As the NASCAR season winds down, we typically look forward to all the driver and team announcements. This year, however, has given new meaning to the name, “silly season.”
The biggest surprise came on June 30 when Chip Ganassi Racing announced the sale of its entire NASCAR operation to Trackhouse Racing Team, effective at the end of the 2021 season.
While rumors had hinted of it in the preceding months, on July 20 it was confirmed that Brad Keselowski was leaving Penske Racing to drive the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford and will also have a minority ownership stake in the company.
Please check out the list below for more NASCAR updates. Future news and announcements will be added regularly.
Cup Series 2022 driver and team updates
Hendrick Motorsports announced on June 18 that Bowman signed a two-year extension to drive the No. 48 Chevrolet in the Cup Series through 2023 with Ally Financial as his primary sponsor. With Bowman’s extension, all four HMS drivers have been resigned through 2022.
Burton will leave Joe Gibbs Racing where he currently competes in the Xfinity Series to move up to the Cup Series in 2022 with Wood Brothers Racing. The press release on July 15 stated that sponsorship will be announced at a later date but would include support from Ford Quick Lane and Motorcraft.
After the announcement that Chip Ganassi Racing has been sold to Trackhouse Racing, Busch became a free agent. On August 27, 23XI Racing announced that Busch will join them as they field two full-time teams, alongside Bubba Wallace in his second year with 23XI. Busch will race the No. 45 Toyota with Monster Energy as a sponsor. Additional team personnel will be announced at a later date.
On Sept. 21, 2020, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Byron signed a contract extension through 2022. In June of this year, Rick Hendrick stated that his “plan is for Chase (Elliott) and William (Byron) to retire with us, so that’s an ongoing situation with me. I love the lineup right now, and I want to keep the band together.”
On August 3, Trackhouse Racing announced that Chastain will join the team to drive the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro in the Cup Series. No information was released on sponsors or the crew chief. He is currently competing as the driver of the No. 42 for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Cup Series.
After the news that Brad Keselowski was leaving Team Penske next season, it was announced that Cindric will move up from the Xfinity Series with Team Penske to take over Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford in the Cup Series in 2022.
DiBenedetto is another driver looking for a new opportunity next year as Harrison Burton will take over in 2022 as the driver of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford in the Cup Series. When asked during a recent media availability about any updates for next year, he said, “Everyone knows I’m a super open book, so what I’m telling you is 100 percent everything that I know, which is I don’t know anything more than any of you guys know. There have been no talks, no nothing.”
In June 2017, Elliott signed a four-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports through 2022. In June of this year, Rick Hendrick stated that his “plan is for Chase (Elliott) and William (Byron) to retire with us, so that’s an ongoing situation with me. I love the lineup right now, and I want to keep the band together.”
Haley will continue to drive for Kaulig Racing in 2022 but will move from the Xfinity Series to drive for the team in their first full-time season in the Cup Series. In the June 18 announcement, Haley said, “It’s been my dream from the start to race full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series and to do so with everyone at Kaulig Racing just feels right.”
On July 20, Roush Fenway Racing confirmed the rumors that Keselowski will move from Team Penske to drive the No. 6 Ford for RFR in 2022 and will also have a minority ownership stake in the company. He explained the move as a way to live “up to the maximum potential that I have. I don’t feel like I’ve lived up to that. I feel like I have a lot more to offer than being just a race car driver. Short of having won championships in the last few years, I haven’t achieved that.”
Spire Motorsports announced in November 2020 that they had signed a multi-year deal with LaJoie to continue as the driver of the No. 7 Chevrolet full-time in the Cup Series. LaJoie said he was “super pumped up. It’s going to be the best motors, best car I’ve ever had. Working with a good group, building something good here. Thanks for all the fans for sticking around and helping me stack some pennies!”
It was confirmed on July 14 that Larson’s contract with Hendrick Motorsports has been extended through 2023. HendrickCars.com will provide the majority sponsorship of the No. 5 Chevrolet for 35 races a year will sponsor Larson in his non-NASCAR races.
Keselowski will take over the driving duties in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in 2022, leaving Newman’s future uncertain. RFR team president Steve Newmark indicated that a part-time role within the company is possible but Newman has not announced his plans for next season.
