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
Front Row Motorsports announced on Nov. 9 that Alfredo will not return to drive for the team in 2022. His future plans are to be determined.
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. On Nov. 11 it was announced that Brain Wilson will serve as crew chief for Burton.
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. It was confirmed on Nov. 16 that Billy Scott will be Busch’s crew chief.
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.”
Buescher will continue to drive the No. 17 Ford for RFK Racing with Scott Graves as his crew chief. Graves began working with Buescher in Oct. 2021 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course.
On August 3, Trackhouse Racing announced that Chastain will join the team to drive the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro in the Cup Series. Another announcement was made on Oct. 25 stating that Phil Surgen will make the move with Chastain to continue as his crew chief at Trackhouse Racing.
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. Jeremy Bullins will serve as Cindric’s crew chief.
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.”
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. On Nov. 16, Jerame Donley, Ganassi engineer, was named as Dillon’s crew chief for next year.
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.”
Jones announced Sunday, August 22 at Michigan International Speedway that he will return to Richard Petty Motorsports in 2022 for his second season driving the No. 43 Chevrolet. Dave Elenz (Noah Gragson’s former crew chief) will move to Richard Petty Motorsports to serve as the crew chief for Jones
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.” It was announced on Nov. 2 that Matt McCall (currently crew chief for Kurt Busch) will join Keselowski in 2022 as crew chief. TJ Majors will spot for Keselowski.
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.
Preece will not return to JTG Daugherty Racing next year and has no current plans for 2022. The team confirmed on Sept. 30, 2021, that they will only field one car in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as the driver of the No. 47 Chevrolet.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
During a media availability session prior to the Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, Stenhouse confirmed that he will return to drive the No. 47 for JTG Daugherty Racing for the 2022 season.
Wallace will enter his second season with 23XI Racing. It was announced on Nov. 16 that Bootie Barker will be the full-time crew chief for Wallace in 2022.
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.
Front Row Motorsports – Will field two cars in 2022
Front Row Motorsports announced on Nov. 9 that they will continue to field two cars in the 2022 Cup Series (No. 34 and No. 38). The team also said that Anthony Alfredo will not return next year to FRM. More driver and partner announcements will be made at a later date and FRM “continues to analyze its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series operation.”
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. On Oct, 28, GMS Racing announced that Ty Dillon would drive the No. 94 Chevrolet for the team in an alliance with Richard Childress Racing and ECR Engines.
JTG Daugherty Racing
The team confirmed on Sept. 30, 2021, that they will only field one car in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as the driver of the No. 47 Chevrolet.
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.
Roush Fenway Racing – Changes name
Roush Fenway Racing announced on Nov. 16 that it has changed its name to Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing (RFK Racing).
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. On August 3, they announced that Ross 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.
It was announced on Nov. 16 that Billy Scott will serve as crew chief for Kurt Busch and Bootie Barker will continue as crew chief for Bubba Wallace. Dave Rogers will also join the team to serve as performance director.
Xfinity Series 2022 driver and team updates
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
On Nov. 9, in a Facebook post, Earnhardt announced that he will not return to drive for JD Motorsports in 2022. “As we turn to the 2022 season I’ve decided I’m going to seek out race-winning opportunities as sponsorship permits,” he said. “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.”
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. Dave Elenz will not return as Gragson’s crew chief and will move to Richard Petty Motorsports to serve as the crew chief for Erik Jones.
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.
Richard Childress Racing announced on Oct. 29 that Austin Hill will join the team and compete full time in the Xfinity Series in 2022.
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.
JR Motorsports also confirmed on August 16 that Mayer will run a full-time Xfinity Series schedule for JRM in 2022.
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.
Jordan Anderson Racing announced on Nov. 3 that Myatt Snider has signed with the organization to compete full-time in the Xfinity Series in 2022. He will drive the No. 31 Chevrolet and his longtime sponsor, TaxSlayer, will make the move with him.
Camping World Truck Series 2022 driver and team updates
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 drive in the Truck Series for Hattori Racing Enterprises next year. On Oct. 29 Richard Childress Racing announced that Hill will join RCR to compete full time in the Xfinity Series in 2022.
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.
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.
On Nov. 2, Thompson announced that they will join Niece Motorsports in 2022 to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and contend for Rookie of the Year.