The 2021 NASCAR season wouldn’t be complete without drivers leaving teams or hanging up their racing gloves. Don’t be surprised if you see your favorite racers taking on new roles this year. Here are a few notable changes you will notice going into this season.
Fresh off an impressive run throughout the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Chase Briscoe will replace the retiring Clint Bowyer in the Cup Series. As a driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing car, he will look to extend on his 11 career victories in the amateur circuit. Briscoe is considered a lead contender for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors and is expected to be a dominant force in playoff contention.
Bowyer will hang up his racing gloves and join Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon in the FOX booth. He will retire with 10 career wins after competing in the Cup Series for 16 years. Throughout his career, he commanded cars for Richard Childress Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, HScott Motorsports and ultimately retired from Stewart-Haas Racing after four years. This won’t be his first stint in the broadcast booth as he worked as a regular analyst during NASCAR Xfinity Series races.
Bowman will enter his fourth full season with Hendrick Motorsports by taking over for the retiring Jimmie Johnson. As the famous No. 48 Chevrolet driver, the 2018 Daytona 500 pole winner looks to clinch his fourth playoff spot since entering the Cup Series. Bowman is familiar with taking over the wheel for legends. His debut with the team arose after replacing an injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Wallace left his long-time team, Richard Petty Motorsports. He will spend the season driving for the newly formed 23XI racing organization. The new crew was developed through a partnership between NBA legend Michael Jordan and Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin. Wallace serves as the team’s single driver and will make the team’s highly anticipated NASCAR Cup Series debut in Daytona on Feb. 14 in the No. 23 Toyota.