Rudd to the No. 42?

Speculation has run rampant around what Ricky Rudd's plans are for next season, but thus far he's kept quiet. But I [Yahoo Sports] heard an unconfirmed rumor Friday at Martinsville that perhaps makes the most sense of any buzz that I've heard in a long time. Instead of retiring at the end of this year, Rudd could leave the #21 car to drive the #42 car [Rudd ran for Texaco with RYR 2000-2002] for Chip Ganassi next season. Jamie McMurray would be released from the final year of his contract with Ganassi so that he can drive the #97 Ford for Roush Racing, thus freeing up Kurt Busch to get out of his contract with Roush one year early to replace Rusty Wallace in the #2 Dodge next season. Sources indicate that Ganassi could also receive payment from the Roush camp, which in turn likely would receive funds from Penske Racing South and primary sponsor Miller Lite for Busch's early release to replace Wallace. From what I've [Yahoo Sports] heard, Texaco Havoline is not pleased with having McMurray as a moody, unhappy lame-duck driver in 2006 and has been applying pressure to Ganassi to let McMurray go. Texaco Havoline would then build a significant one-year farewell tour marketing campaign around Rudd. As for the Wood Brothers, John Andretti [denied by the team] is rumored to be a possible one-year fill-in until Jon Wood is ready to go full-time on the Cup level in 2007. The #21 car still needs sponsorship for next season, which is one more thing Rudd would not want to worry about. Rudd added that he has no plans to race in the Busch or Craftsman Truck ranks. Yahoo Sports

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