NEW ROTOWORLD BETA SITE

Anthony Ballantoni

Look Ahead

print article archives RSS

Cup racing returns in 49 days

Sunday, December 30, 2018


During the off-season, Look Ahead gives a snapshot of where drivers finished in 2018 and what’s ahead for them in 2019. We will look at drivers who finished in the top 20 in points for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, XFINITY Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Since many teams have yet to firm up their 2019 plans, we will include updates in future columns.
-
With 49 days to go until the 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500, here are a few driver recaps followed by a tentative list of 2019 Cup Driver/Team lineups. Teams listed are those that plan on running all events and have a NASCAR Charter guaranteeing a start in each race.
-
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS):
2018: Clint Bowyer (Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Ford) - In 36 races, the Emporia, KS driver scored two wins, nine top-fives, 16 top-tens, had a 13.7 average start, a 13.8 average finish and led 490 laps. Bowyer earned a spot in the season playoffs, continued through the three-race Round of 16, but was eliminated at the end of the three-race Round of 12. He closed out the season 12th in the standings. Bowyer's best MENCS season starts were 2nd places at Talladega (10/14), Martinsville (10/28) and Texas (11/04). His best finishes were the victories at Martinsville (3/26) and Michigan (6/10).
2019: Bowyer is signed through 2019 with crew chief Mike Bugarewicz returning as well to the SHR No. 14 Ford team. PEAK and BlueDEF are confirmed as sponsors for at least three races. Other sponsors have yet to be announced.
-
2018: Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota) - In 36 races, the Chesterfield, VA driver scored four poles, 10 top-fives, 17 top-tens, had a 10.3 average start, a 12.6 average finish and led 380 laps. Hamlin earned a spot in the season playoffs, continued through the three-race Round of 16, but was eliminated at the end of the three-race Round of 12. He closed out the season 11th in the standings. His best MENCS season starts were the poles at Watkins Glen (8/05), Michigan (8/12), Darlington (9/02) and Homestead (11/18). His best finishes were 2nd place at Dover (10/7) and Martinsville (10/28). His last Cup victory was at Darlington Raceway on September 3, 2017. Hamlin entered one XFINITY Series race. He drove JGR's No. 18 Toyota at Darlington (9/1); started 5th and finished 4th.
2019: A new crew chief, Chris Gabehart, is the only known change for the JGR No. 11 team this year. Denny Hamlin and FedEx sponsorship are contracted through the 2020 season.
-
NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS):
2018: Ryan Truex (Kaulig Racing No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro) - In 33 races, the Mayetta, NJ driver scored one top-five, 11 top-tens, had an 11.8 average start, a 14.0 average finish and led four laps. Truex earned a spot in the season playoffs but was eliminated at the end of the three-race Round of 12. He closed out the season 12th in the standings. Truex's best NXS season starts were 2nd at Texas (4/7) and Pocono (6/02). His best finishes were 5th at Mid-Ohio (8/11) and Las Vegas (9/15).
2019: At the end of the season, Truex was replaced by Justin Haley in the No. 11 Camaro. Truex is currently searching for a new ride for the upcoming season.
-
2018: Ryan Reed (Roush Fenway Racing No. 16 Ford Mustang) - In 33 races, the Bakersfield, CA driver scored two top-fives, 10 top-tens, had a 15.8 average start, a 16.0 average finish and led five laps. Reed earned a spot in the season playoffs but was eliminated at the end of the three-race Round of 12. He closed out the season 11th in the standings. Reed's best NXS season start was 4th at Texas (4/7) and his best finish was 3rd at Daytona (2/17). His last NXS win was on February 25, 2017 at the Daytona International Speedway.
2019: Reed's primary sponsor, the American Diabetes Association, has decided to discontinue partnering with the No. 16 team (and Reed) at the end of 2018. RFR plans on closing down the team unless another major sponsor steps up to cover expenses. No word on any change to that plan or any potential ride for Reed.
-
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS):
2018: Austin Wayne Self (Niece Motorsports No. 22 Chevrolet Silverado) – In 23 races, the Austin, TX driver scored one top-ten, had a 19.4 average start, a 17.0 average finish, earned 480 points and closed out the season 12th in the standings. His best truck season start was 11th at Eldora (7/18) and best finish was 9th at Las Vegas (9/14).
2019: No firm plans announced yet, but Austin Wayne Self's Twitter feed suggests he will return for another season competing in the Niece Motorsports No. 22 Chevy truck.
-
2018: Austin Hill (Young's Motorsports Racing No. 02 Chevrolet Silverado) – In 23 races, the Winston, GA driver scored one top-five, six top-tens, had a 14.7 average start, a 15.8 average finish, earned 520 points, led eight laps and closed out the season 11th in the standings. Hill's best truck season start was 7th at Martinsville (10/27) and best finish was 5th at Texas (11/24). On August 3rd, Hill drove the No. 11 Chevrolet in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East road course race at Watkins Glen; started 12th, finished 13th. He also entered two ARCA Series races; Charlotte (5/24) - finished 11th and Chicago (6/28) - finished 10th.
2019: No firm plans announced at this time, but Hill has been a associated with Randy Young for the past three years. Most likely he will return again for the 2019 season in one of Young's Silverado trucks.
-

