Another seat in the game of musical chairs has been taken away. The long rumored ride with Leavine Family Racing has been filled. While it initially appeared that Daniel Suarez would be filling the seat in the No. 95 entry, the team did end up switching to Toyota power but signed Matt DiBenedetto instead.
With the recent signings of Daniel Hemric to replace Ryan Newman with RCR, Newman to replace Trevor Bayne with RFR and Ryan Preece to replace AJ Allmendinger with JTG Daugherty Racing, most of the rides are filling up quickly.
So, what’s left?
The next dominoes waiting to fall are Martin Truex Jr’s and Kurt Busch’s plans. The rumor mill is pretty strong on where these two will end up. Busch, is all but certain to be heading to Chip Ganassi Racing to replace Jamie McMurray in the No. 1 Chevrolet. If he doesn’t leave, he will remain with Stewart-Haas Racing. All signs point to him leaving though.
Then, the Truex to Joe Gibbs Racing deal pretty much a done deal. Truex and Cole Pearn will move to the No. 19 Toyota replacing Daniel Suarez. Hence, the crew chief change on Tuesday.
That then leaves just the SHR seat open in terms of top rides. All signs right now are pointing to Suarez ending up there which would effectively put a bow on the 2019 Silly Season.
The only other rides left would be with smaller teams but even those are starting to fill up quickly. All signs point to Front Row Motorsports bringing both drivers back which would leave with GoFas Racing with a seat open.
Other than that, the rides are done. It appears that Allmendinger and Bayne may unfortunately be left standing with the music stops.
Stewart-Haas Racing (4) – Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, TBA (Likely Daniel Suarez)
Team Penske (3) – Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney
Roush/Fenway Racing (2) – Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Front Row Motorsports (2) – Both rides TBA (Likely Michael McDowell and David Ragan back)
Wood Brothers Racing (1) – Paul Menard
Go Fas Racing (1) – TBA
Hendrick Motorsports (4) – Chase Elliott, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson
Chip Ganassi Racing (2) – Kyle Larson, TBA (Likely Kurt Busch)
Richard Childress Racing (2) – Austin Dillon, Daniel Hemric R
JTG Daugherty Racing (2) – Chris Buescher, Ryan Preece R
Germain Racing (1) – Ty Dillon
Richard Petty Motorsports (1) – Darrell Wallace Jr.
Joe Gibbs Racing (4) – Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, TBA (Likely Martin Truex Jr.)
Leavine Family Racing (1) – Matt DiBenedetto