NCS racing returns in 34 days

Anthony Ballantoni
Rotoworld

Clint Bowyer, who made his 500th career NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) start this past October, was winless all season but the #14 Mustang driver did earn enough points to make the 2019 series playoffs. Here are some brief performance notes on Bowyer and some other drivers who finished in the top 20 in points for the NCS, XFINITY Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Since a few teams are still firming up their 2020 plans, follow NASCAR Headlines and "Player" News on this page for the latest driver updates. With 34 days before the NCS season-opening Daytona 500, a tentative list of NCS Driver/Team lineups is shown below for all full-time teams that plan on entering every event.

                                       NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

2019: Chase Elliott (Hendrick Motorsports #9 Chevrolet Camaro) - In 36 races, the Dawsonville, GA native scored 3 victories, 4 poles, 11 top-five finishes, 15 top-tens, had a 10.9 average start, a 15.1 average finish and led 601 laps. He made it into the season playoffs Round of 16, the Round of 12 and into the Round of 8 but did not make the final cut heading into the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami. Elliott closed out the season 10th in the standings. His best NCS starts were the poles at Bristol (4/7), Dover (5/6), Watkins Glen (8/4) and Talladega (10/13). His best finishes were the wins at Talladega (4/28), Watkins Glen (8/4) and the Charlotte Roval (9/29). Elliott also drove JR Motorsports #8 Camaro in the NXS season opener at Daytona; started 7th and finished 10th.
2020: Elliott is contracted through 2022 to drive the #9 Camaro. Crew chief Alan Gustafson will also return to lead the team. NAPA Auto Parts, Mountain Dew, Kelley Blue Book and Hooters will continue sponsorship for Elliott's Chevrolet.
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2019: Clint Bowyer (Stewart-Haas Racing #14 Ford Mustang) - In 36 races, the Emporia, KS native scored 1 pole, 7 top-five finishes, 18 top-tens, had a 10.7 average start, a 15.2 average finish and led 138 laps. He made it into the season playoffs Round of 16, the Round of 12 and into the Round of 8 but did not make the final cut heading into the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami. Bowyer closed out the season 9th in the standings. His best NCS season start was the pole at Las Vegas (9/15) and his best finish was 2nd at Texas (3/31). Bowyer's last NCS victory was in the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan Int'l Speedway on June 10, 2018.
2020: Bowyer is contracted through 2020 to drive the #14 Mustang. SHR shuffled crew chiefs around during the off-season. Mike Burgarewicz will lead Bowyer's team in 2020. Rush Truck Centers, Mobil 1, PEAK and Haas Automation will return as primary sponsors.

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                                   NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS)

2019: Brandon Jones (Joe Gibbs Racing #19 Toyota Supra) - In 33 races, the Atlanta, GA native scored 1 win, 6 top-five finishes, 16 top-tens, had an 8.7 average start, a 14.6 average finish and led 104 laps. He made it into the season playoffs Round of 12 but was cut before the start of the Round of 8. Jones closed out the season 10th in the standings. His best NXS season starts were 2nd at Texas (3/30), Indianapolis (9/7) and Kansas (10/19). His best finish was the victory at Kansas Speedway (10/19). Jones also drove Kyle_Busch Motorsports #51 Toyota Tundra in 5 GOT events; scored 3 top-fives and averaged a 9.0 finish.
2020: Jones will continue in JGR's #19 Toyota for the full NXS season. Jeff Meendering will also return as his crew chief. Sponsorship has yet to be confirmed.
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2019: Michael Annett (JR Motorsports #1 Chevrolet Camaro) - In 33 races, the Des Moines, IA native scored 1 win, 1 pole, 6 top-five finishes, 19 top-tens, had a 12.8 average start, a 10.0 average finish and led 94 laps. He made it into the season playoffs Round of 12 but was cut before the start of the Round of 8. He closed out the season 9th in the standings. His best NXS season start was the pole at Talladega (4/27) and best finish was the victory at Daytona (2/16).
2020: Annett signed a multi-year contract with JRM to continue driving the #1 Camaro in the NXS. Travis Mack returns as crew chief. Pilot Flying J, TMC Transportation, Northland Oil and Allstate Parts and Service will all continue as primary sponsors this season.

