In roughly one month, NASCAR Cup Series teams will head west to Los Angeles for the exhibition Clash at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. There, the Next Gen car will make its long-awaited debut in competition.
Then, less than two weeks later, those teams will be joined by their Xfinity and Truck Series brethren at Daytona for the official start of the 2022 season.
As a new year dawns and a new season looms, it’s time to check out our updated NASCAR silly season scorecard.
Here’s how the NASCAR Silly Season scorecard looks:
Announced Cup rides for 2022
No. 1: Ross Chastain joins Trackhouse as it expands to two cars following last year’s purchase of Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR operations.
No. 2: Austin Cindric becomes a Cup rookie at Team Penske.
No. 6: Brad Keselowski has joined the rechristened RFK Racing as a driver/owner.
No. 7: Corey LaJoie remains with Spire Motorsports.
No. 16: As Kaulig Racing goes full-time in Cup with two entries, their No. 16 will be shared by AJ Allmendinger, Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson.
No. 21: Harrison Burton becomes a Cup rookie with Penske-aligned Wood Brothers Racing.
No. 27: The new Team Hezeberg will run all six road course races, but may also run some short track races. 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion Loris Hezemans will be its driver.
No. 31: Justin Haley will be the sole driver of Kaulig Racing’s other Cup entry. His number, the No. 31, was confirmed in December.
No. 34: Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell is back for a fifth season with Front Row Motorsports.
No. 38: After three full seasons in the Truck Series, Todd Gilliland moves up to Cup in Front Row Motorsports’ second entry.
No. 42: The merger of Richard Petty Motorsports and GMS Racing’s Cup operations brings Ty Dillon into the fold. Before the merger, Dillon was announced to run the full 2022 Cup season for GMS.
No. 43: Erik Jones stays on for the new Petty GMS Motorsports.
No. 45: Kurt Busch drives a new second car for 23XI Racing. The entry will run with a team charter.
No. 62: Beard Motorsports will maintain its superspeedway-only schedule. Noah Gragson will join the team to attempt the Daytona 500.
Cup driver contract extensions
No. 5: Kyle Larson and Hendrick Motorsports announced a one-year extension last July.
No. 11: Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing announced a multi-year extension last February.
No. 19: Martin Truex Jr. and Joe Gibbs Racing announced an extension last February. Length of contract unknown.
No. 47: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and JTG Daugherty Racing confirmed a one-year extension last September.
No. 48: Alex Bowman and Hendrick Motorsports announced a two-year extension last June.
Available Cup rides for 2022
Rick Ware Racing: RWR plans to field two full-time entries in 2022 and is mulling over a third entry. RWR will join Ford and align with both Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Yates Engines.
Cup notables yet to announce 2022 plans
Ryan Newman: Replaced by Brad Keselowski in the No. 6 RFK Racing Ford.
Matt DiBenedetto: Replaced by Harrison Burton in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford.
Ryan Preece: Lost his ride at JTG Daugherty Racing as the team scales back to a single car.
Xfinity Series 2022 notable announcements
Alpha Prime Racing: Tommy Joe Martins and Caesar Bacarella have partnered to form a new team. Martins and Bacarella are part of its driver lineup, along with Andy Lally (road courses), Ryan Ellis and Rajah Caruth.
Big Machine Racing: Entering enhanced partnership with Richard Childress Racing. Jade Buford and Patrick Donahue return as driver and crew chief, respectively.
BJ McLeod Motorsports: Josh Williams (formerly with DGM Racing) and Stefan Parsons will both run full-time in 2022 for BJ McLeod’s operation.
Emerling-Gase Motorsports: After announcing the formation of his own Xfinity Series team in November, Joey Gase has since brought on NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Patrick Emerling as a partner. That’s led to the team’s rechristening as Emerling-Gase Motorsports.
Jordan Anderson Racing: Myatt Snider moves from Richard Childress Racing to JAR in a full-time ride for 2022.
JR Motorsports: Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson are both returning to JRM … 2021 JRM part-timers Josh Berry and Sam Mayer will both move up to full-time status … Michael Annett has retired from full-time racing.
Kaulig Racing: Team veteran AJ Allmendinger is now flanked by newcomers Landon Cassill and Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric.
Our Motorsports: Fielding three-car lineup with Jeb Burton (formerly with Kaulig Racing) and Anthony Alfredo (formerly with Front Row Motorsports in Cup) joining returnee Brett Moffitt.
Richard Childress Racing: Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill will both move up from the Truck Series to Xfinity with RCR.