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Look Ahead

Look Ahead: Green Flag in 20

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 2014 and what’s ahead for them in 2015. We will look at drivers who scored at least 400 points in the Cup Series and those who earned at least 250 points in the XFINITY (formerly Nationwide) and Camping World Truck Series.

With 20 days to go until the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500, here are some driver recaps followed by a tentative list of 2015 Sprint Cup Driver/Team lineups.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS):
2014
: Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet SS) finished sixth in the standings, made the Chase and earned 2,348 points. The 43-year-old Pittsboro, IN driver led 1,083 laps and scored four wins, three poles, 14 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes. He had a 9.0 average start and a 10.4 average finish.

Best 2014 NSCS starts: Pole – Watkins Glen 8/10, Michigan 8/17 and Homestead-Miami 11/16
Best 2014 NSCS finishes: Win – Kansas 5/10, Indianapolis 7/27, Michigan 8/17 and Dover 9/28
Last career NSCS Win: AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014.
2015: Gordon returns to the No. 24 for his final full-time Sprint Cup Series season. He has announced he will not retire but will be running in only selected races (also in other series as well) starting in 2016. Chase Elliott has already been confirmed as Gordon’s replacement next season.

2014: Brad Keselowski (Team Penske No. 2 Ford Fusion) finished fifth in the standings, made the Chase and earned 2,361 points. The Rochester Hills, MI driver who turns 31 on February 12th led 1,540 lap, scored six wins, five poles, 17 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes. He had a 7.4 average start and a 12.6 average finish. He also drove the Team Penske No. 22 Ford Mustang in 11 Nationwide Series starts. He averaged a 3.6 start (including five poles) and a 2.4 average finish (including five victories). Keselowski also piloted his own BKR No. 19 Ford F-150 in three Camping World Truck Series races scoring finishes of third (Charlotte), fifth (Kentucky) and a win (Bristol).
Best 2014 NSCS starts: Pole – Phoenix 3/2, Dover 6/1, Kentucky 6/28, Richmond 9/6 and Loudon 9/21
Best 2014 NSCS finishes: Win – Las Vegas 3/9, Kentucky 6/28, Loudon 7/13, Richmond 9/6, Chicagoland 9/14 and Talladega 10/19
Last NSCS Win: GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014.
2015: Keselowski, crew chief Paul Wolfe and sponsor Miller Lite are all contracted to return to the No. 2 Ford team thru the 2017 season. No word at this time if Keselowski will run any XFINITY Series races for Team Penske in 2015. He will ride-share his Brad Keselowski No. 29 Ford F-150 in the truck series with Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano and Austin Theriault.

2014: Joey Logano (Team Penske No. 22 Ford Fusion) finished fourth in the standings, made the Chase and earned 5,028 points. The 24-year-old Middletown, CT driver led 993 laps, scored one pole, five wins, 16 top-five and 22 top-10s. He had a 9.8 average start and an 11.3 average finish. He also drove the Team Penske No. 22 Ford Mustang in 10 Nationwide Series starts. He averaged a 5.4 start (including three poles) and a 4.8 average finish. Logano ran Brad Keselowski Racing’s No. 19 Ford F-150 in two Camping World Truck Series races with a best finish of third at Kansas Speedway.
Best 2014 NSCS start: Pole – Las Vegas 3/9
Best 2014 NSCS finishes: Win – Fort Worth 4/6, Richmond 4/26, Bristol 8/23, Loudon 9/21 and Kansas 10/5
Last NSCS Win: Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 5, 2014.
2015: Logano is contracted in the No. 22 thru 2015. Sponsor Shell-Pennzoil is committed thru at least 2018. The rest of the team is intact for the season. He will again ride-share Team Penske’s No. 22 Mustang in the XFINITY Series with Ryan Blaney. Logano will also be part of the four-driver lineup in BKR’s No. 29 Ford F-150 in the truck series.

UPDATES on previously covered NSCS drivers:
- Michael Annett left Tommy Baldwin Racing (No. 7 Chevrolet) to join HScott Motorsports as a teammate to Justin Allgaier (No. 51 Chevrolet). He will drive the No. 46 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet for the full season.
- Alex Bowman left BK Racing (No. 23 Toyota) to join Tommy Baldwin Racing as the driver of the No. 7 Chevrolet SS in 2015.

NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS):
2014 (NNS)
: Trevor Bayne (Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford Mustang) finished sixth in the standings and earned 1,086 points. The Knoxville, TN driver who turns 24 on February 19th led 80 laps and scored one pole, five top-five and 21 top-10s. He had an average start of 11.6 and an 11.3 average finish. Bayne also drove the Wood Brothers No. 21 Ford Fusion in 12 Sprint Cup races averaging a 32.2 finish.