 

 

Tentative 2019 Cup Series Lineup

 

 

Car

Driver

Sponsor

Make

Owner

00

Landon Cassill

VRX Simulators

Chevrolet

StarCom Racing

1

Kurt Busch

Monster Energy / Cessna

Chevrolet

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite / Discount Tire / Alliance Truck Parts / Wurth / REESE / Draw-Tite

Ford

Team Penske

3

Austin Dillon

Dow/American Ethanol/AAA

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

4

Kevin Harvick

Busch Beer / Jimmie Johns /  Mobil 1 / Hunt Brothers Pizza

Ford

Stewart-Haas Racing

6

Ryan Newman

AdvoCare / Performance Plus Oil / Wyndham Rewards

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

8

Daniel Hemric - R

Bass Pro Shops / Cabela's / Caterpillar /  Cessna / Liberty National /  VF Workwear

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

9

Chase Elliott

NAPA / Mountain Dew / SunEnergy1 / Hooters / Kelley Blue Book

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

10

Aric Almirola

Smithfield / Valley Tech Academy

Ford

Stewart-Haas Racing

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

12

Ryan Blaney

BodyArmour / VF Workwear / MoneyLion

Ford

Team Penske

13

Ty Dillon

Geico

Chevrolet

Germain Racing

14

Clint Bowyer

PEAK / BlueDEF / Mobil 1 /  Haas Automation

Ford

Stewart-Haas Racing

15

Ross Chastain

??

Chevrolet

Premium Motorsports

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Fastenal / Fifth Third Bank / SunnyD

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

18

Kyle Busch

M&M’s / Skittles / Snickers /  Interstate Batteries

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

19

Martin Truex Jr.

ARRIS / Ruckus

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

20

Erik Jones

DEWALT / Reser’s Fine Foods / Sport Clips / Circle K

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

21

Paul Menard

Menards / Motorcraft / Quick Lane

Ford

Wood Brothers Racing

22

Joey Logano

Shell-Pennzoil / Autotrader / Money/Lion / AAA So.Cal.

Ford

Team Penske

24

William Byron

Liberty University / Axalta / UniFirst / Hertz

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

32

Corey LaJoie

Schluter Systems / Keen Parts / Corvetteparts.net

Ford

GoFAS Racing

34

Michael McDowell

Love's Travel Stops / K-LOVE

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

36

Matt Tifft -R

?

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

37

Chris Buescher

Kroger/Scott Products/Bush’s Beans/ Kleenex/Velveeta/Natural Light

Chevrolet

JTG Daugherty Racing

38

David Ragan

Shriners Hospitals for Children / 100Bulbs.com/Speedco

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

41

Daniel Suarez (not firm yet)

Arris (not firm yet)

Ford

Stewart-Haas Racing

42

Kyle Larson

Credit One Bank / DC Solar

Chevrolet

Chip Ganassi Racing

43

Bubba Wallace

Smithfield Foods / U.S. Air Force / STP

Chevrolet

Richard Petty Motorsports

47

Ryan Preece -R

Kroger/Scott Products/Kingsford Charcoal/ Bush’s Beans/Louisiana Hot Sauce

Chevrolet

JTG Daugherty Racing

48

Jimmie Johnson

Ally Financial

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

51

(Multiple drivers)

(Multiple Sponsors)

Chev/Ford

Rick Ware Racing

52

Cody Ware

(Multiple Sponsors)

Chevrolet

Rick Ware Racing

72

??

??

Chevrolet

TriStar Motorsports

77

??

??

Chevrolet

Spire Motorsports

88

Alex Bowman

Nationwide Insurance/Axalta/Valvoline

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

95

Matt DiBenedetto

WRL General Contractors / Procure / Dumont Jets

Toyota

Leavine Family Racing

97

Tanner Berryhill -R

??

Toyota

Obaika Motorsports

 

 

 

 

 

 

R-Rookie of The Year

 

 

 

 



Anthony Ballantoni is a Senior Sports Writer at Rotoworld.com.
Email :Anthony Ballantoni



Highest Searched Drivers over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Player News: Week 17

    Player News: Week 17
  •  
    Matchups: Gordon, Jeffery

    Matchups: Gordon, Jeffery
  •  
    DFS Analysis: Williams/Coleman

    DFS Analysis: Williams/Coleman
  •  
    Dose: Cam

    Dose: Cam's Season Ends
  •  
    DFS Analysis: GB

    DFS Analysis: GB's Williams
  •  
    Dose: Cam Shut Down

    Dose: Cam Shut Down
  •  
    Dose: Lindsay Makes Pro Bowl

    Dose: Lindsay Makes Pro Bowl
  •  
    Dose: Gordon Eyes Wk 16 Return

    Dose: Gordon Eyes Wk 16 Return