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Figured we should at least have a separate thread for off-season news instead of having it collide with the 2014 season thread.

Well, the first year of the New Chase is in the books. Congratulations to Kevin Harvick on his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. Shout-outs to Chase Elliott, the youngest ever to win one of NASCAR's top three series after winning the 2014 Nationwide Series title, and to Matt Crafton, the first driver in the Camping World Truck Series's 20 seasons to win consecutive titles. Now let's get down to business. Here are the top stories heading into the offseason:

- Whether you liked the format or not, you can't deny that this was one of the most competitive and nerve-wracking Chases we've ever seen. Brian France spoke to the media before the season finale at Homestead and stated that he does not anticipate any changes to the Chase format for the 2015 season. However, this Chase was introduced only a few weeks before the opener at Daytona, so I guess we'll have to wait and see if France stays true to his word.

- What will happen to Kurt Busch? Just before the finale at Homestead, news broke that Kurt was being investigated after being accused of beating his now-ex-girlfriend back in September at Dover.

- Moving down the totem pole, Nationwide bids farewell, as they will no longer be the title sponsor for NASCAR's second-tier of racing. Instead, Comcast's XFINITY will sponsor the series, making it the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Nationwide is not completely gone, however, as they will become Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Primary Sponsor in 2015.

- As always, there is a driver change or two to report, but not as many as last season. They are:

  • Carl Edwards finally jumps the ship from the #99 Roush/Fenway Racing Ford to a fourth car out of the Joe Gibbs Racing stable, as he will drive the #19 Stanley/DeWalt Toyota. The new deal also requires Edwards to drive in a handful of XFINITY races next season.
  • Marcos Ambrose is making like a kangaroo and hopping back across the Pacific to Australia and is returning to the Australian V8 Cars to drive for Roger Penske. Ambrose will be replaced by Sam Hornish Jr., who is making his second stint in the Sprint Cup Series. Hornish will drive the #9 Ford, but a sponsor has yet to be announced.
  • Trevor Bayne is taking his talents to the Sprint Cup Series level full-time for the first time in his career as he will drive the #6 Ford for Roush/Fenway Racing in 2015. AdvoCare is providing full-sponsorship for the season. It is likely that the 99 crew will simply become the 6, owners points and all.
  • With the #21 car open, Ryan Blaney was announced shortly after Bayne's announcement to drive the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford part-time in 2015. The Wood Bros. have not had a full-time driver since 2006.
  • Over in the XFINITY Series, Elliott Sadler announced that he will be moving over to Roush/Fenway Racing from Joe Gibbs Racing, taking his sponsor, OneMain Financial, with him. Sadler will drive the #1 car, leaving the #11 car open for JGR. Chances are that it may become a car similar to that of the #20, where they mainly use it to develop talent and have Kenseth/Hamlin/Edwards drive once in a while.
So with that, I open it to discussion. Who will be the next break-out star in 2015? Will the likes of Ryan Blaney, Bubba Wallace, or Erik Jones continue to rise? Who will dominate next season? Way-to-early Chase predictions? Who will be the first to throw a punch? In NASCAR, anything can and will happen

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Dalcowboyfan92's Way-too-Early Bold Predictions

  1. Ryan Blaney wins one race part-time with Wood Brothers
  2. Carl Edwards will NOT win a race and will NOT make the 2015 Chase
  3. We will see a Road Course sweep (AJ Allmendinger's in the catbirds' seat to do that)
  4. Kevin Harvick gets eliminated during the Chase and is unable to defend his title
  5. We will see another first-time Cup winner in 2015
  6. We will see both of Talladega's race winners being drivers like David Gilliland or Josh Wise
  7. The Final Four: Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth

2015 Sprint Cup Series Champion: Joey Logano (1st)

2015 Chase Field

-Jimmie Johnson

-Jeff Gordon

-Dale Earnhardt Jr.

