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Look Ahead

Look Ahead: 75 Days to Daytona

by Anthony Ballantoni
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

During the off-season, Look Ahead gives a snapshot of where drivers finished in 2015 and what’s ahead for them in 2016. We will look at drivers who scored at least 250 points in the Cup Series and those who earned at least 200 points in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. Since many teams have yet to firm up their 2016 plans, we will include updates in future columns.

With 75 days to go until the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500, here are some driver recaps followed by a tentative list of 2016 Sprint Cup Driver/Team lineups.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS):
2015
: Alex Bowman (Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 Chevrolet SS) - In 35 races, the Tucson, AZ driver led three laps, had a 34.4 average start, a 31.6 average finish, earned 437 points and closed out the season 33rd in the standings. Bowman subbed for injured John Wes Townley (#25 Chevrolet Camaro) in two XFINITY Series races; finished 14th and 17th. He also drove the JR Motorsports #00 Chevrolet Silverado in the Michigan Camping World Truck Series race; finished 11th.
Best 2015 start: 26th – Phoenix 3/15
Best 2015 finish: 16th – Talladega 5/3
Last career NSCS win: None so far.
2016: Bowman is contracted thru 2016 to drive the #7 Chevrolet. Team owner Tommy Baldwin is currently acting as crew chief; no current plan to change that relationship. Sponsorship is currently not firmed up. Bowman is also contracted to drive JR Motorsports #88 Chevrolet Camaro in nine XFINITY Series races.

2015: David Gilliland (Front Row Motorsports #38 Ford Fusion) - In 36 races, the Riverside, CA driver led seven laps, had a 33.7 average start, a 29.4 average finish, earned 533 points, and closed out the season 32nd in the standings. Gilliland also piloted Ricky Benton’s #92 Ford F-150 in seven Camping World Truck Series races averaging a 14.7 start coupled with a 17.4 average finish.
Best 2015 start: 6th – Daytona 7/5
Best 2015 finish: 11th – Daytona 2/22
Last career NSCS win: None so far.
2016: No firm plans for 2016. Front Row Racing may be cutting back to two teams; if so, no word on which teams/drivers will remain. Gilliland may again drive some truck races in Benton’s #92 Ford F-150.

2015: Cole Whitt (Front Row Racing #35 Ford Fusion) - In 36 races, the Alpine, CA driver led five laps, had a 35.0 average start, a 28.7 average finish, earned 553 points and closed out the season 31st in the standings.
Best 2015 start: 19th – Daytona 2/22
Best 2015 finish: 13th - Talladega 5/3
Last career NSCS win: None so far.
2016: No firm plans for 2016. Front Row Racing may be cutting back to two teams; if so, no word on which teams/drivers will remain.

2015: Justin Allgaier (HScott Motorsports #51 Chevrolet SS) - In 36 races, the Riverton, IL driver led one lap and scored one top-10, had a 26.4 average start, a 27.7 average finish, earned 588 points and closed out the season 30th in the standings.
Best 2015 start: 12th – Watkins Glen 8/9
Best 2015 finish: 8th – Bristol 4/19
Last career NSCS win: None so far.
2016: Allgaier left the #51 team at the end of the season (will be replaced by Clint Bowyer). Allgaier will take over JR Motorsports #7 Chevrolet Camaro (replacing Regan Smith) full-time in the XFINITY Series. Sponsorship for the team will be BRANDT, TaxSlayer and Hellman's.

NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS):
2015
: Mike Harmon (Mike_Harmon Racing #74 Dodge) - In 27 races, the  Birmingport, AL driver had a 37.1 average start, a 32.3 average finish, earned 315 points and closed out the season 25th in the standings.
Best 2015 start: 29th – Daytona 2/21
Best 2015 finish: 24th – Daytona 2/21
Last career NXS win: None so far.
2016: No firm plans at this time but Harmon will most likely enter his #74 Dodge in as many NXS races as possible.

2015: Harrison Rhodes (JD Motorsports #0 Chevrolet Camaro, 26 races; Derek_White #13 Dodge, 2 races) – In 28 races, the High Point, NC driver scored one top-10, had a 30.5 average start, a 28.6 average finish, earned 430 points and closed out the season 24th in the standings.
Best 2015 start: 21st – Chicago 6/21
Best 2015 finish: 9th – Daytona 7/4
Last career NXS win: None so far.
2016: No firm plans announced at this time.

2015: Brennan Poole (HScott Motorsports #42 Chevrolet Camaro) – In 17 races, the Woodlands, TX driver scored two top-10s, had a 16.6 average start, an 18.6 average finish, earned 433 points and closed out the season 23rd in the standings. Poole also made his Camping World Truck Series debut at Las Vegas on October 3rd; started 14th and finished 11th.
Best 2015 start: 10th – Richmond 4/24
Best 2015 finish: 9th – Las Vegas 3/7
Last career NXS win: None so far.
2016: No firm plans announced at this time.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS):
2015
: Justin Boston (Kyle_Busch Motorsports #54 Toyota Tundra) – In nine races, the Sparks, MD driver led one lap, scored four top-10s, had a 14.7 average start, a 15.8 average finish, earned 255 points and closed out the season 25th in the standings. Boston also drove the Venturini Motorsports #55 Toyota in two ARCA Racing events; finished fifth and eighth.
Best 2015 start: 6th – Atlanta 2/28
Best 2015 finish: 7th – Kansas 5/8
Last career NCWTS win: None so far.
2016: KBM has announced drivers contracted to drive their trucks in 2016 and Boston is not listed in any them. No other plans for Boston have been announced at this time.

