Tha Sports Junkies 101

NASCAR Silly Season: Who is Still Unsure about 2018?

Photo by Trevon Haywood via Flickr


‘Silly Season’ can be defined as a time in the NASCAR season when several driver’s contracts are set to expire soon and they have to scramble to find a seat for next year. One thing is certain for 2018: the Daytona 500 will have a lot of new names and numbers.

In previous articles, we at TSJNASCAR have detailed who is going where for next year. But in this article, we’ll take a look at the remaining free-agent drivers.

Jamie McMurray-The driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing has an unknown contract status for next year. He is currently 9th in the driver’s standings and 16th in the Playoffs.

Kasey Kahne-The Brickyard 400 champion, he will be elsewhere in 2018. Rick Hendrick has made it known he is helping Kasey find a ride and will pay him for the final year of his contract.

Danica Patrick-The Stewart-Haas Racing driver is in the midst of potential sponsorship disputes that could leave her without a ride for 2018. Nothing is official yet, but Danica is currently without sponsors for several races next year.

Matt Kenseth-The 2003 Series champion will not be in Joe Gibbs Racing’s lineup next season. Kenseth, 45, has apparently had offers from multiple teams. Nothing is certain yet, but expect someone with the amount of success as Matt to find a top notch ride.

Kurt Busch-The defending Daytona 500 champion is in contract negotiations with current employer Stewart-Haas Racing. The extension option on his current contract did expire, but SHR stated they expect to have Kurt back in 2018.

Aric Almirola-Richard Petty Motorsports’ only driver has a contract that expires after 2017. After missing 7 races due to a broken back, Aric needs to renegotiate his contract with RPM. Rumors have RPM potentially switching manufacturers as well.

Darrell Wallace Jr-After having his Xfinity Series team shut down, subbing for the injured Almirola, and winning a Truck race, ‘Bubba’ is certainly ready for Cup. He had a best finish of 11th in his 4 starts with RPM. Petty is also allegedly looking for sponsors to bring Bubba back in a second full time car.

These 7 drivers are the remaining free agents for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In total, this list of drivers has compiled 93 wins. These include multiple Daytona 500s, Brickyard 400s, and 2 Cup championships. Whether a veteran or a rookie, each of these drivers can contend for race wins and championships. Only time will tell if they will be in the field for the 2018 Daytona 500.