Countdown to the 2022 Daytona 500: 46 days

Countdown to the 2022 Daytona 500: 46 days

With just 46 days to go before the green flag drops for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500, this is a brief look at 2021 driver stats and what’s ahead in the new season. Kurt Busch and others in the NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series will be covered this week. Since many teams have yet to firm up their 2022 plans, follow NASCAR Headlines and “Player” News on this website for the latest updates. The tentative list of Cup Driver/Team lineups shown below is for those who plan on entering all events, including teams with multiple drivers splitting time in one car.

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

2021: Christopher Bell (Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Toyota Camry), a Norman, Oklahoma native, entered all 36 NCS races. He scored one win (the February 21st race at the Daytona Road Course), seven top-five and 16 top-ten finishes, had an 11.5 average start, a 15.8 average finish and led 100 laps. With the win, Bell earned a spot in the 2021 NCS Playoffs Round of 16. He advanced to the Round of 12 but was eliminated from the Playoffs before the start of the Round of 8. Bell closed out the season 12th in the NCS driver standings. Bell also entered two Xfinity Series races in the JGR shared #52 Toyota. He won at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and finished 6th in the August race at Daytona.
2022: Bell is scheduled to return for another full season in JGR’s #20 Camry. Adam Stevens will also return as crew chief for the team.

2021: Kurt Busch (Chip Ganassi Racing #1 Chevrolet Camaro), a Las Vegas, Nevada native, entered all 36 NCS races. He scored one win (the July 11th race at Atlanta Motor Speedway), six top-five and 14 top-ten finishes, had a 14.6 average start, a 15.5 average finish and led 208 laps. With the win, Busch earned a spot in the 2021 NCS Playoffs Round of 16 but was eliminated before the Round of 12.
2022: CGR closed up shop at the end of 2021 season leaving Kurt Busch without a ride. The Michael Jordon and Denny Hamlin owned 23XI Racing organization expanded to a two-car team in 2022. Busch was hired to drive the new #45 Toyota Camry as a teammate to Bubba Wallace (#23 Toyota). Monster Energy followed Busch to the #45. McDonald’s will also cover multiple races. Billy Scott was picked to be #45 teams crew chief and Jason Jarrett, son of Dale Jarrett, will be on the spotter stand as Busch’s eye-in-the-sky.

NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS)

2021: Jeremy Clements (Jeremy Clements Racing #51 Chevrolet Camaro), a Spartanburg, South Carolina native, entered all 33 NXS races. He scored eight top-tens, had a 13.7 average start, a 16.4 average finish and led 5 laps. His best finish was 6th place in the May 8th race at Darlington Raceway. Clements earned a spot in the 2021 NXS Playoffs Round of 12 but was eliminated before the Round of 8. He closed out the season 12th in the NXS driver standings.
2022: Clements, owner/driver of the #51 Chevy will return for another season. With sponsorship from First Pacific Funding, All South Electric and Fly & Form Structures, he has every race covered for the upcoming season.

2021: Riley Herbst (Stewart-Haas Racing #98 Ford Mustang), a Las Vegas, Nevada native, entered all 33 NXS races. He scored five top-fives, 13 top-tens, had an average start of 13.3, an average finish of 17.1 and led 57 laps. His best finish was 3rd place in the September 17th race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Herbst earned a spot in the 2021 NXS Playoffs Round of 12 but was eliminated before the Round of 8. He closed out the season 11th in the NXS driver standings. Herbst also entered the NASCAR Truck Series race on the Daytona Road Course driving David Gilliland’s #51 Ford F-150. He started 25th and finished 5th.
2022: Herbst will return to SHR’s #98 Ford Mustang. Richard Boswell will again serve as crew chief for the team and Monster Energy will also continue as primary sponsor.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NTS)

2021: Johnny Sauter (ThorSport Racing #13 Toyota Tundra), a Necedah, Wisconsin native, entered all 22 NTS races. He scored five top-fives, eight top-tens, had a 12.9 average start, a 16.6 average finish and led 36 laps. His best finishes were 4th places in the April 17th race at Richmond Raceway and the September 24th race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Sauter closed out the season ranked 12th in the NTS driver standings.
2022: Nothing firm yet but Sauter will likely return for another season in ThorSport’s #13 Toyota Tundra. He will have a new crew chief since Joe Shear Jr. is no longer listed in that position for the team. No announcement yet on his replacement.

