Joey Logano soon will officially be crowned NASCAR’s 2022 Cup Series champion in Nashville, but time waits for no driver. Already fans are eyeing the start of the next season on the short track at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the high banks of Daytona International Speedway.
The schedule will be somewhat different – there’s that big, unprecedented turn in the summer as Cup cars race for the first time on the streets of Chicago, for example — and there will be old names in new places (Jimmie Johnson, for one).
Here’s a look at the NASCAR Silly Season scorecard, at least as it currently stands. As with all things Silly, don’t be surprised if things change before 2023 arrives.
No. 1: Ross Chastain, the surprise driver of 2022, returns to keep the fire burning — and the watermelons smashing — at Trackhouse Racing.
No. 3: Austin Dillon returns in Richard Childress Racing’s flagship number.
No. 4: Kevin Harvick will seek a return to playoff power.
No. 5: Signed by Hendrick Motorsports through 2026, Kyle Larson drives toward a second championship.
No. 7: Corey LaJoie returns, and why not put his face on his car hood for Daytona again?
No. 8: After a long and successful run at Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch joins Richard Childress Racing. What will happen? Just watch.
No. 9: Chase Elliott might be in this car for the rest of his career. He’s signed through 2027.
No. 10: Aric Almirola announced his retirement but made an abrupt U-turn and will return to this car for Stewart-Haas Racing. Bring the bacon.
No. 11: Denny Hamlin tries again to nab that first championship.
No. 12: Ryan Blaney, Mr. Almost But No Point Wins in 2022, is back with Team Penske.
No. 14: A return to Stewart-Haas Racing for one of the surprise drivers — Chase Briscoe — of 2022.
No. 16: AJ Allmendinger jumps back into Cup full-time for Kaulig Racing.
No. 17: Chris Buescher scored RFK Racing’s first win this season.
No. 19: Martin Truex Jr. considered retirement for a while but will be back with JGR for at least another year.
No. 20: Christopher Bell was Mr. Magic in the 2022 playoffs. He’s back for another shot.
No. 21: Harrison Burton returns for another season in the iconic Wood Brothers car.
No. 22: The champ, Joey Logano, won’t be leaving the Penske ride.
No. 23: Bubba Wallace is back.
No. 24: William Byron remains at Hendrick Motorsports.
No. 31: Justin Haley makes another run for Kaulig Racing.
No. 34: Michael McDowell a likely returnee to Front Row Motorsports.
No. 38: Todd Gilliland expected back for another run with FRM.
No. 42: Noah Gragson, fresh from a sensational season in Xfinity, moves up to Cup with the new and improved Petty GMS team, now co-owned by Jimmie Johnson. Johnson plans to run a part-time Cup schedule with the team — car number not yet known.
No. 43: The King’s car will carry Erik Jones again.
No. 45: Tyler Reddick drives from Richard Childress Racing to 23XI in one of Silly Season’s biggest moves.
No. 47: Ricky Stenhouse returns.
No. 48: Alex Bowman expected back full-time after missing several races late in 2022 with concussion-like symptoms.
No. 99: Daniel Suarez, now a Cup winner, is back for Trackhouse.
No. 1: Sam Mayer returns to JR Motorsports for a second season.
No. 2: Sheldon Creed returns to Richard Childress Racing.
No. 4: Bayley Currey is back at JD Motorsports.
No. 7: Justin Allgaier returns to JR Motorsports for another shot at an elusive title.
No. 8: Josh Berry looks to reach the playoffs again for JR Motorsports.
No. 9: Brandon Jones departed Joe Gibbs Racing to drive for JR Motorsports.
No. 10: Landon Cassill is back with Kaulig Racing.
No. 11: Daniel Hemric returns with Kauling Racing.
No. 21: Austin Hill returns to Richard Childress Racing and also will run six Cup races for Beard Motorsports.
No. 39: Ryan Sieg back for another season.
No. 45: Ryan Ellis returns.
No. 51: Jeremy Clements back with his family team.
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