Times might be tough for motor sports organisations at the moment, as the demise of the Red Bull Racing Sprint Cup team brought home to NASCAR at the end of the 2011 season, but there are finally some bright spots showing on the horizon.
Veteran Nationwide Series team owner Jay Robinson is to partner with businessman Troy Blakeney of Houston to launch Robinson-Blakeney Racing, with the intention of running a full-time Toyota-based Sprint Cup entry in 2012.
"I am very excited about our new venture into the Cup Series", said Robinson. "We have all of the cars and equipment in place. We are hoping to hire a driver very soon."
Robinson will also continue to field the #28 Nationwide Series car for a full season with a variety of drivers.
His Monroe, NC-based team has entered every Nationwide race since 2001, and fielded drivers including former Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope, Kenny Wallace, Dennis Setzer and Mark Green.
"I have enjoyed watching the sport from afar and look forward to enjoying the excitement and thrills of being on the inside," said new partner Blakeney.
Meanwhile, Camping World Truck Series team Turn One Racing has also announced its move into Sprint Cup competition this season, aiming to début in the second race of the year at Phoenix International Raceway on March 4 and run in up to ten races during their first year running cars purchased from Richard Childress Racing.
"This is a great opportunity for Turn One Racing," said the team's owner Stacy Compton. "It has always been our objective to grow the team and this is just the next step in that plan.
"We have a great group of partners behind us and feel like we are taking all the right steps to build a very competitive Sprint Cup team," he added.
Turn One Racing was originally founded in 2006 by Compton, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran, to develop and promote talented young drivers in late model divisions in the US south-east.