News & Media

Turner's 2012 plans slowly coming into focus

October 08, 2011, Dave Rodman,

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Turner Motorsports' 2012 plans may come into sharper focus on a weekly basis as the 2011 season closes. But Saturday at Kansas Speedway, owner Steve Turner said he planned to run three full-time vehicles in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series.

Turner fielded his four full-time Chevrolet Nationwide cars that finished eighth (No. 32, Brian Vickers), 11th (No. 31, Justin Allgaier), 13th (No. 38, Jason Leffler) and 19th (No. 30, James Buescher) in the Kansas Lottery 300.

"I guess [Richard] Childress will have Nationwide cars next year, and [Dale Earnhardt] Junior, but I'd probably do most of them with Turner. "


As the checkered flag fell, Turner said he planned to "keep all four numbers and run a fourth car from time to time" in 2012. Turner actually fielded cars with five numbers in 2011: 30, 31, 32, 34 and 38.

"The only full-time driver is going to be Allgaier," Turner said. "The others are going to be rotating out with Cup and some younger drivers."

This season, Turner had run three full-time drivers. Allgaier, in the 31, was the only one who's run the same number in all 30 races. Reed Sorenson did 25 races in the 32 and four in the 30 before he was released this week. Mark Martin did the other four races in the 32. Leffler split time between the 38 (23 races) and 30 (seven races).

The 30's other drivers included James Buescher (seven races), Mikey Kile (five races), Ricky Carmichael (three races), Kasey Kahne (two races) and Ryan Newman and Boris Said (one race each).

Dollar General, which this season is sponsoring Turner's best-placed car, the No. 32 that's unofficially seventh in owners' points after Saturday's race, this week said it would pursue other opportunities after this season. At that time, Turner released the No. 32's full-time driver, Sorenson, who unofficially remains third in the drivers' points after he picked up a ride this weekend with MacDonald Motorsports.

Turner said that sponsor was the only one in his Nationwide arsenal that wouldn't return.

But Turner confirmed that Leffler was told several weeks ago that "his sponsor had requested another driver."

Sorenson released | Picks up MacDonald ride | Comments on race

After the race, Sprint Cup veteran Kahne, who this season also did seven Nationwide races in Turner's No. 38 and two others in JR Motorsports' No. 7 -- a total of 11 to date -- stopped on pit road to visit with members of the No. 38.

Kahne, who moves to Hendrick Motorsports' No. 5 Sprint Cup Chevrolet next season, reaffirmed he'd like to run more Nationwide races, as many as 15, in 2012 but that he would be locked into Chevrolets. Turner said he wasn't prepared to talk about Kahne's future schedule in his cars.

"When I was racing a Toyota or a Ford [in Cup] they didn't care what I drove [in Nationwide]," Kahne said. "I guess [Richard] Childress will have Nationwide cars next year, and [Dale Earnhardt] Junior, but I'd probably do most of them with Turner. It all depends what they want to do and I guess, in part on [which teams have] the Hendrick engine deal."

Turner said he planned to run three trucks in the Camping World Truck Series next season, one of them for Buescher, who's three points behind Austin Dillon with five races remaining in that series. He said Buescher would again run a partial Nationwide schedule.

Turner said it was "unclear at this time" if Carmichael would return to the No. 4 truck and that "I'll be able to tell you who'll be in the other two trucks on Wednesday."

Turner said his 2012 crew chief lineup would be set at the end of the season.

"I'll be able to tell you after Homestead," Turner said, laughing. "We'll give you some updates here before very long."