Aric Almirola became the latest driver to secure a ride for 2018 when Stewart-Haas Racing announced Wednesday that he’ll drive the No. 10 car.
Even with that announcement, more questions remain on which drivers will be in what rides next season.
Here’s a look at where Silly Season stands as Cup teams head to Phoenix Raceway for Sunday’s playoff race.
ANNOUNCED RIDES FOR 2018
— Aric Almirola will join Stewart-Haas Racing and drive the No. 10 car. (announcement made Nov. 8)
— No. 27: Richard Childress Racing states it will announce plans for a third Cup team at a later date with Paul Menard joining the Wood Brothers for next season. Key will be sponsorship money on what happens with that car.
— No. 34: Front Row Motorsports informed Landon Cassill on Oct. 9 that he would not be returning to the team next season. The team has not announced its driver lineup for next season.
— No. 41: Stewart-Haas Racing declined to pick up the option on Kurt Busch’s contract for next year on Aug. 1. Even so, the team tweeted that it expected Busch back with sponsor Monster Energy for next year. Busch said Nov. 3 that “we are in negotiations’’ to remain in the No. 41. Co-owner Tony Stewart said Nov. 5: “That’s our goal, is to have Kurt back in that car for next year.’’
Matt Kenseth: He said Nov. 4 on the NASCAR on NBC podcast that he has “decided to take some time off” after the 2018 season. Kenseth isn’t using the word retirement but says he has no ride for 2018.
Kurt Busch: With Stewart-Haas Racing declining to pick up his option for next year, Busch is a free agent. Even with Stewart-Haas Racing’s action, there’s still a good chance Busch signs a deal to remain with the organization.
Danica Patrick: She will not return to Stewart-Haas Racing after this season. Patrick has not announced any plans for next season. She’s not looking for a ride in the Xfinity Series. “Cup only,’’ she said.
Michael McDowell: Will not return to Leavine Family Racing with Kasey Kahne joining the team next season.
Landon Cassill: Searching for a ride after being informed he will not be back at Front Row Motorsports. He said Oct. 10 that he did not have sponsorship to bring with him at the time.