There has been a lot of recent chatter about potential driver moment ahead of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. But so far, only one change has been confirmed.
While there haven’t been any huge announcements made so far in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, silly season talks are beginning to heat up.
Among the topics of discussion are Ty Gibbs potentially moving to the Cup Series with Joe Gibbs Racing and replacing one of their veterans, Kyle Busch lacking sponsorship for next year, and JTG Daugherty Racing potentially selling their one remaining charter.
But so far, there has only been one confirmed change for the 2023 season, and that change was announced before the 2022 season even started.
The only change confirmed for next year is the fact that Aric Almirola will not be back for a sixth season behind the wheel of the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.
Almirola announced before the season began that the 2022 season will be his 15th and final season in the Cup Series. So unless the Tampa, Florida native pulls a Tom Brady, he is set to retire and thus be replaced.
But that is the only aspect of the announcement that has been confirmed, as the team have not yet confirmed who will replace him next year, and it may be a while before they do so.
Several drivers have been linked to his seat, most notably Ryan Preece, and Stewart-Haas Racing have been the subject of additional silly season speculation, with some questioning whether or not Cole Custer will be back for a fourth season with the team in 2023.
Kevin Harvick is under contract to return, though many believe the 2023 season will be his last, and Chase Briscoe also isn’t going anywhere.
Regardless of what happens with Custer, Almirola’s pending departure guarantees that the team will be making a driver change after 2022, meaning they will have changed their lineup after six of the last seven seasons.
While this year’s silly season probably won’t be as crazy as silly season has been in each of the last two years, there is still a lot that needs to be sorted out, as the only confirmed announcement so far is one that came well before the 2022 campaign even began.