Now That Busch And SHR Have Signed, How Silly Season Has Shaped Up And What’s Left

The long awaited announcement on what Kurt Busch and Stewart-Haas Racing would do is now over, as the two sides have mutually agreed on a new contract that will keep the reigning Daytona 500 champion with the organization for another season. The move wasn’t surprising though. Busch, was wanting more money as obviously the new deal is less than his previous contract, but he also wasn’t going to leave if he couldn’t find a ride as competitive as the one he was in. With how the chips fell in silly season, there wasn’t a ride left for Busch to inherit and stay relevant. At that point, it was just negotiations between the two sides.

Now, that deal is done.

So, what’s left?

Really, it was just the two Front Row Motorsports rides which both of those are now filled with David Ragan returning and the new signed Michael McDowell, any BK Racing entries and the third Richard Childress Racing seats that are all that’s left. As far as drivers vying for them, you have Danica Patrick, Matt Kenseth, Landon Cassill and a few others available.

Danica and Kenseth have both said that they have given up searches for a full-time ride next season meaning they’re not in the mix for any of those seats and if they were, they’re not interested. RCR just merged with Richard Petty Motorsports, so I don’t see them running that third car for 2018. They have an alliance with Germain Racing and RPM so technically, they can lease their charter on that No. 27 Chevrolet next year and come out fine.

With that being said, BK Racing normally is out of left field, so them and the No. 33 Chevrolet that was originally filled with Jeffrey Earnhardt are the only rides left.

Moves Made:

Ryan Blaney – Old Team Wood Brothers. New Team Team Penske (No. 12 Ford)

Paul Menard – Old Team Richard Childress Racing. New Team Wood Brothers (No. 21 Ford)

Aric Almirola – Old Team Richard Petty Motorsports. New Team Stewart-Haas Racing (No. 10 Ford)

Bubba Wallace Jr. – NASCAR XFINITY Series. New Team Richard Petty Motorsports (No. 43 Ford)

William Byron – NASCAR XFINITY Series. New Team Hendrick Motorsports (No. 24 Chevrolet)

Alex Bowman – Not Full Time. New Team Hendrick Motorsports (No. 88 Chevrolet)

Chase Elliott – Number Change From No. 24 to (No. 9 Chevrolet)

Kasey Kahne – Old Team Hendrick Motorsports. New Team Leavine Family Racing (No. 95 Chevrolet)

Michael McDowell – Old Team Leavine Family Racing. New Team Front Row Motorsports

Erik Jones – Old Team Furniture Row Racing. New Team Joe Gibbs Racing (No. 20 Toyota)

Danica Patrick – Old Team Stewart-Haas Racing. No Ride For 2018

Matt Kenseth – Old Team Joe Gibbs Racing. No Ride For 2018

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Old Team Hendrick Motorsports. Retired For 2018

Rides Open

No. 27 Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing

No. 23 BK Racing

No. 83 BK Racing

No. 33 Circle Sport Racing

2018 Driver Lineup

1 Jamie McMurray –  Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

2 Brad Keselowski – Team Penske Ford

3 Austin Dillon – Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

4 Kevin Harvick – Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

6 Trevor Bayne – Roush/Fenway Racing Ford

9 Chase Elliott – Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

10 Aric Almirola – Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

11 Denny Hamlin – Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

12 Ryan Blaney – Team Penske Ford

13 Ty Dillon – Germain Racing Chevrolet

14 Clint Bowyer – Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Roush/Fenway Racing Ford

18 Kyle Busch – Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

19 Daniel Suarez – Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

20 Erik Jones – Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

21 Paul Menard – Wood Brothers Ford

22 Joey Logano – Team Penske Ford

24 William Byron R – Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

31 Ryan Newman – Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

32 Matt DiBenedetto – GoFas Racing Ford

33 Jeffrey Earnhardt – Circle Sport – TMG Racing Chevrolet

34 Michael McDowell – Front Row Motorsports Ford

37 Chris Buescher – JTG/Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

38 David Ragan – Front Row Motorsports Ford

41 Kurt Busch – Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

42 Kyle Larson – Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

43 Darrell Wallace Jr. R – Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet

47 AJ Allmendinger – JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

48 Jimmie Johnson – Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

51 Ray Black Jr. – Rick Ware Racing

78 Martin Truex Jr. – Furniture Row Racing Toyota

88 Alex Bowman – Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

95 Kasey Kahne – Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet

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