Aric Almirola
AP
Look Ahead

NASCAR Cup Series racing returns in 62 days

Updated On: December 14, 2020, 5:35 pm ET

Only 62 days to go before the green flag drops to start the NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500. Here is a brief look at Aric Almirola’s 2020 NASCAR season and snapshots on few other drivers across the top three series. The tentative list of 2021 Cup Driver/Team lineups attached shows only those teams who plan on entering all events. Since many have yet to announce their 2021 plans, follow NASCAR Headlines and "Player" News on this site for the latest driver/team updates.

                    NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

2020: Cole Custer (Stewart-Haas Racing #41 Ford Mustang) - In 36 races, the Ladera Ranch, CA native scored 1 win, 2 top-fives, 7 top-tens, had a 19.8 average start, a 19.22 average finish, led 5 laps and, thanks to his victory in the July 12th Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, made the NCS Playoffs Round of 16. He was eliminated before the Round of 12 and closed out the season 16th in the NCS standings. After the season-ending race at Phoenix Raceway, Custer was officially awarded the 2020 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.
2021: Custer will return for another full season in the #41 Mustang. Mike Shiplett will continue as crew chief for the team.

2020: Aric Almirola (Stewart-Haas Racing #10 Ford Mustang) - In 36 races, the Tampa, FL native scored 6 top-fives, 18 top-tens, had a 9.0 average start, a 13.28 average finish and led 305 laps. At the end of the regular season, Almirola was 10th in points which earned him a spot in the NCS Playoffs Round of 16. He was eliminated before the Round of 12 and closed out the season 15th in the NCS standings.
2021: Almirola will return to the SHR #10 Mustang along with crew chief Mike Bugarewicz. Smithfield will cover some expenses as primary sponsor for 25 races.

         NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS)

2020: Myatt Snider (8 races in Richard Childress Racing #21 Chevrolet Camaro, 25 races in RSS Racing #93 Chevrolet Camaro) - In 33 races, the Charlotte, NC native scored 2 top-fives, 6 top-tens, had an 18.8 average start, a 20.64 average finish, led 32 laps and closed out the season 16th in the NXS standings. Snider’s best finish was 4th (driving the #21) in the June 28th Pocono Green 225 at Pocono Raceway.
2021: RCR has signed Snider to a full-time NXS ride in the #2 Chevrolet Camaro. Crew chief Andy Street will move from the #21 in that role for the #2 team. TaxSlayer will also move sponsorship from the #21 to cover the full season.

2020: Alex Labbe (DGM Racing Nos. 36 and 90 Chevrolet Camaros) - In 33 races, the St. Albert, Quebec native scored 1 top-five, 5 top-tens, had a 20.3 average start, a 19.33 average finish, led 20 laps and closed out the season 15th in the NXS standings. Labbe’s best finish was 4th in the October 10th Drive For the Cure 250 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course.
2021: No firm plans announced at this time but Labbe will probably pilot one of the DGR Racing cars again this season.

         NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NTS)

2020: Austin Wayne Self (Niece Motorsports #22 Chevrolet Silverado) - In 23 races, the Austin, TX native scored 2 top-tens, had a 21.3 average start, a 20.83 average finish and closed out the season 16th in the truck series standings. His best finish was a 7th place in the October 25th SpeedyCash.com 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.
2021: Plans have yet to be announced for Austin Wayne Self or Niece Motorsports’ #22 Chevy truck in the upcoming season.

2020: Stewart Friesen (Halmar Racing #52 Toyota Tundra) - In 22 races (of the 23 scheduled), the Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario native scored 3 top-fives, 12 top-tens, had a 16.4 average start, a 15.73 average finish and closed out the season 15th in the truck series standings. Friesen missed the October truck race at Kansas Speedway due to NASCAR’s schedule change from the 16th to the 17th. He already had a previous commitment to race in the Short Track Super Series Speed Showcase 200 in Pennsylvania on the 17th. Friesen’s best truck series finishes were 4th places in the July 18th Vankor 250 at Texas Motor Speedway and the September 25th World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
2021: As it stands right now, Friesen will be driving the #52 Tundra again this season with Trip Bruce handling the crew chief duties. Halmar International will also return as primary sponsor.

                      2021 Tentative NCS Series Team Chart

Car Driver Owner Crew Chief Sponsor
00 Chevy Quin Houff StarCom Racing George Church -
1 Chevy Kurt Busch  Chip Ganassi Racing Matt McCall Monster Energy
2 Ford Brad Keselowski Team Penske Jeremy Bullins Discount Tire
3 Chevy Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Justin Alexander -
4 Ford Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Rodney Childers Busch Beer, Mobil 1, Hunt Brothers Pizza
5 Chevy Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Cliff Daniels -
6 Ford Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Scott Graves Oscar Mayer, Wyndham Rewards
7 Chevy Corey LaJoie Spire Motorsports Ryan Sparks -
8 Chevy Tyler Reddick  Richard Childress Racing Randall Burdett Okuma
9 Chevy Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Alan Gustafson NAPA Auto Parts, Hooters
10 Ford Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Mike Bugarewics  Smithfield
11 Toyota Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Chris Gabehart FedEx
12 Ford Ryan Blaney  Team Penske Todd Gordon -
14 Ford Chase Briscoe - R Stewart-Haas Racing - HighPoint
15 Chevy - Rick Ware Racing  Pat Tryson -
17 Ford Chris Buescher Roush Fenway Racing Luke Lambert -
18 Toyota Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Ben Beshore M&Ms, Skittles, Pedigree, Interstate Batteries
19 Toyota Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing James Small Auto Owners Ins.
20 Toyota Christopher Bell  Joe Gibbs Racing Adam Stevens Rheem, Craftsman
21 Ford Matt DiBenedetto Wood Brothers Racing Greg Erwin Motorcraft/Quick Lane
22 Ford Joey Logano Team Penske Paul Wolfe Shell-Pennzoil, AAA, Autotrader, MoneyLion 
23 Toyota Bubba Wallace 23XI Racing Mike Wheeler -
24 Chevy William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Rudy Fugle Axalta, Liberty University 
27 Chevy - Rick Ware Racing Mike Hillman Sr. -
34 Ford Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Drew Blickensderfer -
37 Chevy Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Trent Owens Kroger, Bush's Beans
38 Ford - Front Row Motorsports Seth Barbour -
41 Ford Cole Custer  Stewart-Haas Racing Mike Shiplett -
42 Chevy Ross Chastain Chip Ganassi Racing - McDonald's
43 Chevy Erik Jones Richard Petty Motorsports Jerry Baxter Victory Junction
47 Chevy Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Brian Pattie Kroger, NOS Energy Drink
48 Chevy Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Greg Ives Ally Financial
51 Chevy - Rick Ware Racing Jason Houghtaling Biohaven Pharmaceuticals’ Nurtec
53 Chevy - Rick Ware Racing Todd Parrott -
66 Toyota Timmy Hill MBM Motorsports Steven Idol -
77 Chevy - Spire Motorsports Kevin Bellicourt -
78 Ford BJ McLeod Live Fast Motorsports - Keen Parts
96 Toyota - Gaunt Brothers Racing - -
99 Chevy Daniel Suarez Trackhouse Racing Travis Mack -
  R - Rookie of The Year contender      

Source URL: https://www.nbcsports.com/edge/article/look-ahead/nascar-cup-series-racing-returns-62-days