NASCAR Silly Season is slowly starting to wind down thanks to some key names signing this week. A number of drivers who many have speculated about signed deals for 2020 but not for 2021 meaning we’re about to have a WILD silly season in 2020.
This week a number of deals got signed, two drivers are essentially swapping rides, some staying in the same place, some are still uncertain, and Ross Chastain has a full-time ride, again.
After losing his 2019 Xfinity ride before the season even started Ross Chastain has once again signed on to race full-time in the Xfinity series. The watermelon farmer signed a deal this week with Kaulig Racing to drive the #10 car in 2020 with Nutrien AG Solutions as the primary sponsor for 23 races.
Kaulig Racing will expand to a 2-car team next year with Chastain partnering with the team’s current driver Justin Haley. In typical Ross Chastain fashion, he’ll be in the #10 car this weekend at Kansas and their hauler flipped over on the way damaging their primary car. Whenever something good happens for Ross something bad has to happen.
Stewart-Haas Racing announced they extended Clint Bowyer through the 2020 season this week. It’s an interesting move considering Bowyer has underperformed since arriving at SHR. In three seasons with the team he has 2 wins, and points finishes of 18th, 12th, and currently 15th. It’s hard to have those numbers when Kevin Harvick continually wins and races for championships.
This is only a 1-year deal that appeared to be predicated on Rush Truck Centers wanting Bowyer in the #14. Again, an interesting move by SHR when you consider Rush Truck Centers has only been the sole primary sponsor in 1 race this season. In 11 other races they have shared primary sponsorship duties. And you know, Cole Custer is waiting.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made sure everyone knew he was at Talladega last weekend. The 2-time Cup winner went to the front, pushed anyone who got in front of him, and threw blocks that make you go “yep, that’s Ricky.” And to cap off his week, he signed with JTG Daugherty Racing to drive the #37 car in 2020.
Ironically he’s taking the seat of the guy who is replacing him in the #17 next year. Also, Stenhouse stays with Cincinnati based sponsors and we’re here for it.
Suarez said this weekend they have a number of meetings set up in the coming weeks that will determine his future at Stewart-Haas Racing. The third-year driver much like Bowyer has underperformed in his first season at SHR. He missed the playoffs and hasn’t been a factor much of the season.
With Haas Automation sponsoring 22 of the 31 races for him this season you have to wonder what Gene thinks. If he’s sinking his own money into this car maybe it’s time to make a change and put Cole Custer in the car. The Arris money isn’t as great as people think it is, they also went through an acquisition recently all of which could put Suarez in jeopardy.
Not many riders are still open/are expected to come open. At this point, the #2 Xfinity car and the #00 if Custer moves up should be the main focus for many.
The real focus should be on 2021 and the silly season that is about to ensue. More on that later.
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