See Also: NASCAR Releases 2020 Rules

A look at some of the latest Silly Season updates and news regarding driver and teams for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.


Getty ImagesAric Almirola

2019 Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
2020 Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
Full-Time Seasons in Cup: 8
Cup Series Wins: 2
Best 2019 Cup Finish: 4th (ISM – Phoenix 1)

Stewart-Haas Racing announced on October 10 that the team has renewed its partnership with Smithfield Foods, Inc., maintaining Smithfield‘s status as the lead brand on the No. 10 Ford driven by Aric Almirola. The 2020 season will mark Almirola’s third season with SHR. Almirola has represented Smithfield since 2012 when he was with Richard Petty Motorsports.


Getty ImagesChristopher Bell

2019 Team: Joe Gibbs Racing (Xfinity)
2020 Team: Leavine Family Racing
Seasons in Cup: Rookie, 2020
Xfinity Series Wins: 15
NASCAR Championships: Gander Trucks-2017

Leavine Family Racing announced on Sept. 24 that Christopher Bell will move up to the Cup Series to race for the team in 2020. LFR will still have its technical alliance between with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Racing Development. Bell, who has raced full-time for the past two seasons in the Xfinity Series with JGR, will be sponsored by Rheem and Procore next season. He will replace Matt DiBenedetto, who will race for the Wood Brothers in 2020.


Getty ImagesClint Bowyer

2019 Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
2020 Team: Stewart-Haas Racing?
Full-Time Seasons in Cup: 14
Cup Series Wins: 10
Best 2019 Cup Finish: 2nd (Texas 1)

Clint Bowyer said on Sept. 27 he’s “pretty confident” that he will be back at Stewart-Haas Racing next season. He continued, “Right now, the focus is obviously staying in the playoffs and really just continuing to do what I always do and make sure that I‘m fluid with our partners and work hard to give them the biggest bang for their buck on and off the race track and always looking to the future, too.” Bowyer has been with SHR for three seasons and is currently in his second straight playoff appearance with the team.


Getty ImagesChris Buescher

2019 Team: JTG Daugherty Racing
2020 Team: Roush Fenway Racing
Full-Time Seasons in Cup: 4
Cup Series Wins: 1 (Pocono, 2016)
Best 2019 Cup Finish: 6th (Charlotte 1)

Roush Fenway Racing announced on Sept. 25 that Chris Buescher will return to the team in 2020 to drive the No. 17 Ford. RFR also announced that they will part ways with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at the end of the season. Buescher, a product of Roush Fenway‘s development driver program, won the NASCAR Xfinity Series title in 2015 with the team. For the past three seasons, Buescher has competed in the Cup Series with JTG Daugherty Racing, which will now have an open seat for the No. 37 car at the end of the year.


Getty ImagesKurt Busch

2019 Team: Chip Ganassi Racing
2020 Plans: TBD
Full-Time Seasons in Cup: 19
Cup Series Wins: 31
Best 2019 Cup Finish: 1st (Kentucky)

Kurt Busch joined Chip Ganassi Racing with a one-year contract for the 2019 season. He won at Kentucky and started the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs as the eighth seed. As for next season, Busch said on Sept. 27th: “We haven‘t really started (contract) talks. I felt like it was good to get the playoffs underway and go as far as we could comfortably. Again, it‘s all about all the starts lining up with Chevrolet, Monster Energy, myself, Chip. For me, I feel like things haven‘t progressed because of the focus on the playoffs.”


Getty ImagesMatt DiBenedetto

2019 Team: Leavine Family Racing
2020 Team: Wood Brothers Racing
Seasons in Cup: 5
Cup Series Wins: 0
Best 2019 Cup Finish: 2nd (Bristol 2)

Wood Brothers Racing announced on Sept. 10 that Matt DiBenedetto will join the team next year to drive the iconic No. 21 Ford. He will replace Paul Menard, who will retire from full-time racing at the end of the season. DiBenedetto is in the midst of his best season in Cup with three top fives and six top 10s, including a runner-up finish at Bristol with Leavine Family Racing.


Getty ImagesDaniel Hemric

2019 Team: Richard Childress Racing
2020 Plans: TBD
Full-Time Seasons in Cup: 1
Cup Series Wins: 0
Best 2019 Cup Finish: 5th (Talladega 1)

Daniel Hemric will not return behind the wheel of the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet next season, the team announced on Sept. 17. Hemric is currently in his rookie season and has a best finish of fifth at Talladega. Tyler Reddick, who races for RCR in the Xfinity Series, will drive the No. 8 next season.


Getty ImagesPaul Menard

2019 Team: Wood Brothers Racing
2020 Plans: Retiring from full-time racing
Full-Time Seasons in Cup: 13
Cup Series Wins: 1 (Indianapolis, 2011)
Best 2019 Cup Finish: 6th (Bristol 1)

Paul Menard announced on Sept. 10 that he will be retiring from full-time racing at the end of the season. The announcement came in conjunction with the news that Matt DiBenedetto will be the new driver of the No. 21 Ford for the Wood Brothers. Menard said he’s looking forward to spending more time at home with his wife Jennifer and two kids. He stated that he’s looking forward to sharing the plans for 2020 soon.


Getty ImagesDavid Ragan

2019 Team: Front Row Motorsports
2020 Plans: Retiring from full-time racing
Full-Time Seasons in Cup: 13
Cup Series Wins: 2
Best 2019 Cup Finish: 15th (Charlotte 1)

David Ragan announced on Aug. 14 that he will step away from full-time NASCAR competition at the end of the season. Ragan’s last win came in 2013 at Talladega with Front Row Motorsports, the first of two wins for the organization. When Ragan steps away he will have made 470 Cup Series starts. A replacement driver for Ragan has yet to be announced.


Getty Images

Tyler Reddick

2019 Team: Richard Childress Racing (Xfinity)
2020 Team: Richard Childress Racing (Cup)
Seasons in Cup: Rookie, 2020
Xfinity Series Wins: 8
NASCAR Championships: Xfinity-2018

Richard Childress Racing announced on Oct. 2 that they will be promoting Tyler Reddick to the Cup Series in 2020 to drive the No. 8 Chevrolet. He will replace Daniel Hemric. Reddick, who won the 2018 Xfinity Series championship with JR Motorsports, currently races the No. 2 Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series for RCR and is competing in the playoffs after scoring five wins in the regular season. Reddick made two Cup Series starts for RCR in 2019 and scored a ninth-place finish at Kansas in the spring. Caterpillar will remain as a primary sponsor of the No. 8 next year.


Getty ImagesRicky Stenhouse Jr.

2019 Team: Roush Fenway Racing
2020 Plans: TBD
Full-Time Seasons in Cup: 7
Cup Series Wins: 2
Best 2019 Cup Finish: 5th (Charlotte 1)

Roush Fenway Racing announced on Sept. 25 that they will part ways with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at the end of the season and Chris Buescher will replace him in the No. 17 Ford. Stenhouse won two Xfinity Series championships and recorded two Cup Series wins during a relationship that dates back to 2009. Stenhouse spoke to reporters at Charlotte following Roush Fenway’s decision: “It was unfortunate, for sure,” he said. “Definitely tough timing for myself and my group to try to find another option. I‘m very thankful that Jack took a chance on a dirt racer from Mississippi to come drive his car. I‘m looking forward to see what‘s next.”