-Kurt Busch

-Kevin Harvick

-Ryan Newman

-AJ Allmendinger

-Ryan Blaney

-David Gilliland

-Matt Kenseth

-Kyle Busch

-Denny Hamlin

-Josh Wise

-Brad Keselowski

-Kasey Kahne (wildcard)

-Kyle Larson (wildcard)

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Well, I just posted this on the '14 season, not realizing this was here, so I'll post it here as well...

So... This was a bit of a shock today.... Hendrick resigned Kasey Khane to a 3 year contract.

Well, either they want Chase to mature with Xfinity or this will be the biggest mistake Rick could possibly make.

Either that or maybe Little E may finally do the ownership/driver deal.... Who knows?

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It's all good. No worries.

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Today it was announced that Darrell Wallace Jr. was cut from Joe Gibbs Racing after being asked to do so. This comes after Joe Gibbs did not have enough sponsorship to fund another full-time XFINITY car. Reports are that Wallace Jr. may head to Roush Fenway Racing, who has already signed Elliot Sadler while Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed remain on the team.

Why can't they run a third team (#11) like they have been, you may ask? According to Jayski's NXS 2015 Driver/Team Chart, They already have three cars. Kyle Busch will run some races in the 54, Daniel Suarez will run a full schedule in the 18 (sponsored by Arris; possibly taking the 11's points) and The 20 will be ran with drivers such as Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Michael McDowell, and Erik Jones (Wallace's teammate in the Truck Series; Expect Edwards to be sprinkled in here and there). OneMain Financial jumped over to Roush with Sadler as well. The chart also has Joey Coulter listed as unknown for the 54 car. Right there is where Darrell Wallace needs to be when Kyle's not in it. Instead, looks like a potential fourth team at Roush for the XFINITY Series.

Right now, RFR looks a lot like the Philadelphia 76ers; stocking up on young guys for the future, yet not really worrying about winning

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Those in the know believe Bubba Wallace will be at RFR in short order.

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Its a shame about Bubba. IMO, he's a talented driver. I'm hoping hhe can do some damage at Roush. The reason was simple, JGR couldn't find sponsors for him....

JGR's loss is RFR's gain, although the other rumblings I keep hearing is that Doug Yates wants to buy out Roush although it was denied, we'll see how long that lasts. So it made me think, what if with Bayne, Bushcer, Stenhouse & Wallace in the future with Mark Martin as an advisor... That could be rather a deadly force.


Speaking of talent, John Hunter Nemechek won the snowball derby.

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Why did Bubba want out of Gibbs? Anyone know the reason?

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Why did Bubba want out of Gibbs? Anyone know the reason?

Again, Gibbs couldn't get enough funding for another full time NXS ride, so Bubba wanted out. However, he is still slated to drive for Kyle in the Trucks.

Oh, and I saw another thing in Jayski's chart that said Austin Dillion will drive majority of the NXS Races in the #33 car. Maybe he saw how good Larson did this past season and wants a drink of his soda.

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Why did Bubba want out of Gibbs? Anyone know the reason?

Again, Gibbs couldn't get enough funding for another full time NXS ride, so Bubba wanted out. However, he is still slated to drive for Kyle in the Trucks.

Oh, and I saw another thing in Jayski's chart that said Austin Dillion will drive majority of the NXS Races in the #33 car. Maybe he saw how good Larson did this past season and wants a drink of his soda.

Hell I say Jr gives him a call

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Why did Bubba want out of Gibbs? Anyone know the reason?

Again, Gibbs couldn't get enough funding for another full time NXS ride, so Bubba wanted out. However, he is still slated to drive for Kyle in the Trucks.

Oh, and I saw another thing in Jayski's chart that said Austin Dillion will drive majority of the NXS Races in the #33 car. Maybe he saw how good Larson did this past season and wants a drink of his soda.

Hell I say Jr gives him a call

The 88 at JR Motorsports will have Harvick, Kahne, Junior, and Ben Rhodes driving. You'll be seeing more Cup drivers in XNS - yes, that's the official initials - in 2015, due to the no testing rule.

