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Silly Season Update

A look at some of the latest Silly Season updates and news regarding driver and teams for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.


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Trevor Bayne

Current Team: Roush Fenway Racing
2019 Plans: TBD
Years in Cup: 9
Cup Series Wins: 1
Best 2018 Cup Finish: 11th (Bristol 2)

Trevor Bayne has been splitting the driving duties of the No. 6 Ford with Matt Kenseth since May. Since Kenseth joined the team, Bayne has competed in five races with his best finish coming in the Bristol Night race, 11th. Jack Roush said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on September 13 that Bayne will not be returning to drive the No. 6 in 2019 (Read More). As for Kenseth on 2019: “I’m just kind of honestly trying to concentrate on the rest of this season and trying to get this done. Those are probably things to talk about at a later date,” he said at Darlington.


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Matt DiBenedetto

Current Team: GoFas Racing
2019 Plans: TBD
Years in Cup: 4
Cup Series Wins: 0
Best 2018 Cup Finish: 7th (Daytona 2)

Matt DiBenedetto announced on September 7 that he will be moving in a different direction in 2019 after two years with GoFas Racing. DiBenedetto says the move will give him the best opportunity to further his career and showcase his talent and ability at the highest level and that he’s taking a leap of faith and betting on himself to prove it.


Getty ImagesKurt Busch

Current Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
2019 Plans: TBD
Years in Cup: 19
Cup Series Wins: 30 | 2004 Champion
Best 2018 Cup Finish: 1st (Bristol 2)

In a similar situation to last season, Stewart-Haas put Kurt Busch into free agency to give him the opportunity to talk to other teams. Busch said at Darlington on August 31 that he’s got two contract offers that he is looking at. With the report that Jamie McMurray will not be in the No. 1 Chevrolet next season, that leaves Chip Ganassi Racing as a possible option for Busch…As of September 13, Busch has nothing signed and said in Las Vegas prior to the playoff opener: “It’s all the same stuff that I’ve been through before, and I don’t look at it like a (distraction). The contracts that I signed when I was a rookie or a younger guy, they were five-year deals. And now, as of late, I haven’t signed anything that was more than two years.”


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Kasey Kahne

Current Team: Leavine Family Racing
2019 Plans: Retiring from full-time Cup Racing
Years in Cup: 15
Cup Series Wins: 18
Best 2018 Cup Finish: 4th (Daytona 1)

Kasey Kahne announced on August 16 that 2018 will be his last full-time season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Three weeks later, Kahne missed the Brickyard 400 because of heat exhaustion following the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Then it was determined that Kahne would miss an additional three races as he continues to work with his physicians on a plan for his health. Kahne said on Twitter that he wants to return to racing and not sit out the rest of the season, saying “the answer is simple. I love racing.”


Getty ImagesJamie McMurray

Current Team: Chip Ganassi Racing
2019 Plans: TBD
Years in Cup: 17
Cup Series Wins: 7
Best 2018 Cup Finish: 3rd (Texas 1)

The Associated Press has reported that Chip Ganassi has offered Jamie McMurray driver a contract for just for the 2019 Daytona 500 and then a leadership position with the team. McMurray, who has not announced his plans, has captured five of his seven career wins with Ganassi, including his first win back in 2002 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.


 

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Ryan Newman

Current Team: Richard Childress Racing
2019 Plans: TBD
Years in Cup: 19
Cup Series Wins: 18
Best 2018 Cup Finish: 6th (New Hamphsire)

Ryan Newman announced on September 15 via Twitter that he will not return to Richard Childress Racing in 2019. Newman said his full intention is to compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series full-time in 2019 and beyond. “We are currently working through the options for next season and hopefully we will be able to announce those plans in the very near future,” Newman posted on Twitter.


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Martin Truex Jr.

Current Team: Furniture Row Racing
2019 Plans: TBD
Years in Cup: 15
Cup Series Wins: 19 | 2017 Champion
Best 2018 Cup Finish: 1st (Auto Club, Pocono, Sonoma, Kentucky)

Furniture Row Racing announced on September 4 that they will cease operations following the completion of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series due to a lack of necessary funding to field a competitive team. Truex, the reigning Cup Series champion, has not announced his plans for 2019, but a report has him going to Joe Gibbs Racing to drive the No. 19 Toyota leaving Daniel Suarez without a ride. With Kahne leaving Leavine Family Racing at the end of the season that could be a possible team Suarez could go to.