Front Row Motorsports’ announcement that it will expand to three cars and add Matt Tifft increases the rookie field for the 2019 Cup season.
Tifft will be in a Cup rookie class with Ryan Preece and Daniel Hemric. That’s already larger than last season’s rookie class, which featured only William Byron and Bubba Wallace (Byron won rookie of the year honors).
Tifft’s signing is just one of many changes that will take place for the 2019 season.
Here’s a look at where things stand in Silly Season:
ANNOUNCED CUP RIDES FOR 2019
No. 31: Daniel Hemric replaces Ryan Newman at Richard Childress Racing for 2019. (announcement made Sept. 28)
No. 43: Bubba Wallace will remain with Richard Petty Motorsports through the 2020 season (announcement made July 28)
CUP RIDES NOT YET ANNOUNCED FOR 2019
No. 1: Jamie McMurray will not drive this car next season. He has yet to decide if he will drive for Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2019 Daytona 500 and then move to a management position with the team. He said Nov. 16 he had yet to decide if to do that or some other racing.
No. 32: Go Fas Racing is looking for a driver after Matt DiBenedetto announced Sept. 7 that he would not return to the team after this season.
No. 41: Kurt Busch‘s one-year deal with Stewart-Haas Racing ended after the season. Reports have him headed to the No. 1 car in 2019.
DRIVERS WITHOUT ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR 2019
Trevor Bayne: 2011 Daytona 500 winner is looking for a ride after the Sept. 12 announcement that he won’t return to Roush Fenway Racing in 2019. He told NBC Sports on Sept. 14 that he has been calling car owners looking for a ride and would look at any of NASCAR’s top three national series.
Kurt Busch: The 2004 Cup champion has yet to announce his 2019 plans.
Jamie McMurray: Has yet to announce what he’ll do in 2019 but it won’t be a full-time ride in the No. 1 car at Chip Ganassi Racing.
Daniel Suarez: With Martin Truex Jr. taking over the No. 19 in 2019, Suarez is looking for a ride. He said Sept. 21 that “we’re talking to a lot of people.” Suarez is the favorite for the No. 41 ride.
CREW CHIEF CHANGES
No. 24: Chad Knaus replaces Darian Grubb as William Byron’s crew chief in 2019 (announcement made Oct. 10)
No. 95: Mike Wheeler joins the team and replaces Jon Leonard, who moved back to Richard Childress Racing to be an engineer on Austin Dillon’s team.
ANNOUNCED CHANGES FOR 2019