NASCAR: Report says Tommy Baldwin Racing may not run No. 36 car full-time

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Tommy Baldwin Racing could be on its way to pushing more of its efforts towards its No. 7 Chevrolet next Sprint Cup season.

A report from Motor Racing Network’s Dave Moody cites sources that say TBR is planning to align with Jay Robinson Racing to field its other Chevy, the No. 36, under the JRR banner.

Those sources say that as part of the deal, TBR would handle the No. 36’s fabrication and prep for the four restrictor-plate events.

Unfortunately, it would also mean the layoff of approximately eight TBR employees, although the affected personnel would be invited to apply for positions with JRR in this scenario.

“I’m working hard to get the 36 car going a little better,” Baldwin told Moody’s GodfatherMotorsports.com site. “But I have no plans to get out of the ownership game. I am talking to Jay Robinson and to some other people. We’re looking to see if we can do things together, better than we could do them separately.

“There is nothing done yet, and it’s too early to talk about details.”

Last year, Reed Sorenson, a 10-year Sprint Cup veteran, ran his first full Cup campaign since 2009 in the TBR No. 36 car. His best finish was a 14th in the Chase race at Talladega.

Michael Annett competed for 2014 Cup rookie of the year honors in TBR’s No. 7 car with backing from Pilot/Flying J Truck Stops. His best finish also came at ‘Dega, a 16th-place result in the spring race there.

Both he and Sorenson finished outside of the Top 30 in the points.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).