It’s been a wild last few weeks in NASCAR in regards to 2021. The schedule came out and boy were there some radical changes on it. Also, several of the top Silly Season dominoes have now fallen with paths paved for the rides that are currently still open.
With it looking initially like Silly Season could last into the offseason, it’s now looking more and more like we could have this thing wrapped up by Thanksgiving.
Bubba Wallace has found a home with a new team from Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin. Daniel Suarez will also join a new team owned by Justin Marks. Matt DiBenedetto knows that he will be back just for one more year with the Wood Brothers as he’s keeping the seat warm for Austin Cindric who will move up for 2022. Brad Keselowski is back with Team Penske on a one year extension. Aric Almirola also signed a one year deal to stay with Stewart-Haas Racing. Ross Chastain will take over the 42 and team with Kurt Busch at Chip Ganassi Racing. Alex Bowman will shift from the 88 to the 48 in replacing the retiring Jimmie Johnson. Clint Bowyer will also retire with Chase Briscoe signed as his replacement. Erik Jones was just announced as Wallace’s replacement at Richard Petty Motorsports.
All of this is done already.
Larson, is now likely going to the fourth seat at HMS.
So, what’s left?
JTG Daugherty Racing may or may not have an open seat depending on what they do with Ryan Preece. Ty Dillon is still looking for work but everything else appears to be drying up.
That leaves really the only thing left being the two seats at Spire and the other at Go Fas Racing. Everything else is secured.
Justin Haley is going to stay in NXS another year with Kaulig and he and Cindric will be racing for the title. Briscoe is moving up with Harrison Burton and Brandon Jones returning to Joe Gibbs Racing in that series as well.
Hendrick Motorsports – No. 88 Chevrolet (likely going to Larson)
JTG Daugherty Racing – No. 37 Chevrolet
Go Fas Racing – No. 32 Ford
Spire – No. 77 Chevrolet
Spire – No. 95 Chevrolet (number not necessarily “95” just was the number for LFR in which they purchased.
Premium Motorsports – No. 15 Chevrolet
Free Agents (Notable Drivers From Feeder Series’)
Hendrick Motorsports (4) – Chase Elliott is back through the 2022 season. William Byron and Alex Bowman each reached new deals with Byron through 2022 and Bowman through next season.
Chip Ganassi Racing (2) – Kurt Busch is back in part of his multi-year deal with a new teammate in Ross Chastain.
JTG Daugherty Racing (2) – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will be back in the 47 but the 37 remains open.
Richard Childress Racing (2) – Tyler Reddick has already indicated that he’ll be back in 2021 with Austin Dillon as the teammate. There’s no reason to expand to a third car with their alliance with Trackhouse Entertainment Group and RPM still.
Spire (2) – The 77 will be back but they also purchased the assets to Leavine Family Racing too.
Richard Petty Motorsports (1) – Erik Jones will drive this car in a new multi year deal.
Trackhouse Entertainment Group (1) – Daniel Suarez. Signed a deal last Wednesday.
StarCom Racing (1) – Quin Houff signed a two-year deal and will be back in 2021.
Premium Motorsports (1) – Ride is open.
Stewart-Haas Racing (4) – Three of their four drivers are back. Kevin Harvick has a deal through 2023, Aric Almirola has a one year extension while Cole Custer is back and I don’t see him leaving soon with who his dad is and his role with that team. Briscoe was announced Tuesday as their driver in the 14.
Team Penske (3) – All three drivers are back in 2021. Logano and Blaney have multi year deals with Keselowski reportedly working on a one year extension.
Roush Fenway Racing (2) – Both Ryan Newman and Chris Buescher are expected back.
Front Row Motorsports (2) – Both Michael McDowell and John Hunter Nemechek are expected to be back.
Wood Brothers (1) – Matt DiBenedetto is back for 2021 before moving way to Austin Cindric for 2022.
Go Fas Racing (1) – This ride is open
Joe Gibbs Racing (4) – Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are all back for 2021. Christopher Bell slides in to replace Erik Jones in the No. 20 Toyota.
Gaunt Brothers (1) – Ride is open
Leavine Family Racing