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NASCAR Silly Season: Penske-Wood Bros. alliance gets 2022 shakeup

The dominoes are starting to fall in NASCAR Silly Season following Thursday’s news involving Team Penske and Wood Brothers Racing.

Brad Keselowski, who gave Team Penske its first Cup title in 2012, will leave the organization at season’s end. That was expected.

On the Wood Brothers’ side of the alliance, Matt DiBenedetto will vacate the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Ford at season’s end, as well. Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric had been set to replace him in that ride.

But two twists arrived Thursday. Cindric will instead move into Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford in 2022, while Cindric’s fellow Xfinity Series regular, Harrison Burton, will claim the No. 21.

With that, the focus shifts back to Keselowski, who is set to move to Roush Fenway Racing and become a driver/owner.

Meanwhile, DiBenedetto must once again find a new home in the Cup garage or elsewhere.

Here’s how the NASCAR Silly Season scorecard looks:

Announced Cup rides for 2022

No. 2: Austin Cindric moves up to the Cup Series as part of the multi-year deal he signed last October.

No. 21: Harrison Burton moves up to the Cup Series, joining the Wood Brothers for 2022.

Kaulig Racing: Justin Haley will drive a full-time entry for Kaulig as it expands to full-time Cup racing.

Cup driver contract extensions

No. 5: Kyle Larson and Hendrick Motorsports announced a one-year extension on Wednesday.

No. 48: Alex Bowman and Hendrick Motorsports announced a two-year extension on June 18.

Available Cup rides for 2022

Kaulig Racing: A.J. Allmendinger will drive Kaulig’s second full-time Cup entry for select races.

Trackhouse: Following its purchase of Chip Ganassi Racing, Trackhouse will add a second full-time entry alongside the No. 99 of Daniel Suarez.

GMS Racing: Will expand into Cup racing in 2022, but has yet to confirm schedule or driver details.

Cup notables yet to announce 2022 plans

Kurt Busch: Currently drives the No. 1 for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Brad Keselowski: Leaving Team Penske at end of 2021 season; reportedly set to join Roush Fenway Racing as a driver/owner.

Ryan Newman: Currently drives the No. 6 for Roush Fenway Racing.

Ross Chastain: Currently drives the No. 42 for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Matt DiBenedetto: Leaving Wood Brothers Racing at end of 2021 season.