Adam Stern broke the news Tuesday that Aric Almirola and sponsor Smithfield will return to the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Mustang in 2021.
Smithfield will be the primary sponsor on the #10 car for 25 races next season. Almirola’s future with the team was dependent on Smithfield returning for the 2021 season. With Almirola confirmed that now leaves one seat open at SHR next season.
Who Drives The #14 Car In 2021?
Three drivers, one seat.
Will Clint Bowyer return in 2021? Will SHR promote Chase Briscoe to the Cup series in 2021? Or will Kyle Larson storm in and take the seat he’s been so strongly linked to? Stewart-Haas Racing has a decision to make.
Clint Bowyer has stated he wants to return for another season in 2021. Chase Briscoe is the hottest name in the Xfinity Series right now and will have multiple suitors if SHR fail to act. Then you have Kyle Larson who remains good friends with Tony Stewart and a guy many people view as the heir apparent for the #14 car.
Bowyer has struggled since joining SHR in 2017. With only two wins and only 1 Top-10 points series finish, Bowyer hasn’t had a lot to show. When you compare his numbers to that of Kevin Harvick it’s astronomically different. Bowyer has underperformed, there’s no way around it. The question is, does SHR and sponsors want another year of this? He’s highly personable but that’s only part of the equation.
Briscoe came into this Xfinity season saying he needed 7-8 wins to validate himself. He has six so far and is the hottest name in the Xfinity series. If SHR passes on him there’s an opportunity to move to GoFas Racing next season or we could potentially see Hendrick Motorsports swoop in and steal him.
Then you have Larson, the guy has DOMINATED on dirt this summer. Last week Tony Stewart said NASCAR needs to reinstate Larson, even though it’s up to Larson to apply for reinstatement. That same day Larson gave his first interview since his racial slur. It felt very organized.
Larson appears to be the leader in the clubhouse, SHR has played it coy up to this point but too many factors continue to point towards a deal happening.
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