remote control cars among many other toys. Toy State also makes toys for Caterpillar, Hot Wheels, DC Super Friends, Barbie and The WWE. Toy State was the primary sponsor on the #7 Chevrolet SS for 10 races. Toy State was also the primary sponsor on the car for the 57th Annual Daytona 500 but a wreck in the Duels had Alex Bowman miss the race. Alex Bowman's best finish in 2015 was a 16th at Talladega in May. Alex Bowman will pilot the #7 Chevrolet SS next season. The deal with Toy State is a Multi-year deal so unless something massive happens expect Alex Bowman to return for many years to come. (Koelle, 2015)