Quin Houff

Richard Petty Motorsports
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Silly Season Scorecard: New driver for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2021

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After three full-time seasons with the team, Bubba Wallace will not return to Richard Petty Motorsports in 2021, Wallace and the team confirmed Thursday.

Wallace will make nine more starts in the No. 43 Chevrolet this season before moving on to an undisclosed team.

All 103 of Wallace’s Cup starts have come with RPM.

More: Richmond weekend schedule

Here’s how the Cup Silly Season scorecard looks as of Sept. 10

ANNOUNCED CUP RIDES FOR 2021

No. 00: Quin Houff enters the second year of his two-year deal with StarCom Racing.

No. 1: Kurt Busch enters the second year of a multi-year contract that Chip Ganassi Racing announced last season.

No. 2: Brad Keselowski and Team Penske announced a contract extension Aug. 3.

No. 4: Kevin Harvick signed a contract extension in February that will keep him at Stewart-Haas Racing through the 2023 season.

No. 8: Tyler Reddick said Aug. 7 that he will be back with Richard Childress Racing next season.

No. 9: Chase Elliott is under contract with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2022 season.

No. 10: Aric Almirola extends deal with Stewart-Haas Racing for 2021 season.

No. 11: Denny Hamlin is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 12: Ryan Blaney and Team Penske announced a multi-year extension earlier this season.

No. 18: Kyle Busch is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 19: Martin Truex Jr. is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 20: Christopher Bell moves from Leavine Family Racing to take over this ride in 2021.

No. 22: Joey Logano is tied to Team Penske “through the 2022 season and beyond.”

No. 24: William Byron is under contact with Hendrick Motorsports through 2022.

No. 47: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. enters the second year of a multi-year deal with JTG Daugherty Racing.

No. 88: Alex Bowman will race for Hendrick Motorsports under a one-year contract extension announced earlier this year.

 

Available/possibly available rides

No. 13: Ty Dillon is in a contract year at Germain Racing. The team is considering putting itself up for sell.

No. 14: Clint Bowyer is in a contract year to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing.

No. 21: Matt DiBenedetto is in a contract year at Wood Brothers Racing. He said Sept. 10: “When I came to the team, everyone expressed that they wanted this to be a long-term relationship that we build for a long time to come, that my contract was a long-time opportunity, obviously those options have to be picked up by the team side. We haven’t really talked about it much. I want to stick around here and call this home for a long time to come. Hopefully, find out here soon.”

No. 32: Ride is open with Corey LaJoie announcing he will not return to Go Fas Racing in 2021.

No. 42: Matt Kenseth told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Sept. 8 that it was “more than likely” he would not be racing again next year.

No. 43: Bubba Wallace will not return to Richard Petty Motorsports in 2021, the team confirmed on Sept. 10.

No. 48: With Jimmie Johnson retiring from full-time competition, Hendrick Motorsports has this seat to fill.

No. 95: Spire Motorsports purchased the charter and assets of Leavine Family Racing and will be a two-car operation in 2021. Christopher Bell will move to the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team for 2021. Spire has not named who will take over this ride for next season.

No. 96: Daniel Suarez and Gaunt Brothers Racing announced Sept. 15 that they would part ways after this season.

Retro Rundown 2020: Southern 500 paint schemes

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It’s officially Southern 500 week.

NASCAR will make its third visit of the year to Darlington Raceway this weekend, capped off by Sunday’s Southern 500 (6 p.m. ET on NBCSN) and the start of the Cup Series playoffs.

Since 2015, the Southern 500 Throwback Weekend has played host to various retro paint schemes that pay tribute to NASCAR’s past.

More: Up to 8,000 fans approved for Southern 500

Here’s the Retro Rundown for this year as we catalogue the throwback schemes Cup, Xfinity and Truck teams will bring to the track “Too Tough to Tame.”

Cup Series

Quin Houff, No. 00 Chevrolet

Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford

The Team Penske driver will have the Discount Tire scheme he had in the Xfinity Series 10 years ago.

Austin Dillon, No. 3 Chevrolet

The Richard Childress Racing driver’s car will be a tribute to NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson, who died last year at the age of 88.

Austin Dillon Southern 500

 

Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Ford

Harvick will drive a paint scheme based on the 1997 NASCAR-themed Busch Beer cans.

 

Ryan Newman, No. 6 Ford

The Roush Fenway Racing driver will pilot a scheme based on the 1999 scheme from the USAC Silver Crown Series, where he won the national championship.

Ryan Newman Darlington

 

 

Josh Bilicki, No. 7 Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing will honor Tommy Baldwin Sr.’s racing career.

 

Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Chevrolet

The Richard Childress rookie will throw back to the paint scheme NASCAR on NBC’s Jeff Burton had in 1994 when Burton won Cup rookie of the year honors.

