Tha Sports Junkies 101

HMS Makes Shocking Driver Car Switch For 2018 – Can Fans Adjust?

HMS Ryan Keefer via



In a shocking announcement that sent fans reeling on Twitter tonight, Hendrick Motor Sports did the unthinkable.

Instead of Chase Elliott going to the 24 car as expected, they announced that he will pilot the # 9 car and William Byron will be driving the # 24 next season. This announcement broke at 7:30EST on Twitter:

Soon after the news broke, there was a widespread show of support for both drivers and their newly assigned team numbers. Elliott will bring his 24 team and crew over to the # 9 car with him in 2018.

Jeff Gordon, who announces for Fox Sports in the play by play booth, had this to say about Byron coming to the 24 car shortly after the news broke.


So here’s how the announcement breaks down: (seems like fans will have to read closely).

  • Chase Elliott switches from the #24 to the #9, which his dad Bill Elliott used for a large part of his career.
  • Chase brings his current #24 team along with him. A given in any team transition.
  • William Byron moves from the # 5 (driven by Kasey Khane) and becomes the 24 team.

According to NASCAR reporter Jeff Gluck, some questions have been raised with the number changes:

  1. Will those who are faithful to the 24 stay with the number, or stay with the driver (Elliott)
  2. Can the 5 car, which will turn into the 9 car, shake off the bad luck they have faced with a fresh face (Byron)
  3. AND – Do NASCAR fans have an obsession with car numbers like they do with team jerseys in other sports?

This is a huge announcement from Hendrick that is sure to rock the NASCAR world.

Fans following the 24 car and Jeff Gordon then Chase Elliott have to get used to another new driver or follow Elliott to a new car number.

And an Elliott returning to the 9 car should be good for the sport. Probably take some getting used to at first.

The lack of the 5 car on the track, for most fans, isn’t a big deal. That car wasn’t in the limelight too much, anyway.

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