                             Gander Outdoors Truck Series (GOT)

2019: Sheldon Creed (GMS Racing #2 Chevrolet Silverado) – In 23 GOT races, the Alpine, CA native scored 4 top-five finishes, 11 top-tens, had an 8.8 average start, a 12.6 average finish, led 180 laps and closed out the season 10th in the standings. His best truck season start was 2nd at Kentucky (7/11). His best finishes were also 2nd at Eldora (8/1) and Michigan (8/10). Creed has yet to win a GOT race.
2020: Creed will return to GMS piloting the #2 Silverado for another full season. Jeff Stankiewicz will also continue crew chief duties for the team. Sponsorship has not been announced at this time.
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2019: Ben Rhodes (ThorSport Racing #99 Ford F-150) – In 23 GOT races, the Louisville, KY native scored 7 top-five finishes, 13 top-tens, had a 10.9 average start, an 11.3 average finish, led 143 laps and closed out the season 9th in the standings. His best truck starts were 4th at Bristol (8/15) and Phoenix (11/8). His best finishes were 2nd at Martinsville (3/23), Kansas (5/10) and Iowa (6/16). Rhodes' last GOT win was in the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 on July 12, 2018 at Kentucky Speedway. 
2020: ThorSport Racing has yet to announce 2020 plans for any of their 4 truck teams. As of now, Rhodes is still listed in TSR's website as the driver of the #99 Ford truck and has Matt Noyce returning in the crew chief role.

                          2020 Tentative NCS Series Team Chart

Car

Driver

Owner

Crew Chief

Sponsor

00 Chevy

Quin Houff

StarCom

?

?

1 Chevy

Kurt Busch

Chip Ganassi

Matt McCall

Monster Energy

2 Ford

Brad Keselowski

Team Penske

Jeremy Bullins

Miller Lite, Discount Tire, Dent Wizard

3 Chevy

Austin Dillon

Richard Childress

Justin Alexander

Dow

4 Ford

Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas

Rodney Childers

Busch Beer, Mobil 1, Jimmy Johns

6 Ford

Ryan Newman

Roush Fenway

Scott Graves

Oscar Mayer, Wyndham Rewards

8 Chevy

Tyler Reddick - R

Richard Childress

Randall Burdett

Caterpillar

9 Chevy

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Mspt

Alan Gustafson

NAPA, Mountain Dew, Hooters, Kelley Blue Book 

10 Ford

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas

Mike Bugarewics 

Smithfield

11 Toyota

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs

Chris Gabehart

FedEx 

12 Ford

Ryan Blaney 

Team Penske

Todd Gordon

Advance Auto Parts

13 Chevy

Ty Dillon

Germain

Matt Borland

Geico

14 Ford

Clint Bowyer

Stewart-Haas

John Klausmeier

Rush Truck Centers, Haas Automation

15 Chevy

Brennan Poole

Premium Mspt

Pat Tryson

?

17 Ford

Chris Buescher

Roush Fenway

Luke Lambert

Fifth Third Bank, SunnyD

18 Toyota

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs

Adam Stephens

M&M’s, Skittles, Snickers,  Interstate Batteries

19 Toyota

Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs

James Small

Bass Pro Shops, Auto-Owners Insurance

20 Toyota

Erik Jones

Joe Gibbs

Chris Gayle

DeWalt, Reser’s Fine Foods, Sport Clips, Stanley, Craftsman

21 Ford

Matt DiBenedetto

Wood Brothers

Greg Erwin

Menards, Motorcraft, Quick Lane

22 Ford

Joey Logano

Team Penske

Paul Wolfe

Shell-Pennzoil, AAA So.Cal.

24 Chevy

William Byron

Hendrick Mspt

Chad Knaus

Liberty University, Axalta, UniFirst, Hertz

32 Ford

Corey LaJoie

GoFAS Racing

Ryan Sparks

Keen Parts, Corvetteparts.net

34 Ford

Michael McDowell

Front Row Mspt

Drew Blickensderfer

?

36 Chevy

David Regan

Rick Ware (Daytona 500 only)

?

Select Blinds

37 Chevy

Ryan Preece

JTG Daugherty

Trent Owens

Kroger, Bush’s Beans

38 Ford

John Hunter Nemechek

Front Row Mspt

Seth Barbour

MDS Trucking

41 Ford

Cole Custer -R

Stewart-Haas

Mike Shiplett

Haas Automation

42 Chevy

Kyle Larson

Chip Ganassi

Chad Johnston

Credit One, Advent Health

43 Chevy

Bubba Wallace

Richard Petty

Jerry Baxter

?

47 Chevy

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

JTG Daugherty

Brian Pattie

Kroger 

48 Chevy

Jimmie Johnson

Hendrick Mspt

Cliff Daniels

Ally Financial

51 Chevy

Joey Gase

Rick Ware

George Church

Jacob Companies

53 Chevy

?

Rick Ware

?

?

66 Chevy

Timmy Hill

MBM Motorsports

?

?

77 Chevy

Ross Chastain

(Daytona 500, Charlotte 600)

Peter Sospenzo

Advent Health

88 Chevy

Alex Bowman

Hendrick Mspt

Greg Ives

Axalta, Valvoline, Cincinati Inc

95 Toyota

Christopher Bell -R

Leavine Family

Jason Ratcliff

Procure, Rheem

 

R-Rookie of The Year

 

 

 

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