On Sunday, Oct. 10, it was announced that Dillon will drive full time in the No. 94 Chevrolet for GMS Racing in 2022 in their inaugural NASCAR Cup Series season.
Beard Motorsports – Will return to the Cup Series in 2022
Beard Motorsports, a non-chartered team, announced today that they will return to compete in 2022 in the Cup Series in the No. 62 Camaro and attempt to race in the Daytona 500 and subsequent races at Daytona as well as Talladega. The driver is yet to be determined.
Chip Ganassi Racing – Sold and will cease operations at the end of the 2021 season
On June 30 Chip Ganassi Racing announced the sale of its NASCAR operation to Trackhouse Racing Team, effective at the end of the 2021 season.
GMS Racing – Will make its Cup Series debut in 2022
In June, the team announced that it will make its Cup Series debut in 2022 with the driver and schedule to be announced at a later date.
Kaulig Racing – Purchased two charters from Spire Motorsports
The team purchased two charters from Spire Motorsports for the 2022 season. As noted above, Justin Haley will drive full-time for the team in their debut Cup Series with AJ Allmendinger running a part-time schedule.
Trackhouse Racing Team – Will field two cars in 2022
Trackhouse’s purchase of Chip Ganassi Racing includes two charters and they confirmed that Daniel Suarez will be back to drive for the team in 2022. The driver for the second car has not been announced.
Xfinity Series 2022 driver and team updates
It was announced on July 18 that Allmendinger has signed a multi-year agreement with Kaulig Racing and will continue to compete full-time in the Xfinity Series in 2022. He will also run part-time in the Cup Series
JR Motorsports announced on August 16 that Josh Berry will compete full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next season, driving the No. 8 Chevrolet.
JR Motorsports also confirmed on August 16 that Mayer will run a full-time Xfinity Series schedule for JRM in 2022.
JR Motorsports announced on August 31 that Gragson has been re-signed and will remain with the team in 2022 to compete in the Xfinity Series driving the No. 9 Chevrolet. Bass Pro Shops, TrueTimber® Camo and Black Rifle Coffee will return as sponsors.
JR Motorsports announced on September 14 that Allgaier will return to drive the No. 7 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2022. It will be his seventh season with JRM.
On September 14 Richard Childress Racing announced that Sheldon Creed will join RCR in 2022 to compete full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Creed currently drives for GMS Racing in the Camping World Truck Series.
B.J. McLeod Motorsports announced on Sept. 21 that Parsons will compete full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2022 with “returning primary sponsor Sokal Digital and Advertising on-board for the entire season as well as Springrates Automotive Suspension Source.” This will be his first full-time season with the team.
Kaulig Racing announced on Sept. 25 that Hemric will drive the team’s No. 11 car in the Xfinity Series in 2022. He will take over for Justin Haley who will transition to drive Kaulig Racing’s first full-time entry in the Cup Series. Hemric currently competes in the Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing.
It was announced on Oct. 6 that JR Motorsports driver, Annett, will retire from full-time competition in the Xfinity Series at the end of the 2021 season.
On Oct. 11 Burton confirmed that he will not be returning to Kaulig Racing for the 2022 season due to funding issues. He told Frontstretch.com that “I’ve got some opportunities. “There’s some Cup opportunities. There’s some Xfinity opportunities. I’m just trying to figure out what’s best for me and all my partners. That’s where I’m at.”
Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Oct. 20 that Jones will return to drive the No. 19 Toyota full-time in the Xfinity Series in 2022. It will be his fifth consecutive season with JGR.
Truck Series 2022 driver and team updates
Niece Motorsports announced on August 17 that Carson Hocevar will race full time for Niece Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2022. It will be his second full-time season with the team.
GMS Racing announced on Oct. 1 that Enfinger will drive the team’s No. 23 Chevrolet Silverado full-time in 2022 and 2023. His longtime sponsor, Champion Power Equipment, will serve as the primary sponsor for the majority of races over the next two seasons.
Hill announced on Oct. 2 that he will not return to Hattori Racing Enterprises in 2022 to compete in the Truck Series for the team. No future plans were announced but he said he was looking for future opportunities.
John Hunter Nemechek
On Oct. 14, Kyle Busch Motorsports announced that Nemechek will return to drive the No 4 Toyota full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2022.