NASCAR Prop Bets: Team Expansion

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It’s the season to add on in so many different ways. More gifts. More calories. More days away from work or school.

We’re not the only ones expanding on different fronts. Several NASCAR teams are considering different ways to become more competitive. Here’s an expansion-themed look at some NASCAR prop bets while you wait for the cookies to get out of the oven.

Odds Team Penske Gets to Four Teams: 20/1

Roger Penske never had four Sprint Cup teams; he used to have three before Sam Hornish’s sponsorship dried up. Penkse has Ryan Blaney running with the Wood Brothers in a aligned agreement. Penske also said he would like to expand, and Blaney seems like the obvious name to make that happen. So three teams seems likely.

Moving to four teams is a whole other challenge. Richard Childress Racing tried it for a year and went back to three. Joe Gibbs Racing waited years to expand to four and only did so when Carl Edwards, a sponsor’s dream driver, agreed to move. They also reshuffled three crew chiefs after the first year. For Penske, four teams may not be worth the trouble.

Odds Richard Childress Racing Gets Back to Four Teams: 5/1

Austin Dillon isn’t moving. Paul Menard has steady sponsorship and just made the Chase. Ryan Newman is the epitome of consistent. So how does Ty Dillon get a Spint Cup ride? Is there a set in stone sponsor, or can RCR piece things together the way Stewart-Haas Racing did for Kurt Busch two years ago? Of all the teams who could move to four teams, this feels the most likely simply because of past experience and future driver potential.

Odds Roush Fenway Racing Gets to Four Teams: 10/1 

Jack Roush answered questions about Xfinity Series champion Chris Buescher’s future  with news that Busecher will move to Sprint Cup Racing in a collaborative partnership with Front Row Motorsports.  The move is great for Buescher, who has shown keen skill to stay consistent and stay out of trouble. It also allows Buescher to gain experience without much expectation. Ask Joey Logano and Ricky Stenhouse how tough being a Sprint Cup rookie can be.

The move also suggests RFR isn’t thinking about moving to four teams anytime soon. The “enhanced partnership” suggests a pooling of resources for the two Ford teams. Also, if Roush sponsor a fourth car, wouldn’t Buescher have stayed in house?  It will be curious to see if RFR can take some late 2015 momentum and turn that into a 2016 Chase team. Maybe that turns the tide on a fourth team before 2020.

 Odds Furniture Row Racing Gets to Four Teams: 50/1

Martin Truex Jr. was an amazing story, one of 2015’s best not involving Jeff Gordon’s retirement run and Kyle Busch’s comeback. The good news is FRR wants to add a second team and even discussed a third.

But four? The travel expense of being in Denver seems daunting, not to mention crew, shop and garage costs. The other challenge FRR would face revolves around driver talent. Silly Season allows for so much speculation, but in the end only handful of drivers on major teams leave. What Chase ready driver could FRR get to justify the cost? What prospects could they find if aligned with Joe Gibbs Racing? Do they believe drivers like David Ragan or Sam Hornish or Brian Vickers deserve a full opportunity?

There are no concrete answers to any of these questions. But it’s fun to think of what could be a few years from now with so many NASCAR names and teams in flux. Enjoy thinking about expansion as your credit card bills and calorie count expand this December, and insert a random catchphrase here.