Childress: 3, maybe 4, teams in 2014

Updated: July 12, 2013, 2:35 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

LOUDON, N.H. -- Richard Childress Racing will have at least three Sprint Cup teams and possibly four in 2014.

There has been speculation that RCR might shrink from three to two teams after losing Kevin Harvick and primary sponsor Budweiser to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.

Team owner Richard Childress told ESPN.com on Friday that he will have a lineup of Jeff Burton, Paul Menard and "question mark" next year.

"We're going to have three race teams for sure," Childress said between practices at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "Not 100 percent on a fourth."

Asked if the third team would be fielded by grandson Austin Dillon, who has run six Cup races this season in anticipation of moving up from the Nationwide Series next year, Childress reiterated, "question mark."

Childress recently said Ryan Newman, in his final year with SHR with Harvick filling out that three-driver lineup, is a candidate for the No. 29. He also has left open the possibility that Dillon, who drives the No. 3 made famous by Dale Earnhardt at RCR, could drive the No. 3 in Cup.

Kurt Busch also has been mentioned as a potential candidate. Busch is ninth in points for Furniture Row Racing, which has an alliance with RCR.

Sources said RCR has a gentleman's agreement not to pursue Busch. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said negotiations to re-sign Busch are on hold as the single-car team attempts to make the Chase for the first time.

"Kurt has said he wants to be here, so we've kind of set that aside and said let's get in the Chase, we'll start working on it as we go," Garone said. "It's that simple. We haven't negotiated anything. All we've said is we'd like to be together. He wants to be with us. We want to be with him."

Busch said before the season he would consider staying with Furniture Row beyond this season if the single-car operation proved it was Chase and championship worthy.

Asked if the organization has proved that, he said, "It has that chance, but if I accomplish some things and check that off the list, what's next?"

"That's been one thing I've been trying to answer in my own mind," Busch continued. "We have these eight weeks to focus on to get into the Chase. But then it's not going to change anything once we get in the Chase because I want to run for the championship."

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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