2015: Austin Theriault (Brad_Keselowski Racing #29 Ford F-150) – In nine races, the Fort Kent, ME driver led 18 laps, scored two top-fives, four top-10s, had an 11.9 average start, a 12.1 average finish, earned 279 points and closed out the season 24th in the standings. Theriault was injured in a multi-truck wreck at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 3rd. After his recovery and NASCAR clearance, he returned to the track for the season finale at Homestead. He also drove the Venturini Motorsports #55 Toyota at Pocono Raceway in the ARCA Racing series; started sixth and finished fourth.
Best 2015 start: 4th – Daytona 2/20
Best 2015 finish: 4th – Daytona 2/20
Last career NCWTS win: None so far.
2016: No firm plans announced at this time.

2015: Timmy Hill (Jay Robinson’s #94 Chevrolet Silverado) – In 12 races, the Port Tobacco, MD driver led one lap, had a 24.5 average start, a 19.3 average finish, earned 297 points and closed out the season 23rd in the standings. Hill made 12 Sprint Cup starts for Premium Motorsports with best finishes of 36th place (three times). He also had 12 mostly “start-and-park” entries in the XFINITY Series for a mixture of cars from JGL Motorsports, Derek White and Rick Ware. His best result in that series was the July 4th race at Daytona; he drove JGL’s #26 Toyota Camry to an 11th place finish.
Best 2015 Start: 19th – Kentucky 7/9
Best 2015 finish: 15th – Dover 5/29
Last career NCWTS win: None so far.
2016: No firm plans announced at this time. Jay Robinson’s team may not compete in 2016.

2016 Sprint Cup Lineup - Full-time teams(Tentative)

Car

Driver

Sponsor

Make

Owner

1

Jamie McMurray

Cessna/McDonald’s

Chevrolet

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite

Ford

Team Penske

3

Austin Dillon

Dow/Cheerios/Bass Pro Shops/American Ethanol

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

4

Kevin Harvick

Busch Beer/Jimmie Johns/diTech Mortgage

Chevrolet

Stewart  Haas Racing

5

Kasey Kahne

Farmers Insurance/Great Clips/LiftMaster/ Quicken Loans

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

6

Trevor Bayne

AdvoCare

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

7

Alex Bowman

???

Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing

9

???

Medallion Bank

Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports

10

Danica Patrick

Nature’s Bakery/Aspen Dental/TaxACT

Chevrolet

Stewart  Haas Racing

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx/Sports Clips

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

13

Casey Mears

Geico

Chevrolet

Germain Racing

14

Tony Stewart

Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1/Code 3 Associates

Chevrolet

Stewart Haas Racing

16

Greg Biffle

Cheez-It

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Fastenal/Zest/Fifth Third Bank/Safety Kleen

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

18

Kyle Busch

M&M’s/Interstate Batteries

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

19

Carl Edwards

Arris/Stanley/Sport Clips/Subway/Comcast

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

20

Matt Kenseth

Dollar General/DeWalt

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

21

Ryan Blaney

Motorcraft/Quick Lane

Ford

Wood Brothers Racing

22

Joey Logano

Shell-Pennzoil

Ford

Team Penske

23

???

???

Toyota

BK Racing

24

Chase Elliott

NAPA Auto Parts

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

26

???

???

Toyota

BK Racing

27

Paul Menard

Menards

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

31

Ryan Newman

Caterpillar/WIX/Grainger

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

32

Bobby Labonte

C&J Energy Services (4 races)

Ford

GoFAS Racing

32

Jeffrey Earnhardt

Can-Am (11 races)

Ford

GoFAS Racing

34

???

???

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

35

???

???

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

38

???

???

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

40

???

???

Chevrolet

Joe Falk Racing

41

Kurt Busch

Monster Energy/Haas Automation/State Water Heaters

Chevrolet

Stewart Haas Racing

42

Kyle Larson

Target/Energizer/Coca-Cola/AXE/Clorox

Chevrolet

Chip Ganassi Racing

43

Aric Almirola

Smithfield Foods

Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports

46

Michael Annett

Pilot Flying J

Chevrolet

HScott Motorsports

47

AJ Allmendinger

Kroger/Scott Products/Kingsford Charcoal/Bush’s Baked Beans

Chevrolet

JTG Daugherty Racing

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

51

Clint Bowyer

5-hour Energy/PEAK/BluDEF

Chevrolet

HScott Motorsports

62

???

???

Chevrolet

Premium Motorsports

78

Martin Truex Jr.

Furniture Row

Toyota

Furniture Row Racing

83

???

Burger King/Dr. Pepper

Toyota

BK Racing

88

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Nationwide/Axalta Coatings/ TaxSlayer.com/Diet Mountain Dew

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

98

???

???

Chevrolet

Premium Motorsports

99

???

???

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part-time/Questionable teams

 

 

95

Michael McDowell

K-LOVE/Thrivent Financial

Ford

Leavine Family Racing

 

Anthony Ballantoni
Anthony Ballantoni is a Senior Sports Writer at Rotoworld.com.