Now that the move we’ve all been waiting for is done, what’s left in the NASCAR Silly Season? Erik Jones is staying with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2020 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season why Christopher Bell is moving up from the XFINITY Series to pilot the No. 95 Toyota for Leavine Family Racing.
Bell’s replacing Matt DiBenedetto while DiBenedetto is moving to the Wood Brothers as he replaced the departing Paul Menard who’s retiring at seasons end.
LFR will have a strengthened alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, the same way that Furniture Row Racing did while the Wood Brothers will remain aligned with Team Penske as that joint effort remains unaffected.
So, what’s next?
The top one left to confirm is Tyler Reddick to Richard Childress Racing. Reddick, like Bell, is ready for a Cup seat and the team moved Daniel Hemric out for him. All signs point to this happening but nothing has been formally announced yet.
That leaves one more of the “Big 3” in the XFINITY Series not moving up yet but he soon could too. Cole Custer is deserving of a Cup ride and right now, Stewart-Haas Racing has two open rides. The problem for them is, Clint Bowyer is close to a new deal while Daniel Suarez remains optimistic that he’ll be back for a second season. That would leave SHR with a predicament like JGR. Word is that they’re looking for an alliance too and Go Fas Racing appears to be interested. Custer could end up in the No. 32 Ford for 2019 or likely replacing Suarez in the No. 41 Ford.
Another ride yet to be confirmed is the No. 1 Chevrolet with Chip Ganassi Racing. Kurt Busch is technically a free agent again, but everyone in the garage is saying that Busch will be back full time in 2020 in the same ride. If he changes it up and doesn’t return, look for Ross Chastain to get this seat.
Another ride open is Front Row Motorsports’ No. 38 Ford. David Ragan is also retiring at seasons end. The team plans to keep three cars again in 2020 so Michael McDowell and Matt Tifft are likely back. They may wait to fill their seat to see how the chips fall with RCR, SHR and Ganassi.
Other than that, everything else is already filled.