Deegan returns to DGR In Truck Series for 2022, a look at Silly Season in all 3 NASCAR divisions now

On Wednesday, David Gilliland Racing announced that Hailie Deegan will return to the seat of her No. 1 Ford for a second straight season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. She’ll join Zane Smith who will race the No. 38 Ford for them in 2022. This news comes after a flurry of announcements last week, one of which being for Smith moving from GMS Racing to DGR.

So, where does Silly Season now sit?

Truck Series

DGR will have Deegan and Smith. We know Kyle Busch Motorsports returns both drivers from 2021 in John Hunter Nemechek in the No. 4 Toyota and Chandler Smith in the No. 18 Toyota. Hattori Racing Enterprises will now become a two Truck team and named Tyler Ankrum (16 Toyota) Chase Purdy (61 Toyota) as their drivers. On Point Motorsports signed Tate Fogleman to drive the No. 30 Toyota too. Other Toyota teams are Halmar Friesen Racing who will have Stewart Friesen return to their No. 52 Toyota and Todd Bodine part-time in a second entry. Timmy Hill will drive the No. 56 Toyota for Hill Motorsports while ThorSport will at least have Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton back. They have two seats open for the taking.

GMS Racing will scale back to two Trucks since they now own two Cup teams and have Grant Enfinger in the No. 23 Chevrolet and Jack Wood in the No. 24 Chevrolet. Smith and Sheldon Creed depart for new rides with Creed now with Richard Childress Racing in the Xfinity Series. The thing is, McAnally-Hilgemann Racing has aligned with GMS and will likely have Derek Kraus in the now No. 19 Chevrolet for 2022. They were with Toyota this past season. Colby Howard will drive the second truck which makes up for the other two Trucks that GMS won’t be using.

Niece Motorsports has filled out their roster. Carson Hocevar is the only one returning as he’ll pilot the No. 42 Chevrolet. Dean Thompson (No. 40 Chevrolet), Kris Wright (No. 44 Chevrolet) and Lawless Alan (No. 45 Chevrolet) will pair with him.

Spire has started a Truck team but has their seat open for the taking now too.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 06: Austin Cindric, driver of the #22 CarShop Ford, and John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the #54 Mobil 1 Toyota, lead the field during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 06, 2021 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Xfinity Series

While we have a lot of good talent moving up to the Cup Series, once again, the Xfinity Series replenishes these seats with some top talent. 3 of the top 7 in points move up to Cup, but the guys left and ones now joining will make 2022 just as good as 2021.

Kaulig Racing keeps AJ Allmendinger in the No. 16 Chevrolet but also named Landon Cassill to the No. 10 Chevy and defending champion Daniel Hemric to the No. 11 Chevrolet. They’ll be aligned with Richard Childress Racing too. So will Jordan Anderson Racing who has Myatt Snider driving their No. 31 Chevrolet. As will BrandonBuilt who will have Brandon Brown in the No. 68 Chevrolet. Big Machine is also aligned and will have Jade Buford in the No. 48 Chevrolet. RCR will feature a two car lineup again with Sheldon Creed in the No. 2 Chevrolet and Austin Hill in the second car.

JR Motorsports will have Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier and Sam Mayer in their four car team next season.

Jeremy Clements will be back in his No. 51 Chevrolet while DGM Racing will have Mason Massey in the No. 91 Chevrolet for one of their cars.

That’s the Chevy confirmations at the moment.

Toyota will have Joe Gibbs Racing back but they’ll scale down to three cars again. Brandon Jones will be back in the No. 19 Toyota while all signs are pointing to defending ARCA champion Ty Gibbs in the No. 18 Toyota. The No. 20 Toyota will likely be an all-star car.

Sam Hunt Racing is back with the No. 26 Toyota but hasn’t listed any drivers yet.

In the Ford camp, Riley Herbst is back in the No. 98 Ford for SHR. RSS Racing will have Ryan Sieg and Parker Retzlaff in the second car on a part-time basis. We don’t yet know Team Penske’s plans but they will be on track at some point. Is it full-time or part-time for the No. 22 Ford?

