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RCR Will Field Fourth Car At 2010 Daytona 500

jdcar1Layoffs have begun at Richard Childress Racing, as the team prepares to shut down its No. 07 team after sponsor Jack Daniels left [1], according to SPEEDtv [2].

A team official said that “fewer than a dozen” employees had been let go in anticipation of the closing.

NASCAR.com [3], however, reported that a source said:

[W]e’re still aiming towards fielding [the No. 07] car full-time in 2010. Because we have everything in place to compete with that team at a high level, we’re in a position to hold out [on layoffs] longer than we might have, otherwise and maintain all the full-time personnel we had assigned to it until early next year, at least.

RCR plans to field the No. 07 Chevy in the 2010 Daytona 500. At this point, it seems to be a one-race deal, but more races for the car could be added if sponsorship is found.

Team owner Richard Childress indicated that the team could wait until as late as mid-January to make a decision on whether or not to close the No. 07.

Casey Mears finished the season 21st in points, and the car is guaranteed a starting spot in the 500 for that reason. Mears will pilot the car at Daytona this year, unless he lands a full-time ride. Mears has been linked to Phoenix Racing’s No. 09 [4].

There has also been a rumor [5] that Paul Menard could move into the No. 07, bringing with him a full year of sponsorship (Menards).

RCR will have to find a crew chief to replace Doug Randolph, who recently left the team [6] to become the crew chief for TRG Motorsports’ No. 71, and driver Bobby Labonte [7]

RCR says it is still in talks with several potential sponsors, and hopes to secure full-time sponsorship.