NASCAR Silly Season is well underway for 2019. Stay up to date with all the recent news as teams set their driver lineups for next year.
Martin Truex Jr.
Current Team: #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Potential New Team: #19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Update (9/5): It seems almost certain that Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn will end up at Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019. Reported by Motorsport.com, the duo will bring sponsor Bass Pro Shops with them to the No. 19 car. That leaves Daniel Suarez to search for a ride in 2019.
Update (9/4): Furniture Row Racing announced they will cease operations after 2018.
Update (8/31): Adam Stern reported that Bass Pro Shops could sponsor Truex if he ended up at Joe Gibbs Racing.
5-hour ENERGY announced in July that they would be ending their NASCAR involvement. This leaves Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing, the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champions, without a sponsor for a majority of the season.
At Bristol, Truex said he will know more in the upcoming weeks.
“Right now, we need sponsorship,” said Truex. “That’s as simple as it gets. So it’s hard to say. Is there a 50 percent chance we get that in a couple weeks or is there a 100 percent chance or is there 2 percent, I don’t know. I can tell you that everything really is based upon that.”
It was reported that Kurt Busch is leaving Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the season. Busch’s potential move opens up a landing spot for Truex to join one of the best teams in the series at the peak of his career.
Current Team: #41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Potential New Team: #1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Motorsport.com reported in August that Busch and sponsor Monster Energy are leaving Stewart-Haas Racing for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2019.
Busch will replace Jamie McMurray in the #1 Chevrolet.
Current Team: #31 Richard Childress Racing
Confirmed New Team: #6 Roush Fenway Ford
Ryan Newman will fill the No. 6 Ford at Roush Fenway Racing beginning in 2019, giving longtime team owner Jack Roush a veteran presence in the seat.
“I’ve never wanted to stop, I never wanted to quit, never wanted to retire and want to win a championship,” said the 40-year-old Newman, now in his 17th full season in the Monster Energy Series.
Current Team:#21 Richard Childress Racing (Xfinity)
Confirmed New Team: #31 Richard Childress Racing
Current Team: #19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Potential New Team: #95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota or #41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
The news of Furniture Row Racing closing their doors at the end of the 2018 season has sent a ripple effect through the Cup garage. Suarez is the driver impacted next.
With Truex Jr. likely moving to replace him in the No. 19 car, Suarez will have limited options available. Staying with Joe Gibbs Racing in the Cup Series is not an option but joining a team with a technical alliance is. The open spot at Leavine Family Racing due to Kasey Kahne’s retirement is a logical option for Suarez.
Current Team: #47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
Potential New Team: Unknown
It was announced in September that AJ Allmendinger would not be returning to JTG in 2019.
At a press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Ryan Preece was introduced as the new driver of the No. 47 car. It was also confirmed that Chris Buescher would be returning to the No. 37 car in 2019.
Reports in the summer had indicated that AJ Allmendinger will be replaced by Ryan Preece in 2019. Preece currently drivers part-time in the XFINITY Series for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Allmendinger was signed through 2020 and had four top-5 finishes and no wins in the races since his contract extension.
Follow Matt on Twitter @mattlovisa.