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Points swap deal could ultimately pay big dividends for Baldwin

By admin | January 31, 2012

By Richard Allen


On Tuesday it was officially announced that Stewart-Haas Racing and Tommy Baldwin Racing had struck a deal that will allow Danica Patrick to use points earned by TBR’s number 36 car in 2011 to assure her a spot in the Daytona 500. As a result, the 36 car and driver Dave Blaney will have to race its way into that season opening event and the four races that immediately follow.

The top-35 finishers in the Sprint Cup standings from the previous year are guaranteed a starting spot in the first five races of the following season. Often as a result, new teams may opt to somehow purchase or otherwise swap for the points of an existing team to acquire that assurance, which is what has occurred in this case.

The deal between SHR and TBR is not necessarily groundbreaking, but there are some nuances in this situation that previous such deals might not have had. TBR will field a car for all 36 races on the Sprint Cup schedule with Danica driving in ten of those races and David Reutimann piloting the number 10 Chevrolet in the other 26 events.

While TBR did have to give up the guarantee for Blaney’s ride, the ultimate payoff could be well worth the gamble in the end. This partnership with SHR might provide the impetus to move Baldwin’s organization from the ranks of back marker(and occasional start and park) to contender status in the future.

Look at all that assuring Danica a spot in the Daytona 500 has provided this team. TBR will receive technical support from SHR, which in truth means they will be receiving support from the sport’s most powerful organization, Hendrick Motorsports. Baldwin’s small team will now benefit from all the wind tunnel, seven post shaker and engine advances made by two teams who have the money to spend on such things.

On the Speed network show RaceHub, Baldwin pointed out that SHR Director of Competition Greg Zipadelli will consult with him and share setup tips to be used on Danica’s car. Those same tips can be applied to Blaney’s machine as well.

And perhaps even better for a small team, the exposure gained from having such a high profile driver could ultimately attract the attention of companies who may wish to sponsor a NASCAR effort in coming seasons.

In the end, Tommy Baldwin Racing could come out of this deal as a financially and technically equipped two car operation in 2013 if a few cards fall in the right place. While there is no doubt a deep desire of Baldwin to do it on his own, this decision seems to be somewhat of a ‘no-brainer’ for a small team looking to make its way.

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13 Responses to “Points swap deal could ultimately pay big dividends for Baldwin”

  1. Chris Fiegler Says:
    January 31st, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    I Do not Understand this How Could Danica Patrick’s #10 Chevrolet be the #36 Team from 2011? Can You Explain this to me?

  2. Tom Wilkinson Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I am so happy for DR that he is getting this chance. This could ultimately be a better ride than he had at MWR. In fact I think it will be, even this year. Now we can see what David really has to offer as a very good driver, in fact if you jog your memory Tony made the statement just a couple years ago that David is a GREAT driver. Enough said now David lets see you shine like we all new you could with the right equipment. And thank you MWR for giving him the chance in the second place, afterall DW gave him the first chance.

  3. Tom P. Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 9:01 am

    How much is a deal like this worth?

  4. Bill B Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 10:43 am

    This is basically a shell game that teams have been performing ever since the top-35 rule came into play.

    Without getting into the whole qualifying debate, if NASCAR made it the top 25 instead of the top 35 it would remedy a lot of these shenanigans. Most top 25 teams are here to stay and want no part of giving up their guarenteed starting spot. Sure, on occasiont there will be a team like Red Bull that folds and those points will be up for grabs to the highest bidder, but that is a rare occurence.

  5. oldirtracker Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 10:52 am

    anyway u look at points selling, it stinks. Im glad for Tommy Baldwin but it allows for the haves to always get in a race over the have nots. The bottom line it is manipulating the outcome. Some would argue that making sure Danica is in the field is good for nascar and the sport. I happen to believe that Danica has the talent and the equipment to make the field on her own. Whats next a bigger restrictor plate for Junior, we all know that a win at Daytona for Junior would be even bigger for Nascar and the sport. might as well be wrestling.

  6. Sue Rarick Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 11:00 am

    @ Chris….The #36 gets renumbered as the #10. The #10 was an open number not being used. Which then leats TBR renumber the #35 to the #36. Confusing but all the promo shoots were finished.

    What I find funny is that I actually posted here a while ago I thought Reutimann would be a good choice to race the 26 races danica wasn’t going to be racing. He can also act as a mentor to her during the ten races she’ll be in. Much as Johnny Benson was in Nationwide.

    I didn’t expect it to happen in this kind of convoluted way. But I think it will help TBR more than it does Danica. Good move Tommy!

  7. Lydia Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Geez…really who cares! Sounds win win for DP and DR and Baldwin! Guess it just gives us something to fuss about! To me this move is not that big of deal…Baldwin gets to run the car all year and that has to be a win for him! If deals like this help small teams take the next step up the NASCAR ladder…I’m all for it!

  8. Russ Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 11:38 am

    The real winner in all this is, surprise, HMS. Once again they get to supply more equipment to more sattelite teams, which reduces their per unit cost of engines, chassis, etc.

    Their personnel move into positions at the sattelite teams, which are now dependent on HMS to operate.

    Gotta give them credit. Very shrewd operators.

  9. mr clause Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Sure don’t see HMS making any more money off this TBR deal. HMS engines are only going to be used when Danica is in the 10 car, EGR in the rest with Rootie. Sure Danica gets locked in but then it’s up to her to perform. TBR gains the most in this in several area’s. They get the name recognition, engineering and set up data, hopefully more sponsor interest, SHR pit crews fully trained. Tommy comes out best in this deal. Now he gets the benefit of the Danica hype. Great business deal for TBR.

    There should be no top 35 rule, you qualify or you go home. Maybe one provisional for the current champ. Anything else and you’ll continue to have rules with loop holes.

  10. Glen H. Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    It’d be so nice if NASCAR made it simple like short tracks - Go Fast or Go Home. If you’re so slow that you can’t qualify on speed, you should not be allowed into the race no matter what your points position is.

    Good move for TBR though.

  11. Tony Geinzer Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Rich, I feel something needs to be done on NASCAR’s End and I feel sick of Points Trading!

  12. Russ Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    TBR will be gone, or exist in name only in the next couple of years.
    Just saying. And we shall see.

  13. Dave in Ohio Says:
    February 2nd, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    In addition to my normal loathing of these points “swaps” to get the golden boy (or I guess girl) of the moment into a race they would not otherwise be capable of getting into, this one really sucks as a Dave Blaney fan from way back.

    My only hope here is that Dave makes the race, and kicks Danica’s a$$ on the track. Go Dave!