Richard Childress Racing will run a fourth car in the first five rounds of this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup, with Elliott Sadler and Brendan Gaughan sharing the driving.
The former championship-winning team was expected to downsize from four to three cars for 2012, following the departure of Clint Bowyer to Michael Waltrip Racing. But Childress will continue to field the No. 33 Chevrolet for at least the first five races of the year, with Sadler at the wheel for the Daytona 500. Gaughan will then take over for the next four races at Phoenix, Las Vegas, Bristol and Fontana.
The team's vice president of competition Mike Dillon explained that RCR would be interested in adding a fourth car for more races if it could secure further sponsorship.
"Right now we're focused on the five races we have, [and] the sponsorship we have," he said. "If we had more sponsorship come in, would we run the car further? We most definitely would take a look at that."
Sadler, who finished second in the Nationwide Series last year and is racing full time there again for RCR in 2012, has vowed to help the team's three Cup drivers – Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard – get a good result at Daytona.
"To put together an effort where we can go and be a part of the Daytona 500 means a lot to me," he said. "I love that race. Being part of a four-car team, hopefully I can help my teammates as much as I can. I'm looking forward to this opportunity."
Gaughan last had a regular Cup drive in 2004, when he finished 28th in the standings driving a Penske-run car. Since then, he has made one start, which came in 2010 with TRG Motorsports and lasted one lap before he crashed out.