By: Ashley McCubbin
Every NASCAR Silly Season results in several drivers finding new rides for the upcoming campaign, with a couple others either retiring or left on the outside looking in. The 2021 version was no different, with drivers moving forward to other ventures and many switching seats.
So as we have done in past years, allow us to break down the changes for you.
After running 14 of the 23 races in 2020, Spencer Davis will campaign the full schedule for his family owned team. The Georgian was able to break into the top-20 a handful of times, including a season-best 12th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Continuing to battle inside the teens with perhaps a breakthrough to the top-10 should be a considerable goal.
Although Jordan Anderson confirmed he will be moving to the NASCAR Xfinity Series full-time, it does not mean you can eliminate him from the Truck Series quite yet. The driver-owner will be running the season opener at Daytona International Speedway and expects to enter the No. 3 several times this year, with potential for other drivers to jump behind the wheel. Over the past couple years, he has took a small owner-driver organization from just barely qualifying to running inside the top-15 regularly in the Truck Series.
Rackley W.A.R., newly formed team co-owned by Willie Allen and Curtis Sutton, is set to make old school fans happy as they will have Timothy Peters behind the wheel of their truck full-time. Although he has not competed full-time in the past four years, the North Carolina native has placed inside the top-five in the standings on five occasions throughout his career with 11 trips to victory lane. Although competing with a new team, they do have an alliance with GMS Racing, and they proved they were capable in taking Sheldon Creed to a series championship.
Drew Dollar will get his opportunity to showcase his talent in the Truck Series in 2021, set to run eight races for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the No. 51 entry, alongside the boss himself Kyle Busch competing in five events. Dollar is not a new name for racing fans, as evident by his ARCA Racing Series success in placing fourth in the standings with a win last year. The importance of performance should be on his mind, as we’ve seen other drivers come from ARCA and Venturini Motorsports and have some success, setting up their future in the sport. Just ask KB’s other young guns in Christopher Bell, Erik Jones, Christian Eckes and Dollar’s teammate Chandler Smith.
ThorSport Racing finally confirmed their line-up, which sees all four drivers come back in 2021 to no surprise. Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter, and Ben Rhodes each get the nod to run full-time, hopeful of repeating the team’s past championship success with Rhodes the only one to not experience it himself.
Interestingly, Grant Enfinger was the only driver to make the Championship 4 from the organization in 2020, but does not get the whole schedule due to a lack of sponsorship. Instead, he will split the ride with Christian Eckes. Eckes spent last season with KBM, though was unable to reach victory lane en route to 11 top-10 performances. The lack of checkered flags has many people scratching their heads, so being able to make it happen and prove the doubters wrong is certainly fresh in his mind. Sometimes a change in scenery does the trick, just ask Todd Gilliland how that played out last season.
Young’s Motorsports expands their organization’s plans just a little more, set to run a partial ARCA and Truck schedule with Toni Breidinger, including the season opener at Daytona for both divisions. While this marks her truck debut, she has experience in ARCA coming in 2018, running three races with a best finish of 10th at Madison.
David Gilliland Racing also will have a play in the cards, with the boss set to run the season opener at Daytona alongside Taylor Gray and Hailie Deegan. Gilliland is no stranger to superspeedway success, winning at Talladega in the NASCAR Cup Series. With a pair of young drivers, having the veteran boss to lean on for support will be beneficial.
Experience will also be in the field, courtesy of NEMCO Motorsports with their boss Joe Nemechek set to do battle in the season opener at Daytona.
Past series champion James Buescher also gets to make his series return, thanks to a partnership with Niece Motorsports. The Texan has only ran one race since 2015, placing 15th last season at Texas Motor Speedway with Niece.