Kasey Kahne is off the job market after signing to drive next season with Leavine Family Racing. His arrival means that Michael McDowell, the current driver of the No. 95 car, will be gone after the season.
Leavine Family Racing, which has never won a Cup race, gets an 18-time Cup winner in Kahne, who won the Brickyard 400 in July.
Here’s a look at where Silly Season stands as Cup teams head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday’s playoff race.
ANNOUNCED RIDES FOR 2018
— Kasey Kahne to join Leavine Family Racing and drive the No. 95 car. (announcement made Sept. 19)
OPEN/POSSIBLY OPEN RIDES
— No. 10: Danica Patrick is out after this season at Stewart-Haas Racing. No replacement has been announced.
— 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.
— 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 told reporters Aug. 5 at Watkins Glen that “there are a couple of offers already, so we’ll see how things work out.’’
— No. 43: Richard Petty Motorsports announced Sept. 12 that Aric Almirola will not return to the team. Smithfield also is not returning. Smithfield and Richard Petty Motorsports exchanged terse statements about their parting. RPM is selling Darrell Wallace Jr. to prospective sponsors.
— No. 77: Furniture Row Racing has sold the charter to this team. Although the team is still looking for sponsorship for the team, Joe Garone, team president, said the chances of the organization running only one car next year is “high.’’
Matt Kenseth: Out of the No. 20 after this season. Doesn’t have anything announced for next year. At Bristol, Kenseth was asked about his plans for 2018. He said: “I’m not worried about (2018) even really one percent anymore to be honest with you. I’m just not concerned about it.’’
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.
Aric Almirola: Won’t return to Richard Petty Motorsports, team announced Sept. 12.
Michael McDowell: Will not return to Leavine Family Racing with Kasey Kahne joining the team next season.
Darrell Wallace Jr.: Richard Petty Motorsports is selling Wallace to prospective sponsors for the No. 43 car for next season. He gained interest from RPM after driving in four races for the team while Aric Almirola was injured.