NASCAR’s new pairs ranking of drivers for the 2023 season

I am right here to get you match-ready on Sunday at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. You want a primer for whoever has new numbers for 2023 when the inexperienced flag drops (5 p.m. EST; 8 p.m. EST, MAIN EVENT, FOX). Or you must focus on with your pals who made the perfect low season transfer.

So with out additional ado, listed here are my rankings for the 2023 modifications. They are going to be in two elements. The primary is the drivers with new groups. The second is the drivers who stayed with their crew however modified crew chiefs.

Drivers within the new groups:

1. Tyler Reddick – 23XI Racing No. 45

Riddick received three races final yr at Richard Childress Racing and joined a crew led by Billy Scott, an unknown crew chief who has labored with each veterans (Kurt Busch) and drivers who’ve discovered inventory automobiles (Danica Patrick). Scott received a race final yr with Bosch, and has performed a task within the improvement of the next-generation automotive. Reddick is able to thrive as he joins a assured crew and a crew whose season was turned the wrong way up when Bosh suffered a concussion.

2. Kyle Bush – Richard Childress Racing No. 8

Busch is changing Reddick at RCR and can little question be in comparison with Reddick, as Reddick heads to Joe Gibbs Racing’s Toyota crew, which let Busch stroll away as contract negotiations hit a lifeless finish final summer time. Busch joins the crew that received three races amid final yr’s turmoil and a crew that comes into its personal with Randall Burnett as crew chief. The massive query is whether or not RCR is usually a elegant group and problem for victories and championships. Busch would play a serious position in making this occur, and neither Busch nor Childress are recognized for his or her endurance.

Bush talks about his transfer to RCR

Bush talks about his move to RCR

Kyle Busch says he is spent the break getting many little issues that fall so far as his transfer to Richard Childress.

3. AJ Alminder – Kaulig Racing No. 16

That is type of a “new” duo since Allmendinger drove in 18 Cup races final yr for School. His 5 greatest appearances and eight high 10 finishes present he can carry out at cup degree. Along with his power on highway programs and his enchancment on the ovals, Allmendinger will doubtless have a breakout Cup season 5 years after leaving JTG Daugherty Racing with out a clear path to driving for the Cup once more. Every little thing is in place for this crew to have a strong season, contemplating Allmendinger is already used to working with the crew led by crew chief Matt Swiderski.

4. Ty Gibbs – Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54

Rookie Gibbs, grandson of crew proprietor Joe Gibbs, changed Kyle Busch within the No. 18 automotive. He is definitely Cup prepared, or as prepared as any driver – a minimum of from a expertise standpoint. His questionable selections at occasions final yr could have folks questioning if he can deal with the pains of a cup schedule. It will be unfair to foretell Kyle Busch’s numbers in Season 1. The truth is, he can be, that means Kyle Busch was twentieth in factors as a starter. Gibbs has been within the high 10 of the 15 beginning gamers to switch the injured Kurt Busch final yr at 23XI. Good factor for Gibbs – he has crew chief Chris Gayle, who has Cup expertise, going with him from the Xfinity Sequence to the Cup.

Gibbs about shifting into the Cup position full-time

Gibbs about moving into the Cup role full-time

Ty Gibbs describes what he thinks would be the largest problem when shifting into Cup racing full-time.

5. Ryan Preece Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41

Preece replaces Cole Custer within the SHR Cup lineup and has a crew chief – Chad Johnston – that he and the crew have been accustomed to as Johnston was the crew chief for Preece’s profitable vans the final two years and he was a former crew chief for Tony Stewart at SHR. Press Bryce to carry out. However this group may have slightly time to kick in, and SHR has struggled. If the modifications to Ford’s nostril assist the crew’s competitiveness, it may very well be key to seeing if I obtained it fallacious and Preece ought to have been ranked increased.

Bryce dishes for the subsequent season

Bryce dishes for the next season

Ryan Preece discusses his relationship with crew chief Chad Johnston, future prospects, and proving himself in Stuart Haas.

6. Noah Gragson – Legacy Motor Membership No. 42

Gragson is shifting on from the JR Motorsports Xfinity program to switch Ty Dillon at what was Petty GMS. He introduced in his Xfinity crew chief Luke Lambert, who has a number of years’ expertise main a Trophy crew. However that crew has struggled up to now yr and is now in one other transitional part with the arrival of Jimmy Johnson as co-owner. Johnson’s presence and management might help enhance a crew – however not essentially instantly. Gragson has had one of many high 10 finishes in his 18 Cup begins final yr driving choose races for Hendrick Motorsports (as a alternative for the injured Alex Bowman), Coolig and Chook.

