For the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series race, Joe Gibbs Racing has downsized their squad, but which car will they no longer be running?
Joe Gibbs Racing stated after the conclusion of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season that it would downsize its fleet from four to three cars for the 2022 season.
They intend to run only two cars instead of three for full-time drivers, and they intend to keep the “star car” running for numerous drivers.
For the fifth consecutive season, Brandon Jones has been announced as the full-time driver of the #19 Toyota, and Ty Gibbs has long been expected to be confirmed as the 2nd driver.
In 2021, the grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs raced part-time as a rookie in the “star car,” then the #54 Toyota, winning 4 times in 18 starts. Although he hasn’t been formally announced as a full-time driver for 2022, it is expected that he will.
When the downsizing announcement was made, there were several uncertainties over which car numbers will be utilised in 2022.
In the event that Gibbs is promoted to full-time driver, what car number would he drive? What car number would be utilised for the “star car” in 2022, and which car number would be dropped from the team?
After earning the Xfinity Series title in his debut season with Joe Gibbs Racing, Daniel Hemric will leave the #18 Toyota to take over the #11 Chevrolet at Kaulig Racing, where he will replace the Cup Series-bound Justin Haley.
After two seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing, Harrison Burton will leave the #20 Toyota to transfer to the Cup Series to replace Matt DiBenedetto behind the wheel of Wood Brothers Racing’s #21 Ford.
The #18 Toyota, the #20 Toyota, and the #54 Toyota were the only three viable alternatives for Gibbs and three for the “star car.”
All indications now point to Gibbs continuing to drive the #54 Toyota, with Trevor Bayne being the first confirmed driver of the #18 Toyota on Wednesday.
Bayne will drive the #18 Toyota in 7 of the 33 races on the 2022 season, starting with the Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway on February 26.
As a consequence, unless an unforeseen late move transfers Gibbs to the #20 Toyota and eliminates the #54 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing is not currently planning to field the #20 Toyota for the 2022 season. The Beef will kick off the season on Saturday, February 19th. What’s for Dinner is a 300-mile race at Daytona International Speedway.
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