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NXS: New Driver-Team Combinations to Watch For in 2015

Over the off-season, there are always a series of announcements made by teams with drivers moving from one place to the next. Here is a list highlighting those changes for you.

 

No. 0 Harrison Rhodes – JD Motorsports with Gary Keller

Harrison Rhodes will run the full schedule in a new third car for JD Motorsports. Rhodes has made 13 career starts over the past two years.

No. 1 Elliott Sadler  – Roush Fenway Racing

Series veteran Elliott Sadler moves from Joe Gibbs Racing to Roush Fenway Racing for 2015 as he continues to chase after his first career championship. He will be working with Phil Gould, who led Brian Scott to a solid finish in the XFINITY standings last year.

No. 2 Brian Scott – Richard Childress Racing

Scott returns for another year, but will be working with a new crew chief. Mike Hillman Jr. will now lead the No. 2 team. Hillman has experience, having led Todd Bodine to a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship in 2006. He also has worked with Scott in a limited form with a couple of Sprint Cup races last year, combining for a best finish of 26th. Read the preview for Scott by clicking here.

No. 4 Ross Chastain – JD Motorsports with Gary Keller

Following a limited truck schedule the past two years, Ross Chastain is set to run the full XFINITY schedule this year, taking over the ride previously held by Jeffrey Earnhardt.

No. 6 Darrell Wallace Jr. – Roush Fenway Racing

Trevor Bayne drove the No. 6 Ford Mustang in 2014, but will move up to Sprint Cup Series for 2015. Darrell Wallace Jr. makes the move over from Kyle Busch Motorsports after running the full truck series schedule the past two seasons. Wallace was a development driver for JGR. The team plans to run the full season, but that depends on sponsorship. Read the preview for Wallace by clicking here.

No. 7 Regan Smith – JR Motorsports

Ryan Pemberton crew chiefed Regan Smith’s second place in points effort last year, but will focus on his position of competition director. Jason Burdett will take over crew chief duties, after working as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car chief the past couple of seasons at Hendrick Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series. Read the preview for Smith by clicking here.

No. 8 Blake Koch – TriStar Motorsports

After running a partial schedule over the past couple of seasons, Blake Koch will run the full schedule in 2015 with Bruce Cook as his crew chief.

No. 9 Chase Elliott – JR Motorsports

Chase Elliott returns for another season of XFINITY to defend his championship. He will be working with a new crew chief, though, as Greg Ives moves up to the Sprint Cup Series to crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. As a result, Ernie Cope will be calling the shots for Elliott. Cope led JR Motorsports’ No. 5 team to multiple victories with Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne behind the wheel.

No. 14 Cale Conley – TriStar Motorsports

After running a partial schedule for RCR last year, Cale Conley is poised to run the full schedule for TriStar Motorsports, working with Eddie Pardue. McClure, who previously drove the No. 14, now makes the move to JGL Racing.

No. 18 Daniel Saurez – Joe Gibbs Racing

Mexico Series Champion Daniel Saurez will be running the full schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015. Eric Phillips will serve as the crew chief, after leading Kyle Busch Motorsports to an owner’s championship last season. Read Daniel’s thoughts entering the season here.

No. 19 Mike Bliss – TriStar Motorsports

Mike Bliss is set to run the full schedule in 2015 after running the majority of the races last year.

No. 20 Erik Jones/Matt Kenseth – Joe Gibbs Racing

Erik Jones will run 10 races in 2015 after running a couple of events last year; Jones is scheduled for the full truck schedule at KBM. Matt Kenseth is scheduled to run five races, as of right now. Expect JGR to fill the rest of the season with other drivers as they have in year’s past.

No. 22 Brad Keselowski/Joey Logano/Ryan Blaney – Penske Racing 

There have been no details specified yet, but expect these three drivers to split this ride as they have the past couple of seasons. The crew chief is also a question mark as Jeremy Bullins moves up to the Sprint Cup Series to crew chief for Ryan Blaney.

No. 24 Eric McClure – JGL Racing

McClure makes the move from TriStar Motorsports to JGL Racing, and will work with Jay Guy in 2015.

No. 33 Brandon Jones/Austin Dillon/Paul Menard – Richard Childress Racing

Paul Menard ran a select number of races last year, and is expected to return. Austin Dillon has been announced as to running the “majority” of the races, while Brandon Jones will run a limited schedule.

No. 42 Kyle Larson/Brennan Poole/Dylan Kwasniewski – HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi

With Turner Scott Motorsports closing down to an owner disagreement, Harry Scott has formed a partnership with Chip Ganassi entering the 2015 season. Kyle Larson is set to run a limited schedule, once again, with Brennan Poole announced to run 15 races. Kwasniewski was announced as part of the original deal, but nothing has been specified.

No. 54 Kyle Busch – Joe Gibbs Racing

Kyle Busch is expected to run the majority of the races, now working with Chris Gayle. Gayle worked as an engineer on Denny Hamlin’s Sprint Cup Series team. As to who will split the schedule with Busch, that has not been specified yet. Sam Hornish Jr. did the split last year, but will be running the full Cup schedule for Richard Petty Motorsports.

No. 55 Jeffrey Earnhardt – VIVA Motorsports

Jeffrey Earnhardt makes the shift from JD Motorsports to VIVA Motorsprots in 2015, with Mark Setzer calling the shots.

No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr/Kevin Harvick/Kasey Kahne/Ben Rhodes – JR Motorsports

The No. 5 team will switch to the No. 88 in 2015, and will run full-time with a variety of drivers. Sprint Cup drivers Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. each have races scheduled, with Ben Rhodes filling out the balance of the schedule. Dave Elenz will crew chief the effort, after working his way up through the Hendrick Motorsports ranks.

No. 93 Mike Wallace – JGL Racing

Mike Wallace is set to run the Daytona season opener. As to whether what else will happen, that has yet to be announced.

No. 99 Justin Marks – RAB Racing

James Busecher ran the full schedule last year, but is not returning this year as he is set for a partial truck series schedule. Justin Marks is scheduled to run the season opener at Daytona, but no details beyond that have been announced.

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