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Notebook: Martin Truex Jr. could find his 2014 Cup home soon

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Friday, Oct. 18, 2013

Furniture Row Racing hopes it soon will be able to name Martin Truex Jr. as the organization’s driver for 2014.

Joe Garone, FRR’s general manager, said Friday an offer has been extended to Truex but there remained a few details to work out.

Truex lost his ride with Michael Waltrip Racing when that organization got caught up in a cheating scandal last month at Richmond, Va.

FRR made the Chase as a single-car team for the first time this year with driver Kurt Busch. Busch will move to Stewart-Haas Racing next season.

“To move to another driver of Martin’s caliber makes us more solid in the sport,” Garone said. “If we are able to get something done, I think that’s part of what that hire does.”

Garone said it would help the organization to be able to sign a driver for longer than a one-year deal, which is what it had with Busch.

“We’re starting this next season as strong as we are now,” Garone said. “There are a lot of places we’ve identified that we can be better at and during the second half of this year we’ve been able to correct a lot of them.

“I think we’ll be able to hit the ground running next season.”

Little change in Nationwide Series schedule: The Nationwide Series again will feature 33 races in 2014, with a mix of intermediate tracks, road courses and short tracks.

The only schedule changes will be three date shifts: Darlington’s race moves a month earlier to April 11 since the S.C. track swapped dates with Kansas; the first of two races at Iowa Speedway will move to May instead of June; and Texas Motor Speedway will host its spring race one week earlier.

In addition, the standalone race at Chicagoland will return to a night start.

“As it continues to provide great racing for our fans, the Nationwide Series is also a launching pad for our rising talent,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing operations.

Hemric set for NASCAR debut: Daniel Hemric, a former Summer Shootout champion at Charlotte Motor Speedway, plans to make his NASCAR debut in the Oct.26 Truck Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway with Sharp-Gallaher Racing.

Hemric, 22, has found a lot of success during recent years racing Legends cars, modifieds and Late Model cars.

“Everyone has really pulled together and put in a lot of last-minute effort to make this a reality, and I cannot thank them enough,” said Hemric, a native of Kannapolis.

Gaughan moving up to Nationwide: Brendan Gaughan will compete full time in the Nationwide Series next year in Richard Childress Racing’s No.62 Chevrolet. Gaughan is competing in the Truck series with RCR this year.

Gaughan has 84 starts in what is the Nationwide series during his 17-year NASCAR career with nine top-five and 22 top-10 finishes and one pole. Shane Wilson will serve as Gaughan’s crew chief.

“We didn’t accomplish our goal this season of winning the Truck Series championship, but with the achievements Shane has in the Nationwide Series, and knowing how strong the team currently is, I’m extremely excited to be entering a new season moving up in the NASCAR ranks,” Gaughan said.

Joining Gaughan in the Nationwide series from RCR next season will be Ty Dillon and Brian Scott.

Hamlin, Herring to sub for Vickers: Joe Gibbs Racing announced Denny Hamlin will substitute for Brian Vickers in the No.20 Toyota in the Nov.2 Nationwide race at Texas. Drew Herring will drive the car at Phoenix and Homestead, Fla.

Vickers will miss the rest of the season as he recovers from a blood clot in the right calf.

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