NSCS: Tracking the Changes – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Edition Part 2

Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

Throughout the off-season, there are always changes to watch out for with drivers and crew chiefs switching drivers and organizations. It seems this past season was no different, as there was news for fans to watch out for on a weekly basis. You can read the first part of the changes by clicking here.

Here is the second part of our look at how things shake out for the upcoming season, with the changes marked in red.  Be sure to stay tuned for the second half of the article later on this week.

Photo Credit: Noel Lanier
Photo Credit: Noel Lanier

Car #: 31
Driver: Ryan Newman
Crew Chief: Luke Lambert
Team: Richard Childress Racing

Car #: 32
Driver: Bobby Labonte/Jeffrey Earnhardt
Crew Chief: Wally Rogers
Team: Go Fas Racing
Bobby Labonte returns to the team to run the four restrictor plate races as he had done the previous season. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Earnhardt joins the organization, set to run the rest of the schedule, except for the road course events, as he will be one of the drivers battling for Rookie of the Year. The team has yet to announce who will drive for them in the two road course races. Also, Wally Rogers joins the organization to serve as crew chief.

Car #: 34
Driver: Chris Buescher
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Team: Front Row Motorsports
Chris Buescher joins the organization after winning the XFINITY Series Championship last season for Roush-Fenway Racing. Bob Osborne joins the organization after working with Trevor Bayne last year at Roush-Fenway Racing.
Bayne will now work with Matt Puccia, who crew chiefed for Greg Biffle last season. David Ragan, whom drove for Front Row Motorsports last year, will drive for BK Racing in 2016.

Car #: 38
Driver: Landon Cassill
Crew Chief: Donnie Wingo
Team: Front Row Motorsports
Landon Cassill joins the organization after driving for Mike Hillman Racing last season. David Gilliland, whom drove for Front Row Motorsports last year, has yet to announce any plans for 2016.

kurtbusch_monsterenergyCar #: 41
Driver: Kurt Busch
Crew Chief: Tony Gibson
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing

Car #: 42
Driver: Kyle Larson
Crew Chief: Chad Johnston
Team: Chip Ganassi Racing
Chad Johnston joins the organization to work with Larson after working with Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing last season. Chris Heroy, whom worked with Larson last season, will join up with Richard Petty Motorsports to work with Brian Scott.

Photo Credit: Gary Buchanan
Photo Credit: Gary Buchanan

Car #: 43
Driver: Aric Almirola
Crew Chief: Trent Owens
Team: Richard Petty Motorsports

Car #: 44
Driver: Brian Scott
Crew Chief: Chris Heroy
Team: Richard Petty Motorsports
This is the team that has been known as the No. 9 team over the past several years, now renumbered with the No. 44 as RPM goes with tradition. Brian Scott joins the organization after spending the past six seasons full-time in the XFINITY Series, having some success with Richard Childress Racing. Chris Heroy joins the organization after working with Kyle Larson last year at Chip Ganassi Racing.
Sam Hornish Jr., whom drove for Richard Petty Motorsports last year, has yet to announce any plans. Previous team crew chief Kevin Manion joins Kyle Busch Motorsports’ truck organization. Larson will now work with Chad Johnston, who spent the 2015 season with Tony Stewart.

Photo Credit: Noel Lanier
Photo Credit: Noel Lanier

Car #: 46
Driver: Michael Annett
Crew Chief: Jay Guy
Team: HScott Motorsports

Car #: 47
Driver: A.J. Allmendinger
Crew Chief: Randall Burnett
Team: JTG Daughtry Racing
Randall Burnett joins the organization as crew chief after spending the last couple of seasons at Chip Ganassi Racing as an engineer. Brian Burns, who previously served the position, will remain with the organization.

Photo Credit: Mike Mercurio
Photo Credit: Mike Mercurio

Car #: 48
Driver: Jimmie Johnson
Crew Chief: Chad Knaus
Team: Hendrick Motorsports

Car #: 78
Driver: Martin Truex Jr.
Crew Chief: Cole Pearn
Team: Furniture Row Motorsports
Notably, the team will switch from Chevrolets to Toyota as they enter into a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Car #: 83
Driver: Matt DiBendetto
Crew Chief: Gene Nead
Team: BK Racing
Doug Richert returns to his management position with the organization as Gene Nead takes over as the crew chief. Nead had spent time with Premium Motorsports.

Photo Credit: Jessica Bure/SpeedwayMedia.com
Photo Credit: Jessica Bure/SpeedwayMedia.com

Car #: 88
Driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Crew Chief: Greg Ives
Team: Hendrick Motorsports

Car #: 95
Driver: Michael McDowell/Ty Dillon
Crew Chief: Todd Parrot/Dave Winston
Team: Circle Sport – Leavine Family Racing
The biggest news is the alliance formed between Circle Sport Racing (#33) and Leavine Family Racing heading into the season. The alliance also brings forth a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing. Michael McDowell will run most of the events, with Ty Dillon running select events on top of his XFINITY Series schedule. When Dillon is driving, Winston will be the crew chief, while Parrot handles the events with McDowell.

Car #: 98
Driver: Cole Whitt
Crew Chief: Mark Hilman
Team: Premium Motorsports
Cole Whitt joins Premium Motorsports after he was left without a ride through the shrinkage that happened with Front Row Motorsports going from three teams to two teams. Premium Motorsports purchased Mike Hilman Racing (#40) at the end of the season, hiring many of the crew members to come on board with their team. Mark Hilman was one of those, as he assumes the role of crew chief.