 

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Chevrolet

Elliott will pay tribute to Jimmie Johnson with his 2009 championship scheme.

Chase Elliott Southern 500

 

Aric Almirola, No. 10 Ford

 

Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota

Hamlin’s scheme is a throwback to when FedEx was first founded at Federal Express in 1973. The design of the No. 11 is based based on Cale Yarborough’s number that year when he won at Darlington.

Denny Hamlin Darlington

 

Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Ford

The Team Penske driver will sport the Menards paint scheme that Paul Menard had when he competed in the ARCA Menards Series in 2003.

Ryan Blaney Darlington

 

Ty Dillon, No. 13 Chevrolet

Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Ford

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver will honor NBC Sports analyst Kyle Petty. Bowyer’s car will have the Peak Antifreeze scheme Petty drove for SABCO Racing in 1990 and won at Rockingham in.

 

Brennan Poole, No. 15 Chevrolet

Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota

Busch will pilot a paint scheme based on the M&M’s car driven by Elliott Sadler in 2004 at Robert Yates Racing.

Kyle Busch Southern 500

 

Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Toyota

 

Matt DiBenedetto, No. 21 Ford

DiBenedetto will arrive in Darlington with a tribute to the Wood Brothers’ 1963 Ford Galaxie. That’s the car Tiny Lund won the 1963 Daytona 500 with. It’s also the car Glen Wood won his final Cup Series race in at Bowman Gray Stadium on July 13, 1963.

Matt DiBenedetto

 

Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford

Logano will drive a scheme inspired by the No. 22 Miller car that Bobby Allison raced in 1985.

Joey Logano

 

William Byron, No. 24 Chevrolet

Byron will honor Jimmie Johnson with his 2013 All-Star Race winning scheme.

William Byron Southern 500

 

J.J. Yeley, No. 27 Ford.

 

John Hunter Nemechek, No. 38 Ford

The rookie driver’s scheme is based on Elliott Sadler’s CITGO scheme from 1999 and 2000.

 

Cole Custer, No. 41 Ford.

 

Bubba Wallace, No. 43 Chevrolet

Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevrolet

For his final Southern 500, Johnson will pay tribute to his fellow seven time Cup champions, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

Jimmie Johnson Southern 500

 

Joey Gase, No. 51 Chevrolet

Gase will drive a tribute to Bobby Allison’s 1971 win in the Southern 500 and the Coca-Cola scheme he had that year. It’s the same Allison tribute Tony Stewart had in the 2016 Southern 500.

Joey Gase

 

James Davison, No. 53 Chevrolet

Timmy Hill, No. 66 Toyota

Ross Chastain, No. 77 Chevrolet

Chastain will drive a paint scheme that honors the scheme Dale Earnhardt drove early in his career.

Alex Bowman, No. 88 Chevrolet

Bowman will honor Jimmie Johnson by racing his 2006 championship scheme, his first of five Cup titles in a row.

Alex Bowman Southern 500

 

Christopher Bell, No. 95 Toyota

Bell will drive the scheme he had when he won the Truck Series title in 2017.

 

Daniel Suarez, No. 96 Toyota

 

Xfinity Series

 

Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 0 Chevrolet

 

Brett Moffitt, No. 02 Chevrolet

 

Michael Annett, No. 1 Chevrolet

With sponsorship from Oreo, the JR Motorsports driver will honor his team owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., with driving the scheme Earnhardt drove to a win in the 2002 Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Michael Annett Darlington
Top: JR Motorsports/Bottom: Getty Images

 

Ryan Vargas, No. 7 Chevrolet

 

Justin Allgaier, No. 7 Chevrolet

 

Daniel Hemric, No. 8 Chevrolet

The JR Motorsports driver will pilot a John Andretti tribute scheme. The scheme is based on the K Mart/Little Caesars car that the late Andretti raced in the 1995 and 1996 Cup seasons. 

Daniel Hemric Darlington

 

Joe Graf Jr., No. 08 Chevrolet

Chad Finchum, No. 13 Toyota

Harrison Burton, No. 20 Toyota

The son of NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton will honor his farther with one of his past schemes.

 

Anthony Alfredo, No. 21 Chevrolet

 

Tommy Joe Martins, No. 44 Chevrolet

 

Kyle Weatherman, No. 47 Chevrolet

Jeremy Clements, No. 51 Chevrolet

Clements, a South Carolina native, will drive a scheme that pays tribute to NASCAR champions from his home state. Drivers who will be honored include:

Cup Series: Buck Baker (Richburg, SC – C 1957-58), David Pearson (Spartanburg, SC – 1966, 1968-69) and Cale Yarborough (Timmonsville, SC –  1976-78)

Xfinity Series: Sam Ard (Pamplico, SC – 1983-84) and Larry Pearson (Spartanburg, SC – 1986-87)

Jeremy Clements Darlington

 

Stephen Leicht, No. 68 Toyota

Brandon Brown, No. 68 Chevrolet

 

Myatt Snider, No. 93 Chevrolet

 

Chase Briscoe, No. 98 Ford

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver will pay tribute to team owner Tony Stewart by driving his 2011 Cup championship scheme.

