Cool Down Laps: NASCAR News for the Off Season

Did you spend the off season relaxing and spending time with family? If you did, you might have missed some of the changes that will be taking place at the start of the 2020 NASCAR season.

This edition of Cool Down Laps features all the changes that will be taking place come February, including driver and crew chief changes, paint schemes, and your 2020 Rookie of the Year class.

NASCAR Cup Series:

Five NASCAR Cup Series drivers will be moving to new teams in 2020. In numerical order by car number they are:

Credit: Roush Fenway Racing

Driver of the No. 17 Ford: Chris Buescher will once again be racing for Roush Fenway Racing starting with the 2020 season.

Buescher, who raced for JTG Daugherty Racing from 2017 to 2019, will drive the No. 17 previously driven by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Buescher will be sponsored by Fastenal, Fifth Third Bank, and Sunny D. He will have Luke Lambert as his crew chief.

Credit: Lionel Racing

Driver of the No. 21 Ford – Matt DiBenedetto not only changes organizations in 2020, but manufacturers as well.

DiBenedetto, who drove the No. 95 Toyota in 2019, will drive the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing.

Credit: JTG Daugherty Racing

Driver of the No. 47 Chevrolet – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will be racing for JTG Daugherty Racing for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Stenhouse will be sponsored by Kroger in 2020. His crew chief will be Brian Pattie.

Credit: Rick Ware Racing

Driver of the No. 51 Ford – Joey Gase will compete full time for Rick Ware Racing in 2020.

Gase will be sponsored by Jacob Companies and his crew chief will be George Church.

Driver of the No. 96 Toyota – Daniel Suarez will rejoin the Toyota family in 2020, racing for Gaunt Brothers Racing in the No. 96.

The 2016 Xfinity Series champion, who was released from Stewart-Haas Racing after the 2019 season, will have sponsorship from Coca-Cola and CommScope. Dave Winston will be his crew chief.

New Faces in the NCS:

There will be four new faces in the NASCAR Cup Series for the 2020 season. The drivers will compete for Rookie of the Year honors throughout the year.

All four candidates are former Xfinity Series drivers, including the 2019 series champion.

Driver of the No. 02 Chevrolet – Brett Moffitt will pilot the No. 02 Chevrolet for debuting team Our Motorsports.

Moffitt, who won the NASCAR Grander RV & Outdoor Truck Series championship in 2018, will compete in the first four races in the Xfinity Series, which include Daytona International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, and Phoenix Raceway.

Credit: Lionel Racing


Driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet - Tyler Reddick has earned back-to-back Xfinity Series championships and being promoted with Richard Childress Racing to the No. 8 Chevrolet.

Reddick will be sponsored by Caterpillar. Randall Burdett will be his crew chief.

Credit: Front Row Motorsports


Driver of the No. 38 Ford – John Hunter Nemechek will drive the No. 38 for Front Row Motorsports in 2020.

Nemechek will have Speedy Cash and MDS Trucking as his sponsors. Seth Barbour will be the rookie’s crew chief.

Credit: Lionel Racing


Driver of the No. 41 Ford – Cole Custer is being promoted to the Cup Series full time in 2020 with Stewart-Haas Racing.

Custer, who won seven times in the Xfinity Series last year, will be sponsored by Haas Automation. Mike Shiplett will be his crew chief.

Credit: Leavine Family Racing

Driver of the No. 95 – Christopher Bell will replace Matt DiBenedetto in the No. 95 Toyota.

He will be sponsored by Procore and Rheem. Bell will have Jason Ratcliff as his crew chief beginning in 2020.

Xfinity Series: 

Driver of the No. 08 Chevrolet – Joe Graf Jr. will compete full time for SS Green Light Racing.

Graf will have a combination of sponsors throughout the season, but they are currently unknown. Patrick Donahue will be Graf's crew chief.

Driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet – Jesse Little will run full time in the series in 2020, racing for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller.

Little has zero Xfinity Series starts entering 2020, however he is coming off a successful Truck Series season with seven top-10 finishes.


Credit: JR Motorsports

Driver(s) of the No. 8 Chevrolet – The lineup for JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet will be split between three drivers, including team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Daniel Hemric will drive the majority of the events with 21 races, while Jeb Burton will race 11, and Earnhardt will race one at Homestead on March 21, 2020.

Burton will race the season opener at Daytona. The team will have crew chief Taylor Moyer throughout the season.

Driver of the No. 10 Chevrolet – Ross Chastain will race full time for Kaulig Racing in 2020.

Chastain will be sponsored by Nutrien Ag Solutions with Bruce Schlicker as his crew chief.

Driver of the No. 11 Chevrolet – Justin Haley will return to Kaulig Racing in 2020.

Haley will be sponsored by LeafFilter. Alex Yontz will be his crew chief.

Driver of the No. 18 Toyota - Riley Herbst will race full time for recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Joe Gibbs in 2020.

Herbst will be sponsored by Monster, ORCA Coolers, and Terrible’s. He will have Dave Rogers as his crew chief.

Driver of the No. 20 Toyota - Harrison Burton will race full time for Joe Gibbs Racing this year.

Burton will have sponsorship from DEX Imaging. His crew chief will be Ben Beshore.

Credit: Richard Childress Racing

Driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet - This Richard Childress Racing team will have four drivers throughout the season, including Myatt Snider, Anthony Alfredo, Kaz Grala, and Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon.

It is unclear if the team will be full time or part time due to lack of sponsorship.

Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series:

Driver of the No. 00 Chevrolet – Angela Ruch will race full time in 2020.

She is partnering with Niece Motorsports and Reaume Brothers Racing for the season.

Driver of the No. 02 Chevrolet – Tate Fogleman will compete for Rookie of the Year honors in 2020, racing for Young Motorsports.

Fogleman will have sponsorship from Solid Rock Carriers. Chad Kendrick returns as crew chief.

Driver of the No. 4 Toyota -  Raphael Lessard will join Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2020

Lessard replaces Todd Gilliland and will be racing full time. He will have Mike Hillman, Jr. as his crew chief.

Driver of the No. 18 Toyota – ARCA champion Christian Eckes is getting a promotion for the 2020 season, racing full time for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Eckes raced part-time for the team in 2019, earning a best of third at Las Vegas and Homestead.

Eckes will be sponsored by Safelite. Rudy Fugle will be his crew chief.

Driver of the No. 23 Chevrolet – Brett Moffitt remains with GMS Racing for 2020. He gets a number change however, switching from the No. 24 to No. 23.

Moffitt will be sponsored by CMR Construction & Roofing. Chad Norris will be his crew chief.

Driver of the No. 38 Ford – Todd Gilliland joins Front Row Motorsports in 2020, driving the No. 38 Ford.

He will have DGR-Crosley as a partner. He will have Jon Leonard as his crew chief.

Driver of the No. 44 Chevrolet – Natalie Decker will race part-time for Niece Motorsports in 2020.

She is scheduled to run Daytona, Las Vegas (both), Kansas, Pocono, Kentucky, Canada, and Talladega.



Cool Down Laps: NASCAR News for the Off Season Cool Down Laps: NASCAR News for the Off Season Reviewed by Courtney Horn on Wednesday, February 05, 2020 Rating: 5

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