During a zoom availability for the 2021 NASCAR Playoffs Media Day, Brad Daugherty unveiled that the team he co-owns, JTG Daugherty Racing, will scale back from two to one full time car next season. They’ll keep the No. 47 Chevrolet but have to shut down the No. 37 Chevrolet as a result of them not being able to secure a charter and it being too expensive to run another season as an open team.
The team purchased a charter from Furniture Row Racing in 2018. The problem was, they didn’t technically own the rights to it. Todd Braun did and this past offseason, he sold that charter to Spire which left JTG-Daugherty with one charter.
The plan was to run the 37 part time until they could find more funding but Preece did so well, they elected to keep it going. Unfortunately, in order to get a charter back, the price tag is too much for them to handle.
See, the whole reason they even went from a one car to a two car operation was due to the team having an excess amount of sponsorship. They had to do something and with 36 races already secured on one car, they needed a second.
So, in came the 37.
“We kind of got into this second race car just because we were very, very fortunate with our sponsorship model,” Daugherty admitted on Tuesday. “We were able to have excess of sponsorship dollars that we had to put somewhere, and we were asked to put into a second race team.
“So we did it for several seasons, had a lot of fun with it, made some of our business partners a lot of money.”
The team started in 2009. Eight years later, they went to two cars with AJ Allmendinger and Chris Buescher. But, by doing so, it really took away from the primary car and sent them backwards instead of forward.
“Made it really hard on our focus,’ Daugherty continued.
Daugherty said that if you don’t have one good team, what makes you think that you’d have two good ones. So, they have taken a step back and expects that this move will propel them back forward again.
“We want to be a really strong one-car race company and that’s what we’re going to go back to next season. We can’t wait. We think we’re going to really surprise people with our performance. We’ve got some great commitments from some partners in the business that we haven’t had since I’ve been racing for 25 years. Looking forward to it.”
Tad Geschickter was on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio this afternoon and admitted the same. He said that it’s more expensive to run as an open car because you’re not making the money back in prize money. On the flip side, in order to gain back a second charter, it would cost more than they’d be willing to spend.
So, why not scale back while you can and turn all the resources back to the 47 operation.
“For our team, we’ve had just an OK year, didn’t run as well as we would like to have at a lot of points,” Daugherty said. “We’re excited. We’re already looking forward to next year. We’ve got some good things happening at our race company that we think are going to be significant, really help us prove our point as being a small team. We’ve got some things happening that we think that will happen.”
With that said, what does this do with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Preece? Both are free agents at seasons end and now at least one of them definitely won’t be coming back.
Geschickter said that Preece definitely won’t be in the 47 and he feels bad about that. He did say that the door isn’t closed on them expanding back to a second full time team again and if/when they do, Preece is their driver so long as he isn’t scopped up by someone else.
They’ll do everything in their power to sell Preece and even sponsorship for Preece to take with him to another Cup team or even a NASCAR Xfinity Series team. They feel Preece’s value and don’t want to throw him high and dry.
By all accounts, it does seem like Stenhouse Jr. will return with him testing the Next Gen for them as well as hints already being dropped from the organization. After all, it would suit both best since Stenhouse has more years in Cup than Preece and can help them build with this new car next year as well as for Stenhouse since there’s not much left open.
The only rides left really are his now, Stewart-Haas Racing (No. 10 Ford), maybe one at Front Row Motorsports (No. 38 Ford), Kaulig Racing’s part time ride and some with Rick Ware Racing. It seems like SHR will bring Aric Almirola back and if FRR remains a two-car team, Michael McDowell says he’s been assured he will be back and the second car wouldn’t be an upgrade for Stenhouse than where he’s at now.
So, I feel like he will remain in the No. 47 Chevrolet with Almirola staying in the No. 10 Ford with SHR which other than what 23XI Racing does for a second charter and if FRR sells at least one of their two, Silly Season is pretty much over.
The 2021 charter list.
Hendrick Motorsports (No. 5, No. 9, No. 24, No. 48)
Stewart-Haas Racing (No. 4, No. 10, No. 14, No. 41)
Joe Gibbs Racing (No. 11, No. 18, No. 19, No. 20)
Rick Ware Racing (No. 52, No. 53, No. 15)
Team Penske (No. 2, No. 12, No. 22)
Richard Childress Racing (No. 3, No. 8)
Roush Fenway Racing (No. 6, No. 17)
Chip Ganassi Racing (No. 1, No. 42)
Front Row Motorsports (No. 34, No. 38)
JTG Daugherty Racing (No. 47)
23XI Racing (No. 23)
Wood Brothers (No. 21)
Spire Sports (No. 7, No. 77)
Spire Sports (No. 99) *leased to Trackhouse Racing
Richard Petty Motorsports (No. 43)
Live Fast Motorsports (No. 78)
StarCom Racing (No. 00)
Petty Ware Racing (No. 51)
For 2022, the list remains somewhat similar.
Hendrick Motorsports (No. 5, No. 9, No. 24, No. 48) *no changes
Joe Gibbs Racing (No. 11, No. 18, No. 19, No. 20) *no changes
Stewart-Haas Racing (No. 4, No. 10, No. 14, No. 41) *no changes unless the 10 car has a new driver
Team Penske (No. 2, No. 12, No. 22) *Cindric replaces Keselowski in the No. 2
Roush Fenway Racing (No. 6, No. 17) *Keselowski replaces Ryan Newman in the No. 6
Richard Childress Racing (No. 3, No. 8) *no changes expected
Trackhouse Racing (No. 1, No. 99) *team bought out Chip Ganassi Racing, Chastain takes over the No. 1
Front Row Motorsports (No. 34, No. 38) *McDowell likely back in the 34, the 38 ride is open
Kaulig Racing (2 charters, numbers TBA) – Justin Haley in 1 car, AJ Allmendinger to share the 2nd car with other driver. Charters purchased from Spire.