BJ McLeod Motorsports will feature Josh Williams in the No. 78 and Stefan Parsons in the No. 99. Nick Sanchez will drive a third car part-time for them.

Joey Gase Racing will have Joey Gase in the No. 35.

Jesse Iwuji Motorsports will have a team too.

Does OUR Motorsports and Hattori Racing Enterprises come back? What’s JDM’s plans? These are the next announcements coming.

Nevertheless, the slogan “Names are Made Here” has been so true for the NASCAR Xfinity Series lately anyways. 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.


This last season, Cindric, Allmendinger, Gragson and Allgaier combined to win 14 races and take four of the top five spots in the final standings. But, 3 of the top 7 in points go to Cup.

That leads the question being, who’s next?

Since 2018, only Hemric (2018), Allgaier (2019, 2020), Gragson (2021) and Allmendinger (201) 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 will be 40 in December. What about Jeb Burton? He’s 29. Daniel Hemric and Josh Berry will be 31 by time we get to Daytona next February.

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?

Gibbs is likely the next one up for the younger front as he’s won three times 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 23.

Creed could be a big benefit next as he’s just 24 and will be 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. Jones is only 24.

Other than that, it’s really it.

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 whenever he moves back out. Then do you see Gragson, Snider, Creed, Herbst and Jones capitalize?

We know Allgaier, Allmendinger 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.

Cup Series

This is more about charters than rides. The only main ride left is Stewart-Haas Racing confirming Aric Almirola which is likely going to happen. The other rides open are at Rick Ware Racing and potentially one at Spire.

See, rumor is RWR is selling one of their now three charters to Spire. Who fills these three seats? Spire already sold two charters to Kaulig Racing but now wants one back and can get it from RWR. Trackhouse needed two charters but bought out Chip Ganassi Racing for theirs. GMS needed a charter but bought into Petty for one and will let Petty use the other on the 43 car under one umbrella. StarCom sold theirs to 23XI Racing.

Caught up now?

No one else is on the market for charters at the moment with most being already finalized.

For driver movement, Austin Cindric (Team Penske), Harrison Burton (Wood Brothers) and Todd Gilliland (Front Row Motorsports) are fighting for Rookie of the Year honors.

Other driver movement is Brad Keselowski replacing Ryan Newman in the No. 6 Ford while Cindric replaces Keselowski in the No. 2 Ford. Kurt Busch isn’t going to shift from Ganassi to Trackhouse but Ross Chastain will and join Daniel Suarez with them. Busch will join 23XI Racing in a newly made team.

JTG scaled back to one full time car and the one that ran as an open car will dissolve.

The rest remains status quo.


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

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

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 is back in the 34, Todd Gilliland is in the 38

23XI Racing (2 charters, No. 23, No. 45) *Bubba Wallace will be back in 2022, Kurt Busch is in the 2nd car.

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.

Petty GMS Racing (2 charters) – Erik Jones will be in the 43 with Ty Dillon in the 42.

Wood Brothers (No. 21) *Harrison Burton replaces Matt DiBenedetto for 2022

JTG Daugherty Racing (No. 47) *Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is back.

Spire Sports (No. 7) *Corey LaJoie back in the No. 7, they sold other 2 charters for Kaulig. Still after a 2nd charter to be back as a 2 car team again.

Live Fast Motorsports (No. 78) *Team not selling a charter, looking for drivers for 2022.

Rick Ware Racing (No. 52, No. 53, No. 15) *How many of these charters are back?


Rides Open

Stewart-Haas Racing (1) – No. 10 Ford

Kaulig Racing (1) – Part time seat in 1 of their Chevrolet’s

Rick Ware Racing – all their seats are open


Free Agents

Aric Almirola (linked to stay at SHR)

Ryan Newman

Ryan Preece

Matt DiBenedetto

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