DGM Racing: Alex Labbe and Josh Williams

Truck Series

 

Derek Kraus, No. 19 Toyota

 

Spencer Boyd, No. 20 Chevrolet

Stewart Friesen, No. 52 Toyota

 

Timmy Hill, No. 56 Chevrolet

 

Clay Greenfield, No. 68 Toyota

 

GMS Racing

‘Frustrating’ Dover leaves Matt DiBenedetto vulnerable in playoff battle

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Matt DiBenedetto repeatedly said he didn’t want to be negative. But how could he not be?

DiBenedetto faces the possibility that his postseason hopes could end in Saturday night’s regular-season finale at Daytona (7:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

“Dover killed us,” he said Sunday after a weekend that put his seemingly solid playoff hopes in jeopardy. “We were pretty horrendous both days.”

MORE: Cup playoff grid 

Two weeks ago, DiBenedetto left Michigan with healthy leads on William Byron and Jimmie Johnson. Three races later, DiBenedetto grasps a playoff spot heading to a track known for its randomness and unpredictability.

DiBenedetto is five points ahead of Byron, who holds the last playoff spot, and is nine points ahead of Johnson.

DiBenedetto’s advantage dwindled after Johnson gained 48 points on him the past three races. Byron gained 26 points on DiBenedetto during that stretch.

Matt DiBenedetto saw his lead in the points on William Byron and Jimmie Johnson decline after a rough Dover weekend. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

“If we miss (the playoffs) … I will be a pretty grumpy individual the rest of the year,” he said. “It is what it is. We have worked hard to be in that position. I hope we make it. I don’t want to be negative at all, but it is hard after coming out of this weekend and getting a huge deficit in points and a ton of points chopped from us because we ran so bad in both races. It is just frustrating.”

He’s not thrilled about heading to Daytona even though he has two top-10 finishes in his last five starts there.

“I am going to sit and hope and pray all week that we can just come out of there clean and make the playoffs,” he said. “We shouldn’t be this close to the bubble. It is frustrating. A couple weeks messed us up. Getting wiped out at Texas and Kansas … really hurt us points wise. Then we come here and really hurt ourselves here. It has been a tough go of circumstances and going to Daytona is going to make it quite an uncomfortable week.”

DiBenedetto was collected in a crash triggered by Quin Houff at Texas that led to NASCAR officials speaking to Houff about his actions. DiBenedetto finished 17th. In the following race at Kansas, DiBenedetto was eliminated in a multi-car crash that also ended Johnson’s race.

DiBenedetto recovered from those incidents. He had two top 10s and two 15th-place finishes in the four races after Kansas. Then came Dover. He finished 20th Saturday and 17th Sunday. DiBenedetto scored 41 points for the weekend. Johnson scored 76 points; Byron 55. 

DiBenedetto expressed on social media Sunday how frustrating his Dover weekend was.

Now comes Daytona. 

“I have done a lot of superspeedway races, and I feel like I race really smart at them but it won’t help the fact that there are just so many variables at those places that you can’t control,” he said. “It is not the same kind of racing as anywhere else we go.”

DiBenedetto anticipates drivers taking more chances in Saturday night’s regular-season finale.

“If I was a guessing man,” he said, “I would say probably quite a bit more chaotic and a whole lot of desperation because this is the last attempt or opportunity for a whole lot of people to make the playoffs.” 

That includes DiBenedetto, who has never made the playoffs.

If he makes the playoffs?

“I would be very excited the rest of the season,” he said.

 

Kevin Harvick wins Sunday Cup race at Dover

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Kevin Harvick won Sunday’s Cup race at Dover International Speedway, capping off the weekend doubleheader in dominating fashion.

Harvick claimed his series-leading seventh win of the season, sweeping every stage of the race and leading 223 of 311 laps. That came after he started 17th due to an inversion of the top-20 finishers on Saturday.

The top five was completed by Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, William Byron and Alex Bowman.

More: Race results, point standings

Harvick claimed the lead for the last time on a restart with 17 laps to go, taking it from Johnson. Johnson had taken two tires under the caution in a gamble, improving his position by five spots.

After entering the race in the final playoff spot and a three-point advantage over Byron, Johnson leaves Dover four points behind Byron. Byron earned 13 stage points while Johnson claimed just five.

