Will Stewart-Haas Racing make a different driver lineup change for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Sequence time, or will they conclusion a new craze of adjustments?
It’s been very some time since Stewart-Haas Racing entered a NASCAR Cup Series season with the actual exact same 4-driver lineup they fielded the 12 months prior. In fact, the previous time it occurred, group co-operator Tony Stewart was even now driving just one of the team’s four cars and trucks.
Immediately after 2015, Stewart returned to the #14 Chevrolet for 2016, and his a few teammates returned to their respective cars as nicely: Kevin Harvick to the #4 Chevrolet, Danica Patrick to the #10 Chevrolet, and Kurt Busch to the #41 Chevrolet.
But at any time considering that then, a solitary driver transform has been built immediately after each year.
Just take a seem at the moves that have taken position due to the fact 2016.
- 2016 to 2017: Clint Bowyer replaces Stewart, who retires, in the #14 Chevrolet-turned-Ford
- 2017 to 2018: Aric Almirola replaces Patrick, who retires, in the #10 Ford
- 2018 to 2019: Daniel Suarez replaces Busch, who moves to Chip Ganassi Racing, in the #41 Ford
- 2019 to 2020: Cole Custer replaces Suarez, who moves to Gaunt Brothers Racing, in the #41 Ford
- 2020 to 2021: Chase Briscoe replaces Bowyer, who retires, in the #14 Ford
That marks five straight seasons of driver modifications at Stewart-Haas Racing, and while this has been a single of the lesser mentioned factors of this year’s foolish time, there had been some speculation as to regardless of whether or not they would make it six in advance of subsequent yr.
Harvick experienced currently signed a new deal that operates by means of the 2023 time, though both equally Custer and Briscoe were being naturally witnessed as lengthy-term alternatives, acquiring been introduced on as rookies.
There were queries about Almirola’s long run, on the other hand, especially before he finished a disastrous start to the 2021 time and a virtually three-12 months get drought with a win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in mid-July.
When formal affirmation from Stewart-Haas Racing has not been produced about any of Harvick’s a few teammates for upcoming year, Almirola’s assertion in August that the extension he signed final 12 months was a multi-12 months offer implied that this could be the very first offseason with no transform at the 4-vehicle staff in 6 several years.
Once again, there is no official confirmation to discuss of, but Stewart’s latest assertion right to Beyond the Flag backs up the idea of Harvick, Almirola, Briscoe and Custer all going forward alongside one another as teammates when once again in 2022.
“We’ve had a record of possessing extended-phrase relationships,” Stewart observed when asked about the reality that the final 5 years have observed variations on the driver entrance.
He then indicated that there is very little in the operates as considerably as earning a alter for what would be a sixth straight year is concerned.
“We really do not have any options to make any improvements ideal now,” he continued. “We’re delighted with our lineup. We’re satisfied with our guys. We sense like they’ve all contributed and labored seriously effectively together to attempt to locate options [amid a tough 2021 season]. This is the lineup I want for subsequent period.”
So for all intents and uses, it does not seem like the approaching offseason will see any improvements in Stewart-Haas Racing’s driver lineup, which could confirm to be paramount in the 1st yr of the Subsequent Gen car or truck in 2022.