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Why did Bubba want out of Gibbs? Anyone know the reason?

Again, Gibbs couldn't get enough funding for another full time NXS ride, so Bubba wanted out. However, he is still slated to drive for Kyle in the Trucks.

Oh, and I saw another thing in Jayski's chart that said Austin Dillion will drive majority of the NXS Races in the #33 car. Maybe he saw how good Larson did this past season and wants a drink of his soda.

Hell I say Jr gives him a call

The 88 at JR Motorsports will have Harvick, Kahne, Junior, and Ben Rhodes driving. You'll be seeing more Cup drivers in XNS - yes, that's the official initials - in 2015, due to the no testing rule.

the 5, as far as I know is, what I like to call, a rotational car, The 7 has Regan Smith and the 9 has Chase Elliott. Surely Jr would be able to fit Wallace into either the rotational 5 or 88

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Why did Bubba want out of Gibbs? Anyone know the reason?

Again, Gibbs couldn't get enough funding for another full time NXS ride, so Bubba wanted out. However, he is still slated to drive for Kyle in the Trucks.

Oh, and I saw another thing in Jayski's chart that said Austin Dillion will drive majority of the NXS Races in the #33 car. Maybe he saw how good Larson did this past season and wants a drink of his soda.

Hell I say Jr gives him a call

The 88 at JR Motorsports will have Harvick, Kahne, Junior, and Ben Rhodes driving. You'll be seeing more Cup drivers in XNS - yes, that's the official initials - in 2015, due to the no testing rule.

the 5, as far as I know is, what I like to call, a rotational car, The 7 has Regan Smith and the 9 has Chase Elliott. Surely Jr would be able to fit Wallace into either the rotational 5 or 88
Nope. According to Jayski' s list, The 5 and the 88 'merged' or something to that extent.

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The sad part about Bubba Wallace leaving Gibbs and going to Roush, and I understand why he did it, to get seat time. He left a top notch organization to go to a dead-end organization that seems to kill drivers careers. There's nothing at Roush Fenway to give anyone any hope, it is slowly regressing to be on par with the likes of Front Row Motorsports. The last top-notch driver that Roush Fenway developed was... Greg Biffle who is slowly fading away from being a top driver. I get why he left, but you got to ask yourself did he really research the company. He would've been better off going with Petty or even trying to hook on with the newly developed Ganassi - Harry Scott team in Nationwide. It scares me to see a top level talent going to Roush, because he needs to be developed properly otherwise he'll be a blip on the radar. He's got the personality and talent to be a superstar in the sport, but oh my gosh, Roush Fenway makes me cringe.

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Talk about not being able to catch a break: Brian Vickers will miss the beginning of the season after undergoing surgery this weekend. The surgery was to repair a patch that his body was rejecting. The patch was placed over a hole in his heart during a surgery in 2010. No word on a replacement yet. Prayers for him.

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Say adieu to NASCAR Sprint Cup series. It'll be here no longer past 2016. The sponsorship title, that is.

http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/12037360/sprint-end-nascar-title-sponsorship-2016-season

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Well this isn't surprising. From what I've read, Sprint is in bad shape. This could help because now that's Sprint is gone, the mobile companies can sponsor cars again. Plus its kind of interesting that this will take place in 2017, when the Gen 7 cars are supposed to debut. Now the million dollar question, who will replace Sprint?

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Well this isn't surprising. From what I've read, Sprint is in bad shape. This could help because now that's Sprint is gone, the mobile companies can sponsor cars again. Plus its kind of interesting that this will take place in 2017, when the Gen 7 cars are supposed to debut. Now the million dollar question, who will replace Sprint?

I really think Goodyear's in the catbirds' seat. NASCAR Goodyear Cup series. I think with the partnership Goodyear has with NASCAR, I think Goodyear getting the sponsorship title makes perfect sense IMO.

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