Of the six races the Cup Series has held as part of doubleheaders this season, Harvick won four of them.

Harvick also clinched the regular-season championship and the 15 playoff points that come with it.

Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch clinched playoff spots on points Sunday.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kevin Harvick won after passing Ryan Blaney coming to one lap to go in the stage.

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kevin Harvick

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Martin Truex Jr. earned his seventh-consecutive finish inside the top three … William Byron earned his first top-five finish of the season … Alex Bowman finished fifth after having to start from the rear in a backup car … Joey Logano finished sixth. He’s placed in the top 10 in the last six races, his longest top-10 streak since 2018.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Chase Elliott was eliminated in a Lap 6 incident that saw him ram into the back of Kyle Busch as he slowed to avoid the spinning car of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the frontstretch … Quin Houff finished 34th after he spun exiting Turn 2 on Lap 215 … Saturday winner Denny Hamlin finished 19th after he had to pit for a loose wheel with 84 laps to go … Corey LaJoie placed 23rd after he caused two cautions, including the final one with 23 laps to go when he got into the Turn 3 wall.

NOTABLE: Harvick earned Ford its 700th Cup Series win … The race was red flagged after Stage 1 in order for repairs to be made to the track surface near the exit of Turn 4.

WHAT’S NEXT: Regular-season finale at Daytona, 7:30 p.m. ET Aug. 29 on NBC.

Silly Season Scorecard: Corey LaJoie not returning to Go Fas Racing

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Corey LaJoie is the latest driver to reveal at least part of his plans for the 2021 season. He won’t be back with Go Fas Racing, his home since last season. Add his name to the Silly Season list of drivers seeking new rides for the next season.

MORE: Never give up: Corey LaJoie keeps chasing his dream 

The 28-year-old LaJoie has made 116 Cup starts. His first start came in Sept. 2014 at New Hampshire. His best career finish is sixth in the 2019 July Daytona race.

LaJoie’s announcement is part of the building momentum of Silly Season.

Here’s how the Cup Silly Season scorecard looks as of Aug. 21

ANNOUNCED CUP RIDES FOR 2021

No. 00: Quin Houff enters the second year of his two-year deal with StarCom Racing.

No. 1: Kurt Busch enters the second year of a multi-year contract that Chip Ganassi Racing announced last season.

No. 2: Brad Keselowski and Team Penske announced a contract extension Aug. 3.

No. 4: Kevin Harvick signed a contract extension in February that will keep him at Stewart-Haas Racing through the 2023 season.

No. 8: Tyler Reddick said Aug. 7 that he will be back with Richard Childress Racing next season.

No. 9: Chase Elliott is under contract with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2022 season.

No. 10: Aric Almirola extends deal with Stewart-Haas Racing for 2021 season.

No. 11: Denny Hamlin is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 12: Ryan Blaney and Team Penske announced a multi-year extension earlier this season.

No. 18: Kyle Busch is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 19: Martin Truex Jr. is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 20: Christopher Bell moves from Leavine Family Racing to take over this ride in 2021.

No. 22: Joey Logano is tied to Team Penske “through the 2022 season and beyond.”

No. 24: William Byron is under contact with Hendrick Motorsports through 2022.

No. 47: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. enters the second year of a multi-year deal with JTG Daugherty Racing.

No. 88: Alex Bowman will race for Hendrick Motorsports under a one-year contract extension announced earlier this year.

 

Available/possibly available rides

No. 13: Ty Dillon is in a contract year at Germain Racing.

No. 14: Clint Bowyer is in a contract year to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing.

No. 21: Matt DiBenedetto is in a contract year at Wood Brothers Racing. He said after the Aug. 9 Michigan race: “I haven’t really talked about that stuff for next year yet, but we’ve just been so focused and head down on digging and trying to make the playoffs and run well. We haven’t even really talked about it, so, hopefully, I stay here for a very long time to come and that’s what they had expressed to me when I came over here.”

No. 32: Ride is open with Corey LaJoie announcing he will not return to Go Fas Racing in 2021.

No. 42: Matt Kenseth told NBC Sports on Aug. 8 in regards to talks with Chip Ganassi Racing for next year: “We really haven’t had any very meaningful discussions really about any of that to be honest with you.

No. 43: Bubba Wallace said Aug. 9 he has an offer from Richard Petty Motorsports and an offer from Chip Ganassi Racing to drive the No. 42 car next season.

No. 48: With Jimmie Johnson retiring from full-time competition, Hendrick Motorsports has this seat to fill.

No. 95: Spire Motorsports purchased the charter and assets of Leavine Family Racing and will be a two-car operation in 2021. Christopher Bell will move to the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team for 2021. Spire has not named who will take over this ride for next season.