By: Kobe Lambeth
NASCAR fans, are you ready to see who is going where and potential rumors? Let’s see the current lineup for the 2016 Xfinity season.
Confirmed Full Season entries (13 cars)
4 Ross Chastain Chevrolet Camaro- Chastain will return to JD Motorsports full-time in 2016. After a rookie season with ups and downs, Chastain looks to improve.
6 Darrell Wallace Jr. Ford Mustang- Bubba will return to Roush Fenway Racing for another season. It appears that Seth Barbour will remain Wallace’s crew chief. The sponsorship situation is currently unknown. Bubba is expected to improve in 2016 and potentially break through for his first career Xfinity Series victory.
7 Justin Allgaier BRANDT Chevrolet Camaro- Allgaier will return to the Xfinity Series after two full seasons in Sprint Cup. Along with BRANDT, TaxSlayer and Hellman’s will sponsor Allgaier’s car. A crew chief has not been decided for his first season with JR Motorsports.
8 Blake Koch LeafFilter Toyota Camry- Koch will return to TriStar Motorsports in 2016 full-time.
16 Ryan Reed American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang- Reed is returning to Roush Fenway Racing to improve on last season’s successes. Chad Norris is expected to return as crew chief.
18 Daniel Suarez ARRIS Toyota Camry- Suarez will return for a second season with Joe Gibbs Racing. He is looking to build momentum into 2016 following a strong rookie season.
20 Erik Jones Toyota Camry- Jones will move to the Xfinity Series full-time in 2016. Sponsorship and crew chief will be announced at a later date.
22 Team Penske Ford Mustang- Look for Team Penske to continue the tradition of rotating Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney. Greg Erwin will be the crew chief.
25 John Wes Townley Zaxby’s Chevrolet Camaro- Townley will drive select races in addition to his full-time Truck schedule. Dylan Lupton could return for a few races.
44 David Starr Zachry Group Toyota Camry- Starr will return to TriStar Motorsports.
88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro- The “star car” will consist of multiple Sprint Cup drivers: Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman. The car will be sponsored by TaxSlayer, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Hellman’s, and other potential sponsors.
Elliott Sadler JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro- Sadler will leave Roush Fenway Racing for JR Motorsports in 2016. His car number is currently unknown, but OneMain Financial is most likely to continue its sponsorship.
Brandon Jones Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro- Jones will run the entire NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule. Car number and sponsorship will be announced at a later date.
Possible Entries (18 cars)
0 Flex Seal Chevrolet Camaro- No word on whether or not Harrison Rhodes will return in 2016. Michael Self could be a candidate for the full-time nod.
01 Landon Cassill G&K Services Chevrolet Camaro- There are no indications that Cassill will return as he is exploring the market. If he does not have luck elsewhere, I would not be surprised to see him return to JD Motorsports.
2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro- Brian Scott has moved to the Sprint Cup Series, which leaves on open seat at Richard Childress Racing. It would not be surprising to see Brandon Jones take this seat. Other candidates could be Regan Smith, David Ragan, Dakoda Armstrong, or wild card Ryan Gifford.
3 Ty Dillon Chevrolet Camaro- Nothing has been announced regarding Dillon’s 2016 plans. While exploring the move to Sprint Cup, Dillon is likely to return for another full season in the Xfinity Series.
5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro- JR Motorsports could field an additional entry for Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott and other young drivers.
12 Team Penske Ford Mustang- Typically runs the Watkins Glen race with Joey Logano. Could expand in 2016 by giving Tyler Reddick a few races.
14 TriStar Motorsports Toyota Camry- It is unclear if this team will return to the series. Cale Conley drove for the team, until sponsorship woes ended his season early.
24 Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Toyota Camry- There has been rumors of Eric McClure’s retirement, but he has not formally confirmed it. No word on whether or not he will return to the Xfinity Series.
28 JJ Yeley JGL Racing Toyota Camry- Although the team had a successful season with Yeley behind the wheel, a 2016 program has not been confirmed.
33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro- Brandon Jones could run this car full-time, but might move to the Number 2 car after Brian Scott’s departure. Moving to the Number 2 car could allow for Richard Childress Racing to run multiple drivers. Dakoda Armstrong is rumored to join the team.
39 Ryan Sieg Racing Chevrolet Camaro- Sieg is likely to return to the Xfinity Series after an amazing 2015 season.
42 Harry Scott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Camaro- The team will most likely continue running select races with Kyle Larson. If sponsorship is found, Brennan Poole could drive the car full-time.
43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Mustang- Dakoda Armstrong has parted ways with the team. There is no word if the Number 43 car will run full-time in 2016. Candidates to drive the car are Brett Moffit, David Ragan, Regan Smith, and Ryan Truex.
51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet Camaro- Clements will most likely return in 2016.
54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry- It is unclear if we will see the dominating 54 car in 2016. Monster Energy is moving to Sprint Cup to sponsor Kurt Busch, which leaves this car without sponsorship. We should see Kyle Busch and a variety of drivers cycle through the car if sponsorship is found.
60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang- Chris Buescher has moved onto the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. This will most likely be a partial season entry. Maybe David Ragan could return to Roush Fenway Racing full-time if sponsorship is found.
62 Brendan Gaughan South Point Resort Chevrolet Camaro- Nothing has been announced, but Gaughan will most likely return to Richard Childress Racing.
98 Biagi-Denbeste Racing Ford Mustang- There has not been an announcement regarding the fate of this team. If the team returns, you could see David Ragan or Ryan Truex behind the wheel.
*There are LOTS of seats available in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. It will be interesting to see where drivers like Regan Smith, David Ragan, and Ryan Truex end up!*