Best 2014 NNS start: Pole – Iowa 8/2
Best 2014 NNS finishes: 2 – Dover 5/31 and Chicagoland 7/19
Last career NNS Win: DuPont Pioneer 250 at Iowa Speedway on June 9, 2013.
2015 (NXS): Bayne moves up to Sprint Cup (NSCS) full-time and will pilot the No. 6 Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing. Bob Osborne will be atop the pit box as the crew chief. Since Bayne drove too many NSCS races in the No. 21 Wood Brothers car, he will not be eligible to run for Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the NSCS series. So far, he does not plan on running in any NXS races in 2015.

2014 (NNS): Ty Dillon (Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro) finished fifth in the standings and earned 1,148 points. The Lewisville, NC driver who turns 23 on February 27th led 205 laps and scored one win, three poles, seven top-five and 24 top-10s. He had an average start of 9.5 and a 9.5 average finish. He drove the RCR/Circle Sport No. 33 Chevrolet SS in two Sprint Cup races averaging a 36th place finish. In the Camping World Truck Series, Dillon piloted RCR’s No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado at Eldora (finished fifth) and NT Motorsports No. 9 Chevy truck at Homestead (finished seventh).
Best 2014 NNS starts: Poles – Las Vegas 3/8, Kentucky 9/20 and Kansas 10/4
Best 2014 NNS finish: Win – Indianapolis 7/26
Last career NNS Win: Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014.
2015 (NXS): Dillon will return for another full season in the No. 3 Camaro with no changes to the team. He is committed to run the Sprint Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 in the Circle Sport Racing No. 33 Chevrolet SS. Dillon will also share driving duties in the GSM Racing No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado with older brother Austin Dillon and Brandon Jones in the Camping World Truck Series. Jones will drive 16 races, Austin in three and Ty will be behind the wheel at Daytona, Atlanta, Charlotte and Eldora.

2014 (NNS): Brian Scott (Richard Childress Racing No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro) finished fourth in the standings and earned 1,154 points. The 27-year-old Boise, ID driver led 130 laps and scored three poles, six top-five and 23 top-10 finishes. He had an average start of 6.5 and a 9.3 average finish. Scott also drove RCR’s No. 33 Chevrolet SS in six Sprint Cup races; scored a pole at Talladega and averaged a 32.3 finish for the six events.
Best 2014 NNS starts: Pole – Richmond 4/25, Chicagoland 7/19 and Chicagoland 9/13
Best 2014 NNS finish: 2 – Kentucky 9/20
Last career NNS Win: None so far.
2015 (NXS): Scott will return to RCR’s No. 2 Camaro in 2015 with a new veteran crew chief. Mike Hillman, Jr. comes to RCR with 20 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories and two series championships.  RCR will also be fielding the Sprint Cup Series No. 29 Chevrolet SS for Scott in his attempt to make his second Daytona 500.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS):
2014
: Timothy Peters (Red Horse Racing No. 17 Toyota Tundra) finished fifth in the standings and earned 746 points. The 34-year old Providence, NC driver led 126 laps, scored one win, nine top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. He averaged a 10.1 start coupled with a 10.5 average finish.

Best 2014 NCWTS start: 2 – Martinsville 10/25
Best 2014 NCWTS finish: Win – Talladega 10/18
Last career NCWTS Win: Fred's 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014.
2015: Peters will return to the No. 17 Toyota Tundra with no changes to the team including the return of crew chief Marcus Richmond atop the pit box.

2014: Johnny Sauter (ThorSport Racing No. 98 Toyota Tundra) finished fourth in the standings and earned 773 points. The 36-year old Necedah, WI driver led 154 laps and scored one win, eight top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. He had a 9.2 average start and a 9.3 average finish. Sauter also ran one Sprint Cup “start-and-park” race in BK Racing’s No. 93 Toyota and three Nationwide Series races in the Hattori Racing No. 80 Toyota Camry with a best finish of 15th at Daytona.
Best 2014 NCWTS start: 1 – Chicagoland 9/13 (not a pole, qualifying rained out, line-up set by practice speeds)
Best 2014 NCWTS finish: Win – Michigan 8/16
Last career NCWTS Win: Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014.
2015: Sauter returns to the No. 98 Toyota Tundra for ThorSport Racing with a new crew chief. Doug George takes over that role for the team.

UPDATES on previously covered NCWTS drivers:
- In addition to driving the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 4 Toyota Tundra full-time in the NCWTS, Erik Jones will also pilot Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry in 10 XFINITY races in 2015.

