The 2014 NASCAR season isn't even underway yet, but here are three things to know from around the sport, both on and off the track!
Although he won't be 100 percent recovered from the leg injury suffered last year, Tony Stewart will be ready to race in all events next month at Daytona, starting with the Sprint Unlimited on Feb. 15.
"I feel pretty good. I still have a little ways to go, but we've got four weeks to get ready the rest of the way," Stewart said last week during a press conference. "Even when we get here in February, it's not going to be 100 percent. Physically I'm not going to feel 100 percent, but I'll be able to do my job 100 percent, so that's the main thing."
Next Pit Stop, The Booth
Hendrick Motorsports announced that Steve Letarte, crew chief for Dale Earnhardt, Jr., will depart at the end of 2014 for a role in the broadcast booth with NBC Sports as it returns to broadcast NASCAR in 2015. Letarte will join Jeff Burton and Rick Allen in the broadcast booth.
"As soon as I met with Sam Flood and his team at NBC Sports it became obvious to me how excited they are to be covering NASCAR in 2015 and beyond," Letarte said in a statement. "Their excitement, along with my love for racing, solidified my decision to move away from the pit box and into the broadcast booth."
Another Elliott In The Nine
Chase Elliott will become the latest Thursday Thunder driver to move up the NASCAR ranks. He'll compete in the full NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in 2014 for JR Motorsports and will drive the No. 9, the same car number made famous by his father, Bill Elliott.
"No doubt the historical element of this is pretty cool,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in news release from JR Motorsports. “Bill Elliott is one of the greats. I've always looked up to him. He had some great battles with my dad. Certainly The Winston in 1987 is an all-time favorite. It was probably some of the hardest racing you'll see, and it’s fun to watch even to this day. I think there are a lot of Elliott fans and Earnhardt fans that will take interest in Chase’s career and support him 100 percent.”
This past weekend during a test session at Daytona, Bill Elliott actually tested one of JR Motorsports’ cars, allowing both Bill Elliott and Chase an opportunity to race side-by-side around the track.