2021: Grant Enfinger, a Fairhope, Alabama native, entered 21 of the 22 NTS races. He drove 12 in ThorSport Racing’s #98 Toyota Tundra and 9 in Codie Rohrbaugh’s #9 Chevrolet Silverado. Enfinger scored six top-fives, 11 top-tens, had a 17.5 average start, a 12.4 average finish and led 125 laps. His best finish was 2nd place in the September 16 race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Enfinger closed out season ranked 11th in the NTS driver standings.
2022: Enfinger has signed on as the full-time driver of the GMS Racing #23 Chevrolet Silverado. His contract extends through the 2024 season. Champion Power Equipment will cover expenses as the primary sponsor for most races in both seasons. Enfinger’s crew chief has not been announced at this time.

2022 Tentative NCS Series Team Chart

Car

Driver

Owner

Crew Chief

Sponsor

1 Chevy

Ross Chastain

Trackhouse Racing

Phil Surgen

To Be Announced

2 Ford

Austin Cindric R

Team Penske

Jeremy Bullins

Menards, Discount Tire

3 Chevy

Austin Dillon

Richard Childress Racing

Justin Alexander

To Be Announced

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, Fastenal

7 Chevy

Corey LaJoie

Spire Motorsports

Ryan Sparks

To Be Announced

8 Chevy

Tyler Reddick

Richard Childress Racing

Randall Burdett

To Be Announced

9 Chevy

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

Alan Gustafson

NAPA Auto Parts, Adrenaline Shoc, Kelley Blue Book, Hooters, Llumar

10 Ford

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

Drew Blickensderfer

To Be Announced

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, Discount Tire

14 Ford

Chase Briscoe

Stewart-Haas Racing

John Klausmeier

To Be Announced

15 Ford

To Be Announced

Rick Ware Racing

Pat Tryson

To Be Announced

16 Chevy

AJ Allmendinger

Kaulig Racing

Matt Swiderski

To Be Announced

16 Chevy

Noah Gragson

Kaulig Racing

Matt Swiderski

To Be Announced

16 Chevy

Daniel Hemric

Kaulig Racing

Matt Swiderski

To Be Announced

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

To Be Announced

20 Toyota

Christopher Bell

Joe Gibbs Racing

Adam Stevens

To Be Announced

21 Ford

Harrison Burton R

Wood Brothers Racing

Brian Wilson

Motorcraft/Quick Lane, Menards

22 Ford

Joey Logano

Team Penske

Paul Wolfe

To Be Announced

23 Toyota

Bubba Wallace

23XI Racing

Bootie Barker

McDonald’s, Wheaties, Leidos

24 Chevy

William Byron

Hendrick Motorsports

Rudy Fugle

Axalta, Liberty University, Valvoline

31 Chevy

Justin Haley

Kaulig Racing

To Be Announced

To Be Announced

34 Ford

Michael McDowell

Front Row Motorsports

To Be Announced

To Be Announced

38 Ford

Todd Gilliland R

Front Row Motorsports

Seth Barbour

To Be Announced

41 Ford

Cole Custer

Stewart-Haas Racing

Mike Shiplett

Haas Automation / HaasTooling.com

42 Chevy

Ty Dillon

Petty GMS Motorsports

Jerame Donley

To Be Announced

43 Chevy

Erik Jones

Petty GMS Motorsports

Dave Elenz

FOCUSfactor, U.S. Air Force

45 Toyota

Kurt Busch

23XI Racing

Billy Scott

Monster Energy, McDonald’s

47 Chevy

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

JTG Daugherty Racing

To Be Announced

To Be Announced

48 Chevy

Alex Bowman

Hendrick Motorsports

Greg Ives

Ally Financial

52 Ford

To Be Announced

Rick Ware Racing

Jason Houghtaling

To Be Announced

53 Ford

To Be Announced

Rick Ware Racing

To Be Announced

To Be Announced

77 Chevy

To Be Announced

Spire Motorsports

To Be Announced

To Be Announced

78 Ford

BJ McLeod

Live Fast Motorsports

Frank Kerr

To Be Announced

99 Chevy

Daniel Suarez

Trackhouse Racing

Travis Mack

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

R – Sunoco Rookie of The Year contender