The 64th annual Daytona 500 in just 94 days

The 64th annual Daytona 500 in just 94 days

Champion’s Week, celebrated from November 30th through December 2nd in Nashville, Tennessee, is all that remains of the NASCAR 2021 season. The Awards banquet for all three series champions will be held on December 2nd. Time to ‘Look Ahead’. During the off-season, this is a brief look at driver stats in 2021 and what’s ahead for them in the new season. Drivers who finished in the top 26 in points for the NASCAR Cup Series, XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series will be covered. Since many teams have yet to firm up their 2022 plans, follow NASCAR Headlines and “Player” News on this website for the latest updates.

With 94 days to go before the green flag drops for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500, here are a few brief driver recaps followed by a tentative list of 2022 Cup Driver/Team lineups. Teams in that list plan on entering all events, some with multiple drivers.

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

2021: Cole Custer (Stewart-Haas Racing #41 Ford Mustang) – The Ladera Ranch, California native completed his second full-time NCS season. He entered all 36 races, scored two top-ten finishes, had a 21.7 average start, a 21.3 average finish and led nine laps. Custer earned 575 points and closed out the season 26th in the NCS driver standings. Custer also entered one Xfinity Series race driving Rick Ware’s #17 Ford Mustang in the May 22nd road course race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. He started 3rd and finished 7th in the 40-car event.
2022: No announcements yet but Custer is expected to return to Stewart-Haas Racing with the #41 Ford team.

2021: Daniel Suarez (Trackhouse Racing #99 Chevrolet Camaro) – The Monterrey, Mexico native entered all 36 races, scored one top-five (4th in the March Bristol dirt race), four top-tens, had a 20.1 average start, a 20.1 average finish and led 74 laps. He earned 634 points and closed out the season 25th in the NCS driver standings. Suarez also pulled double-duty in March by entering Truck series for the Bristol dirt race driving Young’s Motorsports #02 Chevrolet Silverado. He started 26th and finished 17th.
2022: Suarez will return to the Trackhouse Racing #99 but will no longer be part of a single-car organization. Trackhouse Racing expanded for 2022 by purchasing Chip Ganassi Racing’s entire operation, cars, equipment, charters and even their race shop. Most importantly, one of CGR’s drivers, Ross Chastain, has been hired by Trackhouse to pilot the #1 Chevrolet Camaro and will be Suarez’ teammate.

NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS)

2021: Jeffrey Earnhardt (JD Motorsports #0 Chevrolet Camaro) – The Mooresville, North Carolina native entered 29 of the 33 races, had a 27.9 average start and a 25.9 average finish. His best finish was an 18th place in the May race at Dover International Speedway. He earned 325 points and closed out the season 26th in the NXS driver standings.
2022: Earnhardt announced he won’t return to JD Motorsports for the 2022 season. “As we turn to the 2022 season I’ve decided I’m going to seek out race winning opportunities as sponsorship permits,” Earnhardt said in the announcement. “My goal has always been to win races and if that means less races in winning equipment that’s what we’ll do as we build our sponsor base.”

2021: Sam Mayer (JR Motorsports #8 Chevrolet Camaro) – The Franklin, Wisconsin native, ride-sharing the #8 Chevy, entered 18 of the 33 races, scored one top-five (4th in the October Martinsville race), six top-tens, had a 17.2 average start, a 20.2 average finish and led 57 laps. He earned 338 points and closed out the season 25th in the NXS driver standings. Mayer entered 5 Truck races (in the #75 and #32 Chevrolet Silverados) scoring three top-ten finishes. He also drove the #23 Chevrolet in seven ARCA Menards races scoring three top-fives and three top-tens. His best ARCA finishes were 2nd place in both races during the August Milwaukee Mile double-header weekend.
2022: No firm plans yet in any series but even though Josh Berry has been announced as the full-time lone driver of the JRM #8 Camaro next season, Mayer is expected to be full-time in another JRM car for 2022.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NTS)

2021: Kris Wright (Young’s Motorsports #02 Chevrolet Silverado) – The Wexford, Pennsylvania native entered 16 of the 22 races, had a 23.1 average start and a 26.9 average finish. His best finish was a 12th place in the season-opener at Daytona. He earned 166 points and closed out the season ranked 26th in the NTS driver standings. Wright also entered seven Xfinity series races (mostly road courses) for Sam Hunt Racing (6 races) and one with Johnny Davis. His best finish in the NXS races was a 17th place at Watkins Glen International in New York.
2022: No plans announced yet in either the Trucks or the XFINITY series.

