After the revelation that Kyle Busch would not return to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2023 season to driver the number 18 car, there was a great deal of speculation as to whether owner Joe Gibbs’ grandson Ty would take over the driving duties of the number 18 car.
On November 15, 2022, JGR made the announcement that young Ty Gibbs would indeed be moving up from the Xfinity Series to the Cup Series next season but that he will not be driving the number 18 car; instead he will be driving a very familiar number for Xfinity Series fans. Gibbs will drive the number 54 car – the same number he drove in Xfinity.
The 2023 season will mark the first time since JGR entered NASCAR in 1992 that the number 18 car will not be on the track. JGR has said that they intend to use the number 18 in the future.
Speculation that the then 19 year old Xfinity Series driver would be moving up to the Cup Series in 2023, despite plans that he would spend one more season in the Xfinity Series, began in earnest when Gibbs was chosen over John Hunter Nemechek to take over the driving duties for Kurt Busch after Busch suffered a concussion and could not drive the 23XI Racing number 45 car.
Ty Gibbs beat out JR Motorsports drivers Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, and Josh Berry for the 2022 Xfinity Series championship after winning seven races during the season. Crew chief Chris Gayle will also be moving up from the Xfinity Series to continue as Gibbs crew chief in the Cup Series.
The 2022 NASCAR season is over but there are still a number of questions to be answered as to where some drivers may land and who is in or out for next season. So far, the 2022 Silly Season has seen a good bit of activity. Below is the latest update on “As the Wheel Turns”.
After retiring from full time driving in NASCAR, seven time champion spent a few years driving IndyCars. At the end of this season, Johnson again retired and has made a return to NASCAR not only as a part time driver; but also as an owner. Johnson has signed on as an owner with Petty GMS Racing and plans to run eight to 10 races next season in what he calls “a bucket list” of races beginning with the Daytona 500.
With a move from Toyota to Chevrolet after signing with Richard Childress Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports will also move to a Chevrolet in the Craftsman Truck Series and go from four trucks to two full time trucks with Chase Purdy and Jack Woods as drivers. KBM will also field a third truck with a series of part time drivers including KBM owner Kyle Busch.
After spending the past 15 years at Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch has signed with Richard Childress Racing and will be driving the number eight car. Busch will join Austin Dillon at RCR and brings two championships and 60 wins with him. Busch and Joey Logano are the only multiple championship drivers actively driving in the Cup Series.
After making a few select starts in the Camping World Truck Series in 2022, ARCA Series driver Nicholas Sanchez will move up to the Craftsman Truck Series full time and drive for Rev Racing number two truck. Rev Racing will also receive some technical assistance from Kyle Busch Motorsports.
NBC pit reporter and part time Truck Series driver Parker Kligerman is trading his microphone in for a steering wheel to driver full time in the Xfinity Series for Big Machine Racing in the number 48 car.
In 2022 Jeb Burton drove the number 27 car for Our Motorsports in the Xfinity Series but has announced that he will not be with the team in 2023. Burton nor OMS has announced any future plans.
David Gilliland Racing has made a major announcement that they will be changing manufacturers and a new name. Previously running Fords in the Camping World Truck Series, DGR is now called the Tricon Garage and will run Toyotas. With the change, driver of the number one truck Hailie Deegan is out of a ride. Deegan is under contract with Ford and has yet to announce any plans for the next season.
In 2022, Corey Heim ran a part time season with Kyle Busch Motorsports, sharing the driving duties with owner Kyle Busch. For 2023, Heim will be driving full time to the Tricon Garage in the number eleven truck.
Ty Dillon announced early in the 2022 season that he would be leaving the number 42 car and Petty GMS Racing at the end of he season. Dillon is moving to Spire Motorsports and will be driving the number 77 car. Dillon will be teammates with Corey LaJoie who is returning to stay with the number seven car.
After missing several races with a concussion received during qualifying at Pocono Raceway on July 26, Kurt Busch has announced his retirement from full time racing but hopes to get back in the car on a limited basis in the future. He will remain with 23XI Racing to work with the team in some capacity.
Richard Childress Racing driver Tyler Reddick announced early in the season that he had signed a deal with 23XI Racing for the 2024 season. As events unfolded, it was revealed that Reddick would not be staying at RCR as originally thought for the 2023 season; but will take over the driving duties for the number 45 car beginning with the 2023 season after Kurt Busch’s departure.
AJ Allmendinger spent the 2022 season as a full time driver for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series and a part time driver in the Cup Series. Beginning with the 2023 season, Allmendinger will be driving full time for Kaulig Racing in the Cup Series.
In 2022 Chandler Smith drove for Kyle Busch Motorsports driving the number 18 truck. In 2023 will move up to the Xfinity Series where he will be taking over the driving duties of the number 16 car that is being vacated by AJ Allmendinger.
After saying that the 2022 racing season would be his last, Stewart-Haas Racing driver of the number 10 car Aric Almirola has announced that he in fact will not retire and will return to the number 10 car for the 2023 Cup Series season.
Team Penske drivers Ryan Blaney and 2022 Cup Series champion Joey Logano have both signed multi year contract extensions and will remain with Penske.
Bubba Wallace has signed a multi year contract extension to remain with 23XI Racing.
JR Motorsports Xfinity Series driver Noah Gragson is moving up to the Cup Series to driver the number 42 car for Petty GMS Racing beginning in 2023.
With the departure of Noah Gragson, JRM has selected Brandon Jones to take over the driving duties of the number nine car. Jones found himself amidst some controversy after the Xfinity Series race at Martinsville when JGR teammate Ty Gibbs intentionally took out Jones to win the race. The move kept Jones out of the championship four and a bid for the championship.
Petty GMS Racing has signed Erik Jones to continue driving the number 43 car in a multi year contract extension.
After much speculation as to whether or not he would return to racing or retire, Joe Gibbs Racing driver of the number 19 car Martin Truex Jr has decided to stay on with the team for at least another year.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr has signed a multi year contract extension to stay with JTG Daugherty Racing. Stenhouse will also get a new crew chief for the 20223 Cup Series season.
In only its second season of operation, Trackhouse Racing is making some major strides in NASCAR. Both drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez have both won races in the 2022 season and Trackhouse has created PROJECT91 which will run select races with drivers from racing series outside of NASCAR. Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen was the first.
Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and William Byron have both signed three year contract extensions with HMS.