One more month until NASCAR gets started up again! February 11th is the start of Daytona Speedweeks, the first Truck race is the 16th, and the Daytona 500 is on the 18th this year. What does that mean for us? Not a whole lot, but since we're down to a month away, we need to adjust to new rules, driver changes, rumors, and schedules! Now, just how do we keep up with all of this? Social Media will always be my saving grace. I would suggest you start keeping up with NASCAR, NASCAR on NBC, Fox: NASCAR, NASCARFemale and some individual reporters on Twitter until the season starts. My go to's include Jamie Little, Matt Weaver, and Claire B. Lang. Of course, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon, Mikey Waltrip, Mike Joy and the other Fox crew are all good picks for the start of the season too.
The following link will take you to the official announcement of each race date, and where it will air. The list includes the Cup series, Xfinity, NCWTS, K&N East and K&N West. ( The K&N races don't have a TV air date but those get posted throughout the season regularly on the NASCAR on NBC and NASCAR Home Tracks pages.
So addressing seat changes, this is what we know so far. Let's start out with Danica Patrick - she's supposedly running the Daytona 500 and Indy 500. She hasn't announced what team this will be for, but these two events are the last of her racing career. Aric Almirola will take over the 10 this season. Bubba Wallace will be in the 43, moving up from Xfinity to race full time. As for Matt Kenseth, his last race was in Homestead, Erik Jones taking over the 20 car. Kasey Kahne will move to the 95 for Levine Family Racing, and the 5 car will "disappear" from the field. Hendrick Motorsports will look like this - Alex Bowman in the 88, (remember Jr. retired!) Jimmie Johnson in the 48 and Chase Elliott is going through a number change, William Byron will be in the 24, and Elliott in the 9. I heard someone (Jeff Burton I believe?) say to look at it as a jersey change, the only thing changing for them is the number. We have Team Penske expanding to a three-car team, adding the 12 car and Ryan Blaney to the seat. So who takes over the 21? Paul Menard and that opens up the 27 seat. The rumor is that Brendan Poole (Xfinity driver) will be moving up to the seat, but nothing is confirmed yet. Since it's been relatively quiet lately I'd love to say 'Silly Season is over!' but remember how Edwards left last minute last season.
Hopefully I've prepared you well!
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I'm a junior in high school but that doesn't stop me from keeping up with and bringing you the latest from NASCAR!