The Cup Driver Shuffle

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LOUDON, N.H. — The hot topic this weekend was supposed to be restrictor plates at New Hampshire. Well, it still is, but Silly Season is doing it’s best to jump into the headlines.

Rumors have been surfacing for weeks that Buckshot Jones would drive the Petty Enterprises No. 44 next year in the Winston Cup Series. Well, team sources have confirmed such, and also told RacingOne.com that Georgia-Pacific becoming the car’s sponsor was what closed the deal.

Petty Enterprises will likely make the official announcement at Charlotte in a few weeks.

Steve Grissom, the current driver of the No. 44, had hoped he’d remain in the seat, but Jones’ ability to bring sponsorship with him means Grissom is without a ride.

Take a number Steve, you’ve just joined the crowd.

In the past two days, Silly Season has given us everything from Citgo moving in on the 99 car, to Bobby Hamilton parting ways with the No. 4 team.

On Friday, Roush Racing announced that truck series rookie Kurt Busch would be driving the No. 97 car for all but one race the rest of the season.

That move has everyone wondering where Chad Little – who has steered the car all season – will end up. The rumor mill is in full gear, but Little is pretty tired of that, and wants it to be clear that he’s still looking for a job.

“I don’t know a damned thing,” Little said with a smile on Saturday. “Not a damned thing. I’m talking to anybody and everybody. You know anybody out there interested? All I know is I’m racing here and at Talladega.”

Though things haven’t gone as expected for Little in 2000, he’s 19th in the points with no top-10 finishes, he says he is keeping the faith that something will surface soon.

“I’m still very positive and confident that things will turn around,” Little said. “I will now have time to start looking at new opportunities, without detractions. I’m excited for the future and, at the same time, relieved. By no means has my racing career ended. I am currently talking with several teams and will work very hard in securing the best possible ride for 2001.”












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