TRACKING THE CHANGES: XFINITY Series Silly Season
From one season to the next, NASCAR is never short of changes as there are always drivers in new rides entering another year of NASCAR XFINITY Series competition.
The 2018 campaign will be no different, so let’s review where things stand as of December 18, 2017.
John Hunter Nemechek is set for a partial schedule with Chip Ganassi Racing in the XFINITY Series next year after spending the past five seasons in Truck competition, winning five races.
After running the majority of the XFINITY Series races for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2017, Tyler Reddick will replace William Byron at JR Motorsports, set to run the full schedule. In 18 starts, Reddick scored six top-10’s, highlighted by a win at Kentucky Speedway.
William Byron makes the move to the Cup Series after taking home the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship. He replaces Kasey Kahne at Hendrick Motorsports, but will not adorn the No. 5. Instead, he will have the No. 24 – which has been Chase Elliott‘s number for the past two seasons.
Christopher Bell will move up to the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018 after winning the 2017 Truck Series Championship.
Kaz Grala will move up to the XFINITY Series with JGL Racing in 2018 after winning at Daytona and placing seventh in the year-end standings.
Brad Keselowski Racing closed their doors at year-end after nine years in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Both of their drivers Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe will move over to Roush Fenway Racing in the XFINITY Series, set to split the schedule with Ty Majeski.
Spencer Gallagher will return to the XFINITY Series full-time once again in 2018 with GMS Racing, but with a new crew chief as GMS Racing hired Chad Norris to take over for Joey Cohen at the beginning of December. In his first full year of XFINITY competition, Gallagher scored 13 top-20 finishes, including a season-best 10th at Richmond Raceway.
Vinnie Miller gets his first shot at the full schedule, courtesy of JD Motorsports with Gary Keller. The 20-year-old gained experience in ARCA and NKNPSE, scoring six top-10’s, before making his XFINITY Series debut this past season at Chicagoland Speedway, finishing 29th.
Matt Tifft moves over to Richard Childress Racing, replacing Brandon Jones. In his first full season, he ranked seventh in the year-end standings with two top-fives.
Ryan Preece will get to run at least 10 races for Joe Gibbs Racing after four top-fives in four races last year, including a win at Iowa Speedway.
Spencer Boyd will get his chance to run the full XFINITY Series schedule, set to drive the No. 76 Chevrolet Camaro for SS Green Light in all 34 events with sponsorship backing from Grunt Style. Over the past two years, Boyd has run six XFINITY Series events and six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races while looking to put together the right opportunity.
Brennan Poole has yet to announce his plans for 2018 after running the full schedule for Chip Ganassi Racing this past season. If he does return, though, he will have a new crew chief as Chad Norris will move over to GMS Racing with Gallagher.
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