Richard Petty Motorsports’ announcement Friday that it will switch to Chevrolet and partner with Richard Childress Racing in 2018 will help make it a good holiday season for both organizations.
The move continued what has been a long and eventful Silly Season in Cup. And it’s not finished with still some rides remaining.
Here’s a look at where Silly Season stands about two months before cars are back on track at Daytona International Speedway.
ANNOUNCED RIDES FOR 2018
— Ray Black Jr. joins Rick Ware Racing and will drive the No. 51 car (announcement made Nov. 22)
— Aric Almirola joins Stewart-Haas Racing and will drive the No. 10 car (announcement made Nov. 8)
— Darrell Wallace Jr. joins Richard Petty Motorsports and will drive the No. 43 car (announcement made Oct. 25)
— Jeffrey Earnhardt returns to the No. 33 car at Circle Sport Racing (announcement made Oct. 15)
— Kasey Kahne joins Leavine Family Racing and will drive the No. 95 car. (announcement made Sept. 19)
— Ty Dillon signs a multi-year contract to remain at Germain Racing and drive the No. 13 car. Sponsor Geico also extends its deal with the team (announcement made Sept. 5)
— Chris Buescher signs a multi-year contract to remain at JTG Daugherty and drive the No. 37 car. (announcement made Aug. 18)
— Matt DiBenedetto remains with Go Fas Racing in the team’s No. 32 car (announcement made Aug. 12)
— William Byron will drive the No. 24 at Hendrick Motorsports, replacing Kasey Kahne (announcement made Aug. 9)
— Paul Menard moves to Wood Brothers Racing to drive the No. 21 car (announcement made July 26)
— Ryan Blaney moves to Team Penske to drive the No. 12 car and signs a multi-year contract extension (announcement made July 26)
— Brad Keselowski agrees to contract extension to drive the No. 2 car for Team Penske (announcement made July 25)
— Alex Bowman will drive the No. 88 at Hendrick Motorsports, replacing Dale Earnhardt Jr. (announcement made July 20)
— Erik Jones will drive the No. 20 at Joe Gibbs Racing, replacing Matt Kenseth (announcement made July 11)
OPEN/POSSIBLY OPEN RIDES
— Nos. 23 & 83: BK Racing has not announced plans for its cars for 2018.
— No. 27: Richard Childress Racing has not announced plans for this car for 2018.
— 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. 29, a day before the Cup Awards in Las Vegas, that he is not too worried about his situation and expects to be with the team. “I think that my best chance to win races and to win championships is to be with Stewart-Haas Racing,’’ he said.
— No. 77: Furniture Row Racing sold the charter to this team. This car will not compete in 2018.
Matt Kenseth: Out of the No. 20 after this season. He does not have plans 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 announced Nov. 17 at Homestead that she plans to drive only the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 next year before retiring. She has not completed a deal to run either race so far.
Michael McDowell: Will not return to Leavine Family Racing with Kasey Kahne joining the team next season. Has not announced 2018 plans.
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.
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