Nascar Silly Season is upon us!

With the 2018 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series and Xfinity Series winding down with only a few races remaining, fans are already looking ahead to the 2019 season.  Where will drivers end up next year?  Here’s what we know so far:

Furniture Row Racing to Close Doors After 2018 Season

autoweek

Last year’s Nascar Monster Energy Cup winning team Furniture Row Racing announced on September 5th that they will be closing their doors after the end of the 2018 season.  With no sponsorship signed for next year forcing the team to close, this leaves last year’s champion Martin Truex Jr. without ride for the 2019 season.  No word yet on where he will end up, but the front running team to sign last year’s champion appears to be Joe Gibbs Racing.

Ryan Newman Joins Roush Racing to Drive No. 6 in 2019

NBC Sports

On September 22nd, Ryan Newman was announced as the newest driver to pilot Roush Racing’s No. 6 Ford Mustang for the 2019 season.  Newman, an 18-race winner in Nascar’s top series, replaces Trevor Bayne and Matt Kenseth.  Kenseth had come on to share the No. 6 midway through the season, with Bayne announced as not returning to Roush Racing two weeks prior to this announcement.  Sponsorship details for the 2019 season have not yet been revealed.

Daniel Hemric to replace Ryan Newman in No. 31 at Richard Childress Racing

Autoweek 2

On September 29th, Daniel Hemric was announced as Ryan Newman’s replacement behind the wheel of the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro for the 2019 cup season.  Hemric, who has spent the last two seasons with RCR in the Nascar Xfinity Series, is currently in the Xfinity Series playoffs for the championship.

Ryan Preece to replace AJ Allmendinger in No. 47 at JTG Daugherty Racing

ESPN

On September 28th, Ryan Preece was announced as AJ Allmendinger’s replacement driving the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet Camaro for the 2019 cup season.  Allmendinger, who captured one win at Watkins Glen during his six years with organization, does not yet have a cup ride secured for 2019.  Preece has spent the last few seasons running part time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nascar Xfinity Series capturing two wins.

Leavine Family Racing signs Matt DiBenedetto for 2019 Season, Kahne to Retire

Sporting News

Leavine Family Racing annouced on October 10th that Matt Dibenedetto would drive the No. 95 car for the team in 2019.  After campaigning Chevrolets during the 2018 season, the team will switch to Toyota next year and form a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.  Nascar veteran Kasey Kahne will not be back behind the wheel next season, retiring from the sports after 14 seasons.

Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson to End 17-year Pairing After 2018

Sports Illustrated

The longest pairing of driver and crew-chief will end after 2018 as Jimmie Johnson will have a new crew chief next year.  Hendrick Motorsports announced on October 10th that crew chief Chad Knaus would move to the No. 24 car driven by William Byron in 2019 and that Kevin Meendering would move up to be Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief.  Meendering has spent the last few seasons as Elliott Sadler’s crew chief in the Xfinity Series.

Noah Gragson to No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet in 2019, replacing Elliott Sadler

Nascar.com 2

JR Motorsports announced on September 25th that Noah Gragson will replace Elliott Sadler behind the wheel of their No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro for the 2019 season.  Gragson, who has spent the last two seasons in the Camping World Truck Series driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, has two wins, 10 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes in the truck series.  Sadler announced on August 15th that this would be his final full-time season racing in Nascar.

Stay tuned to the Game Changer Sports Network for more Nascar news!

Photo credits to Fox Sports, Autoweek, NBC Sports, ESPN, Nascar.com, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated

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