Roush Fenway eyes 3-car stable for '12

Updated: October 30, 2011, 1:53 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Roush Fenway Racing expects to shrink from four full-time Sprint Cup cars to three in 2012.

"The most likely scenario is three,'' RFR president Steve Newmark said before Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway. "We're still plugging away at the fourth, but we all recognize the realities that when you're this late in the season it makes it more difficult to secure that.

"At the end of the day we need to put ourselves in the best position to win races. The goal isn't to be a certain size. The goal is to win races.''

Only the No. 99 car of Carl Edwards and No. 16 of Greg Biffle is fully sponsored for next season.

The No. 17 of 2003 Cup champion Matt Kenseth has no sponsorship for 2012, and Newmark said "nothing is eminent'' but added RFR is prepared to run that car unsponsored if necessary.

Kenseth entered Sunday's race second in the championship standings, 14 points behind Edwards.

Newmark said the No. 6 car driven by David Ragan could run limited races but was non-committal on whether Ragan, Nationwide Series points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or Trevor Bayne -- or a combination of two or three -- would get those races.

He said the plan is for Bayne, the defending Daytona 500 champion, to run a limited Cup schedule in the No. 21 for the Wood Brothers.

Newmark said RFR hopes to field two Nationwide Series cars, with at least one of them fully sponsored. No decision has been made on who would fill those seats, although Stenhouse has been promised a ride for RFR next season.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

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ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter