The 2012 NASCAR season is nearly completed, what will happen to the remaining free-agents?

By Joseph Wolkin

Any avid NASCAR fan could say that the 2013 season will be a remarkable one for several reasons. New cars, teams, crews, and oh so much more.

However, there are still many question marks heading into next season which may raise the eyebrows of numerous people within the NASCAR family. Within the garage area are several drivers which haven’t signed deals for the 2013 season which can be the sign of some late starts which can effect how teams will perform early on next season. Included bellow are some of the key drivers and the teams which they may be going to in 2013:

  • Elliott Sadler: Sadler drove for Richard Childress Racing in 2012, but will likely be headed over to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013 including a part-time Sprint Cup Series schedule, possibly replacing Kyle Busch in 2014 if Busch doesn’t resign with the team. Sadler drove the M&M’s car with Robert Yates Racing in 2003 until 2006 which could make the reunion even more likely.
  • Sam Hornish Jr.: Hornish has been with Penske Racing since he started racing in NASCAR. If Hornish were to leave the team, the only destination would probably be another Nationwide Series ride with Turner Motorsports, but that is unlikely. Hornish is expected to resign with the team in the coming weeks as they will have plenty of time to work out a deal which should keep him running in a competitive car at least on a part-time basis.
  • Casey Mears: Mears has ran the past few seasons with Germain Racing. The team made great strides in 2012 by acquiring cars and engines from Roush/Fenway Racing and was competitive on numerous occasions as they locked themselves within in the top 35 in owners points.
  • Josh Wise: Wise originally didn’t have a ride for the 2012 season after Danica Patrick took over the No. 7 JR Motorsports car full-time this year, a ride that the two split in 2011. But, Wise was hired by Front Row Motorsports and qualified on time for the majority of the races this season. If the team opts to keep the third car in 2013, expect Wise to return, but may be able to move onto a mildly competitive Nationwide Series ride if he can find one.
  • David Reutimann: Reutimann’s career is winding down. He went from winning two races with Michael Waltrip Racing, to getting released from the team and racing at the back of the pack with Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2012. Reutimann is rumored to be involved in one of three options. 1) Race with BK Racing which he drove a third car for in a few races. 2) Return to Tommy Baldwin Racing. 3) Sign a deal with Phoenix Racing if they can find sponsorship.
  • Brian Scott: Scott will likely be leaving Joe Gibbs Racing with the addition of Brian Vickers and Sadler to their Nationwide Series program. He may find himself back in the Camping World Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports or with that team in the Nationwide Series depending on the circumstances.
  • Cole Whitt: Whitt has been impressive over the past two years. If JR Motorsports gave him better equipment, he probably could have contended for wins on a weekly basis, but still did exceptionally well in his rookie year in the Nationwide Series. Expect Whitt to return to the team with at least 25 race schedule.
Each of these drivers aren’t signed on for the 2013 season, but each of them are capable of winning races throughout each of the three top NASCAR series as they have the experience and talent to do so.

Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.

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