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2018 Daytona 500 starting lineup will look different with several driver, team changes

Omnisport
NEWS
114   //    11 Feb 2018, 22:46 IST
Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney
Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series is in for a major shake-up this season, beginning with Sunday's front-row qualifying for the Daytona 500. 

In addition to Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Danica Patrick retiring from full-time racing, there will be new drivers in the iconic No. 24 and No. 43 cars, as well as other major changes across the sport.

Here's a cheat sheet for your Speedweeks viewing pleasure. 

2018 NASCAR driver, team changes

  • Erik Jones will replace Kenseth in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine. 
  • Ryan Blaney will be in Team Penske's third car, the No. 12, as part of a multi-year contract extension. 
  • Paul Menard will replace Blaney in the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford this season.
  • Chase Elliott will no longer race in the iconic No. 24. He will change car numbers to the No. 9, made famous by his Hall of Fame father Bill. 
  • William Byron will join Hendrick Motorsports and take Elliott's Cup car No. 24, replacing Kasey Kahne on the team. 
  • Kahne joined Leavine Family Racing's No. 95 Chevrolet, replacing Michael McDowell.
  • Aric Almirola's is no longer with Richard Petty Motorsports. He replaced Patrick in the No. 10 at Stewart-Haas Racing Ford with Bubba Wallace Jr. moving to the iconic No. 43. 
  • Alex Bowman will move to the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, replacing Earnhardt moving forward. 
  • Landon Cassill no longer races for Front Row Motorsports and is currently without a ride. McDowell will drive the No. 34 this season. 
  • There is no longer a No. 77 car with Furniture Row Racing (at least until 2019). JTG Daugherty Racing purchased the charter (a guaranteed starting spot) for No. 37 Chris Buescher this season.

Only the front row for next week's Daytona 500 will be set Sunday through Daytona's unique qualifying format. The front row will be determined through single-lap time-trial runs, with the rest of the starting lineup set through the Duel qualifying races on Thursday. 

Omnisport
NEWS
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