2015 Sprint Cup Lineup - Full-time teams(Tentative)

Car

Driver

Sponsor

Make

Owner

1

Jamie McMurray

Cessna/McDonald’s/Sherwin-Williams

Chevrolet

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite/Alliance Truck Parts/Wurth

Ford

Team Penske

3

Austin Dillon

Dow/Cheerios/Bass Pro Shops/American Ethanol

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

4

Kevin Harvick

Budweiser/Jimmie Johns/Outback Steakhouse

Chevrolet

Stewart  Haas Racing

5

Kasey Kahne

Farmers Insurance/Great Clips/Time Warner Cable/Pepsi/LiftMaster

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

6

Trevor Bayne

AdvoCare

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

7

Alex Bowman

Toy State/Nikko

Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing

9

Sam Hornish Jr.

Twisted Tea

Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports

10

Danica Patrick

GoDaddy.com/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

15

Clint Bowyer

5-Hour Energy/Peak/Charter/AAA Mid-Atlantic

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

16

Greg Biffle

Ortho/Cheez-It

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Fastenal/Zest

Ford

Roush Fenway Racing

18

Kyle Busch

M&M’s

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

19

Carl Edwards

Arris/Stanley Tools/Sport Clips/Subway

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

20

Matt Kenseth

Dollar General/DeWalt

Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing

22

Joey Logano

Shell-Pennzoil/AAA/Autotrader.com

Ford

Team Penske

23

?

Dr. Pepper/Burger King

Toyota

BK Racing

24

Jeff Gordon

Drive to End Hunger/Axalta/Pepsi/3M/Panasonic

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

27

Paul Menard

Menards

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

30

Ron Hornaday Jr.

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Chevrolet

The Motorsports Group

31

Ryan Newman

Caterpillar/Quicken Loans/WIX Filters/Kwikset/Grainger

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

32

Bobby Labonte

C&J Energy Services (4 races)

Ford

GoFAS Racing

32

Boris Said

(Watkins Glen and Sonoma only)

Ford

GoFAS Racing

32

?

Keenparts.com/corvetteparts.net (8 races)

Ford

GoFAS Racing

33

Ty Dillon

NE Cheerio’s/Kroger (Daytona 500)
Yuengling (Pocono - June)

Chevrolet

Joe Falk-Circle Sport Racing

34

David Ragan

Taco Bell

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

35

Cole Whitt

Speed Stick

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

36

Reed Sorenson

Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix

Chevrolet

Tommy Baldwin Racing

38

David Gilliland

Love's Travel Stops

Ford

Front Row Motorsports

40

Landon Cassill

NE (sponsor unconfirmed)?

Chevrolet

Joe Falk Racing

41

Kurt Busch

Haas Automation/State Water Heaters

Chevrolet

Stewart Haas Racing

42

Kyle Larson

Target

Chevrolet

Chip Ganassi Racing

43

Aric Almirola

Smithfield Foods/STP/“Fresh From Florida”/U.S. Air Force

Ford

Richard Petty Motorsports

46

Michael Annett

Pilot Flying J/Cypress Associates/Northland Oil

Chevrolet

HScott Motorsports

47

AJ Allmendinger

Clorox/Scott Products

Chevrolet

JTG Daugherty Racing

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

51

Justin Allgaier

BRANDT/Auto-Owners Insurance

Chevrolet

HScott Motorsports

55

Brian Vickers

Aaron’s Dream Machine

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

55

Michael Waltrip

(Daytona 500 only) Vickers returns in March

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

55

Brett Moffitt

(Atlanta only) Vickers returns at Las Vegas

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

78

Martin Truex Jr.

Furniture Row

Chevrolet

Furniture Row Racing

83

J.J. Yeley

Burger King/Dr. Pepper (or in #23 +or #93)

Toyota

BK Racing

88

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Nationwide/Diet Mountain Dew/AMP Energy/Kelley Blue Book

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

98

Josh Wise

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Chevrolet

Phil Parsons Racing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part-time/Questionable teams

 

 

21

Ryan Blaney

NE Motorcraft/Quick Lane

Ford

Wood Brothers Racing

25

Chase Elliott

NAPA (5 race prep for 2016 move to Cup)

Chevrolet

Hendrick Motorsports

26

?

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Toyota

BK Racing

29

Brian Scott

(Daytona 500 only)

Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

66

?

(sponsor unconfirmed)

Toyota

Michael_Waltrip Racing

95

Michael McDowell

K-LOVE/Thrivent Financial

Ford

Leavine Family Racing

 

 

NE=Not eligible for points in Sprint Cup

 

 

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