Sunday, 19 January 2020

NASCAR Cup Series: Remaining open seats for 2020; who lands where? – Beyond the Flag

NASCAR Cup Series: Remaining open seats for 2020; who lands where? – Beyond the Flag
24 Oct

There are still a number of open seats remaining in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series driver lineup. Which drivers will end up where next year?

A number of Silly Season dominoes have fallen as the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season approaches its end, including several in recent weeks.

Among these recent driver confirmations for next year are Tyler Reddick to replace Daniel Hemric at Richard Childress Racing, Chris Buescher to replace Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Roush Fenway Racing, Stenhouse to replace Buescher at JTG Daugherty Racing and Clint Bowyer to continue driving for Stewart-Haas Racing.

Nevertheless, there are still several open seats in the 2020 driver lineup, six to be exact as it pertains to the seats that are currently occupied by full-time drivers.

Here is a quick rundown of these six seats.

No. 00 StarCom Racing Chevrolet

Current driver: Landon Cassill

Landon Cassill is in his second overall season driving for StarCom Racing and his first season driving full-time for the backmarker team. Not much is known about the team’s situation heading into next season. A ride with the team is not particularly desirable because of their lack of funding and resources, but unless Cassill finds a better ride, it is believed that he will be back.

Name(s) mentioned: Landon Cassill

No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Current driver: Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch is in his first season driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, and he and the team are reportedly close to reaching a contract extension that involves primary sponsor Monster Energy doubling their investment in Busch and the team.

Busch has stated that he wants his contract extended through at least the 2021 season to drive the Gen-7 car when it is introduced, and he has expressed interest in competing in IndyCar as well; Chip Ganassi Racing are one of the two teams (Team Penske) that field teams in both NASCAR and IndyCar.

Name(s) mentioned: Kurt Busch

No. 15 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet

Current driver: Ross Chastain

Ross Chastain has driven for Premium Motorsports full-time since last season, but he has been confirmed at Kaulig Racing for the 2020 Xfinity Series season. With that being said, he drove full-time for JD Motorsports in the Xfinity Series last season and still drove for Premium Motorsports in the Cup Series, and he drives full-time in the Truck Series this season for Niece Motorsports and still drives for Premium Motorsports in the Cup Series.

Name(s) mentioned: Ross Chastain

No. 32 Go Fas Racing Ford

Current driver: Corey LaJoie

Corey LaJoie in his first season driving for Go Fas Racing and could very well return for a second. In fact, he is leaning in that direction. But there are rumors that Stewart-Haas Racing will form a technical alliance with the one-car Ford team to promote Xfinity Series driver Cole Custer to the Cup Series next season. Stewart-Haas Racing are believed to want to jettison some of their cars for the 2020 season due to the extra inventory that they expect to have with the Gen-7 chassis and body slated to be introduced ahead of the following year. Could Go Fas Racing become a two-car team next year with help from Stewart-Haas Racing?

Name(s) mentioned: Corey LaJoie, Cole Custer

No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford

Current driver: David Ragan

David Ragan announced in August that the 2019 season will be his final season of full-time competition, leaving Front Row Motorsports with a seat to fill for next year. If Corey LaJoie loses his ride with Go Fas Racing, he could end up here, as could Hemric. Custer is also a long-shot.

Name(s) mentioned: Corey LaJoie, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer

No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

Current driver: Daniel Suarez

Daniel Suarez has struggled in his first season driving for Stewart-Haas Racing, failing to qualify for the playoffs and still searching for what would be his first career victory. But he has reportedly been in talks with the team about returning next year, and he stated two weekends ago that the next week or two would be huge as far as those negotiations are concerned. If he ends up being cut, expect Custer to be promoted.

Name(s) mentioned: Daniel Suarez, Cole Custer


There are three other full-time seats that are still not confirmed for the 2020 season, although these three seats are not currently occupied by full-time drivers. They are the #77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet, the #51 Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet/Ford and the #52 Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet/Ford.

Garrett Smithley has been rumored to drive for Petty Ware Racing.

Next: Top 10 NASCAR drivers of all-time

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Which drivers will land in which remaining open seats in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series driver lineup, and when will the driver lineup for next year be confirmed?



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