Earnhardt, Kenseth, Patrick not only NASCAR drivers saying goodbye
NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series is in for a major shake-up next season and there will be plenty of "last times" in Sunday's title race.
NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series is in for a major shake-up next season.
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.
As the NASCAR community bids farewell to Earnhardt, Kenseth, and Patrick there will also be a number of other goodbyes in Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 title race.
- Erik Jones will bid farewell to the Furniture Row Racing No. 78. Next season, he'll replace Kenseth in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine.
- Ryan Blaney will say goodbye to Wood Brothers Racing. In 2018, Blaney will be in Team Penske's third car, the No. 12, as part of a multi-year contract extension.
- Paul Menard will race for the final time with RCR as he will replace Blaney in the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford in 2018.
- Sunday will mark Chase Elliott's final race in the iconic No. 24 as he will change car numbers to the No. 9 made famous by his Hall of Fame father Bill.
- William Byron will bid farewell to the Xfinity Series full time and take Elliott's Cup car No. 24 at Hendrick Motorsports next season, replacing Kasey Kahne.
- Kahne's last race in the No. 5 will come Sunday before he moves on to wheel of Leavine Family Racing's No. 95 Chevrolet next year.
- Michael McDowell will race for the final time in the No. 95 on Sunday.
- Sunday's race will mark Aric Almirola's last race with Richard Petty Motorsports before he moves on to replace Patrick and Bubba Wallace Jr. moves to the iconic No. 43.
- The Ford EcoBoost 400 will mark Alex Bowman's last race weekend outside of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet as he will replace Earnhardt in 2018.
- Sunday's race will likely mark the last time Landon Cassill races for Front Row Motorsports.
- Last but not least, Sunday's race will the last time we'll see the No. 77 car with Furniture Row Racing (at least until 2019). JTG Daugherty Racing confirmed to ESPN the team will purchase the No. 77 charter (a guaranteed starting spot) — pending NASCAR approval — for Chris Buescher next season.