Noah Gragson talks about working with Jimmie Johnson

Noah Gragson talks about working with Jimmie Johnson

Gragson has an ideal milestone in Johnson as he enters his Nationwide Cup rookie season.

7. Ty Dillon – Spire Motorsports No. 77

Dillon solely managed one Prime 10 at Petty GMS final yr as he, the crew and the rookie crew chief did not click on. 9 races during which he did not end positively did not assist issues. The hope is that his begin within the 2020 Cup will assist Spire. There’s an opportunity for that, however for Dillon to get a mean end inside the highest 20 there are going to be questions.

not obtainable. Jimmy Johnson – Legacy Motor Membership No. 84

Properly, it is most likely only a five-race deal however we will not rule out the seven-time champ returning to the Cup Sequence with a small possession stake however an enormous management position in what was as soon as Petty GMS and now the Legacy Motor Membership. He is obtained former champion Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon making the choices. So simply how good will it’s? I’ll decrease expectations. That is nonetheless a younger group. Choosing the highest 10 gamers can be an excellent begin.

Identical driver and new crew chief:

1. Alex Bowman – Blake Harris

Bowman is essentially the most profitable driver on this record and drives for the perfect crew (Hendrick) on this record. Harris, who changed Greg Ives, comes after a profitable one-year stint as crew chief for Michael McDowell and several other years at JGR and Furnishings Row. The important thing on this relationship is trusting that they’re doing the appropriate factor and in one another as nicely.

2. Austin Dillon – Keith Rhoden

Rhoden’s appointment as Dillon’s crew chief as Justin Alexander’s alternative was a little bit of a shock however may very well be an ideal transfer. Rodden has expertise as a crew chief working for a number of organizations (he was crew chief for Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray) and most just lately labored for Chevrolet. He is aware of the right way to deal with drivers and is aware of the right way to work below stress, which is definitely the case once you’re the crew chief for the grandson of a crew proprietor.

3. Michael McDowell Travis Peterson

McDowell clearly did not need to lose Harris, and they’re going to now go together with engineer Peterson, who was most just lately at RFK Racing and previously at JR Motorsports and Hendrick. Their success will rely upon whether or not Peterson can implement modifications to enhance the automotive primarily based on McDowell’s suggestions and whether or not he can take the calculated dangers in racing technique that’s typically required for a company that doesn’t have the funding for bigger groups.

McDowell on his new chief of workers

McDowell on his new chief of staff

Michael McDowell, who could have a brand new crew chief for the second yr in a row, discusses what he is in search of from Travis Peterson.

4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Mike Kelly

Kelly was already working for JTG Daugherty Racing in a contest advisor position, and now he’ll take over as Stenhouse’s crew chief. The duo had magic within the Xfinity Sequence a decade in the past as Stenhouse received back-to-back titles. They could not repeat that within the Roche Cup. What would possibly make this case even higher is that Stenhouse is the one driver for JTG, to allow them to tailor the automotive particularly to his desires and wishes.

5. Todd Gilliland – Ryan Bergenty

Bergenty has been McDowell’s chief of workers for the previous three years and now takes over as Gilliland’s crew chief, changing Seth Barbour, who moved to the crew’s head coach. Gilliland has talked about how he needs to be higher at beginning a race weekend and discovering the tempo wanted in 20 minutes of apply – and Bergente will play a key position. However this stuff do not often flip round rapidly.

6. Cody Ware – Jerry Kelly

Weir Kelly, the longtime chief of automobiles at Penske, will grow to be his crew chief beginning this yr. Ware has proven enchancment up to now yr, and if Kelley brings in some concepts from Penske that may be utilized to Rick Ware Racing automobiles, there’s an opportunity Ware will proceed to place up higher numbers.

Bob Pokeras covers NASCAR for FOX Sports activities. He has spent a long time masking motorsports, together with the previous 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting Information, NASCAR Scene, and The (Daytona Seaside) Information-Journal. Observe him on Twitter @bobocrassand subscribe to FOX Sports activities NASCAR E-newsletter with Bob Pokras.

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