2021: Cory Roper (Roper Racing #04 Ford F-150) – The Vernon, Texas native entered 16 of the 22 races, scored 1 top-five (3rd place in the season-opener at Daytona), 2 top-tens, had a 27.5 average start and a 25.8 average finish. Roper earned 184 points and closed out season ranked 25th in the NTS driver standings.
2022: Roper Racing just completed its fourth year in the NTS. At this time, no plans have been announced for Cory Roper owner-driver of the #04 Ford.

2022 Tentative NCS Series Team Chart

Car

Driver

Owner

Crew Chief

Sponsor

1 Chevy

Ross Chastain

Trackhouse Racing

Phil Surgen

???

2 Ford

Austin Cindric

Team Penske

Jeremy Bullins

???

3 Chevy

Austin Dillon

Richard Childress Racing

Justin Alexander

???

4 Ford

Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing

Rodney Childers

GearWrench

5 Chevy

Kyle Larson

Hendrick Motorsports

Cliff Daniels

HendrickCars.com

6 Ford

Brad Keselowski

RFK Racing

Matt McCall

Violet Defense

7 Chevy

Corey LaJoie

Spire Motorsports

Ryan Sparks

???

8 Chevy

Tyler Reddick

Richard Childress Racing

Randall Burdett

???

9 Chevy

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

Alan Gustafson

NAPA Auto Parts, Adrenaline Shoc, Kelley Blue Book

10 Ford

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

Mike Bugarewics

???

11 Toyota

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

Chris Gabehart

FedEx

12 Ford

Ryan Blaney

Team Penske

Jonathan Hassler

Advance Auto Part, BodyArmour, Menards, DEX Imaging

14 Ford

Chase Briscoe

Stewart-Haas Racing

John Klausmeier

???

15 Ford

To Be Announced

Rick Ware Racing

Pat Tryson

???

16 Chevy

Justin Haley

Kaulig Racing

Matt Swiderski

???

17 Ford

Chris Buescher

RFK Racing

Scott Graves

Fastenal, Castrol, Fifth Third Bank, Violet Defense

18 Toyota

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

Ben Beshore

M&Ms, Skittles, Pedigree, Interstate Batteries, Sports Clips, STANLEY

19 Toyota

Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs Racing

James Small

???

20 Toyota

Christopher Bell

Joe Gibbs Racing

Adam Stevens

???

21 Ford

Harrison Burton

Wood Brothers Racing

Brian Wilson

Motorcraft/Quick Lane

22 Ford

Joey Logano

Team Penske

Paul Wolfe

???

23 Toyota

Bubba Wallace

23XI Racing

Bootie Barker

???

24 Chevy

William Byron

Hendrick Motorsports

Rudy Fugle

Axalta, Liberty University, Valvoline

34 Ford

Michael McDowell

Front Row Motorsports

Drew Blickensderfer

???

38 Ford

To Be Announced

Front Row Motorsports

Seth Barbour

???

41 Ford

Cole Custer

Stewart-Haas Racing

Mike Shiplett

Haas Automation / HaasTooling.com

43 Chevy

Erik Jones

Richard Petty Motorsports

Dave Elenz

???

45 Toyota

Kurt Busch

23XI Racing

Billy Scott

Monster Energy

47 Chevy

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

JTG Daugherty Racing

???

???

48 Chevy

Alex Bowman

Hendrick Motorsports

Greg Ives

Ally Financial

51 Ford

To Be Announced

Rick Ware Racing

Mike Hillman Sr.

Nurtec ODT

52 Ford

To Be Announced

Rick Ware Racing

Jason Houghtaling

???

53 Ford

To Be Announced

Rick Ware Racing

???

???

77 Chevy

To Be Announced

Spire Motorsports

???

???

78 Ford

BJ McLeod

Live Fast Motorsports

Frank Kerr

???

94 Chevy

Ty Dillon

GMS Racing

Jerame Donley

???

99 Chevy

Daniel Suarez

Trackhouse Racing

Travis Mack

???