Wood Brothers (No. 21) *Harrison Burton replaces Matt DiBenedetto for 2022
JTG Daugherty Racing (No. 47) *car is open for the taking, but Stenhouse should be back
23XI Racing (No. 23) *Bubba Wallace will be back in 2022, team seeking an additional charter for Kurt Busch
Spire Sports (No. 7) *Corey LaJoie back in the No. 7, they sold other 2 charters for Kaulig.
Richard Petty Motorsports (No. 43) *Erik Jones will be back.
Live Fast Motorsports (No. 78) *Team not selling a charter, looking for drivers for 2022.
StarCom Racing (No. 00) *Are they back?
Rick Ware Racing (No. 52, No. 53, No. 15) *How many of these charters are back?
Petty Ware Racing (No. 51) *Does RWR and Petty sell this one?
As you can see, 31 of the 36 charters are known with StarCom and RWR now holding the keys to the rest of Silly Season for 23XI and GMS’ chances of securing a charter.
Stewart-Haas Racing (1) – No. 10 Ford
JTG Daugherty Racing (2) – No. 47 Chevrolet
Front Row Motorsports (2) – No. 34 and No. 38 Fords
Kaulig Racing (1) – Part time seat in 1 of their Chevrolet’s
Rick Ware Racing – all their seats are open
GMS Racing – has an opening
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
The slogan “Names are Made Here” has been so true for the NASCAR Xfinity Series lately. Several drivers have made a name for themselves in NASCAR’s version of what AAA is to baseball and another young class is set to move up to the big leagues of the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022.
We already knew that Justin Haley was going to drive a full time car for Kaulig Racing. We also already knew that Austin Cindric would be in Cup but plans changed as he will now move from the initial plan of taking over the No. 21 Ford for the Wood Brothers and shift sooner over to the No. 2 Ford at Team Penske instead.
With that move, the Wood Brothers had an opening and in comes 20 year old Harrison Burton. That’s three drivers moving up the ranks which follows Chase Briscoe doing so last year. He followed Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Christopher Bell.
I mean, just look at those names. You also have to look at what’s being left being for the series itself too.
Reddick won eight times in two straight championship seasons between 2018 and 2019. Custer was second in points in both years and also won eight times those two seasons. Bell, won 15 times between 2018 and 2019 himself as all three made the Championship 4 in 2018 and again in 2019.
Briscoe and Cindric joined them in victory lane in 2019 as the five of them combined to win 25 of the 33 races that year. Kyle Busch won four of the other eight that they didn’t win.
In 2020, the door was open with all three moving up to Cup but Cindric and Briscoe took over. They’d win 15 times between themselves. Haley, won two more as they’d comprise three of the four Championship 4 spots last November in Phoenix. Burton, won four times himself with Cindric, Haley, Briscoe and Burton combining to win 21 of the 33 races.
If you look at the top six in overall points, three of them have full time rides in Cup next year. A fourth, AJ Allmendinger, will be part time.
That leads the question being, who’s next?
Since 2018, only Daniel Hemric (2018) and Justin Allgaier (2019, 2020) have made the championship four other than these drivers mentioned above. Between them, they’ve won 50% of the races since the start of the 2018 season. They won 76% of the races in 2019 and 64% in 2020.
Who’s left to hold the candle as most of the top rides in Cup are taken by these younger drivers?
Allgaier is the most logical choice but he’s 35. Allmendinger is too but he’s 39. What about Jeb Burton? He’s 28. Daniel Hemric is 30 without a formed path anymore. Josh Berry is 30.
The next guys to fill the gap of the younger ones leaving may be more seasoned veterans without a defined path for them to make it up the ranks to a top Cup ride.
With that said, who’s the next younger class ready to capitalize the same way Reddick, Custer, Bell, Cindric, Briscoe, Haley and Burton did?
Ty Gibbs is likely the next one up for the younger front as he’s won twice already this season in a part time role. He’s only 18. Same for Sam Mayer who’s with JR Motorsports who is just now 18 too. Noah Gragson could also benefit. He’s just 22 and will be back with JRM again.
JRM will roll out a lineup of Michael Annett, Allgaier, Gragson, Berry and Mayer.
Kaulig could leave Burton and Allmendinger in full time roles.
Those are the top teams to hand the torch off to.
Myatt Snider could be a big benefit next as he’s just 26 and in that same RCR car that Reddick won back-to-back championships in. The jury is still out though on 22 year old Riley Herbst. Brandon Jones is only 24 but his path up the ranks with Toyota or JGR doesn’t appear to have much promise. He either stays with JGR with being an Xfinity Series veteran or tries to move to another team with a better path to Cup.
Other than that, it’s really it. That’s why maybe a thing to watch is what Truck Series drivers get a chance to move up. Will John Hunter Nemechek stay in Trucks another year with KBM or does JGR move him up and cut ties with either Hemric or Jones? Or, do they bring out the No. 54 car for Nemechek and go with four full time NXS cars?
Right now, the future is open again for the Xfinity Series with Gibbs and Mayer taking the next chances up. Nemechek isn’t far behind. Then do you see Gragson, Snider, Herbst and Jones capitalize?
We know Allgaier, Allmendinger, Jeb Burton and Berry have a chance to do something special as veterans in the series. It’s what kids will they be battling with that’s the question.