NASCAR: Driver lineup changes from 2020 to 2021

NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Here is a list of all of the changes in the NASCAR Cup Series driver lineup among the teams from the 2020 season to the 2021 season.

With less than a week to go until the 63rd annual Daytona 500 is scheduled to get the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season underway at Daytona International Speedway following an offseason of over three months.

In the 2020 season, 33 drivers competed full-time for points, with 32 doing so behind the wheels of chartered entries. Gaunt Brothers Racing’s Daniel Suarez drove a non-chartered #96 Toyota and missed the Daytona 500 after failing to qualify.

A total of 27 of those 32 drivers competed in each and every one of the 36 races on the schedule, as the other five were forced to miss at least one race for one reason or another.

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The other four chartered entries saw multiple drivers behind the wheel throughout the year. However, two of the drivers who competed in one or more of these cars throughout the season, Joey Gase and J.J. Yeley, did end up competing in enough of the schedule to be classified as full-time drivers, as neither one of them missed more than three races.

One other full-time driver who did not compete for points, Timmy Hill, drove a non-chartered #66 car for MBM Motorsports and also competed in all 36 races on the schedule, so a total of 28 drivers ran the full season.

This season, only 26 of the 33 full-time drivers who competed for points in the 2020 season are set to return.

But only 22 of those 26 drivers are set to return to the same teams for which they drove in 2020, as there have been quite a few changes in the driver lineup from last year to this year.

Here is what changed in the driver lineup from the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season to the 2021 season.

NOTE: (R) means rookie. Only entries with full-time drivers in either 2020 or 2021 which have seen changes from 2020 to 2021 are included. “New team” means the team did not compete in 2020.

23XI Racing

#23 Toyota

  • IN: Bubba Wallace (new team)

Chip Ganassi Racing

#42 Chevrolet

  • IN: Ross Chastain
  • OUT: Matt Kenseth

Front Row Motorsports

#38 Ford

  • IN: Anthony Alfredo (R)
  • OUT: John Hunter Nemechek

Gaunt Brothers Racing

#96 Toyota (non-chartered)

  • IN: Ty Dillon (part-time)
  • OUT: Daniel Suarez (full-time)

Germain Racing

#13 Chevrolet

  • OUT: Ty Dillon

Go Fas Racing

#32 Ford (non-chartered)

  • IN: Ryan Ellis (part-time)
  • OUT: Corey LaJoie (full-time)

Hendrick Motorsports

#5 Chevrolet

  • IN: Kyle Larson

#48 Chevrolet

  • IN: Alex Bowman
  • OUT: Jimmie Johnson

#88 Chevrolet

  • OUT: Alex Bowman

Joe Gibbs Racing

#20 Toyota

  • IN: Christopher Bell
  • OUT: Erik Jones

Leavine Family Racing

#95 Toyota

  • OUT: Christopher Bell

Live Fast Motorsports

#78 Ford

  • IN: B.J. McLeod (new team)

MBM Motorsports

#66 car (non-chartered)

  • IN: Timmy Hill (part-time)
  • OUT: Timmy Hill (full-time)

Petty Ware Racing

#51 car

  • IN: Cody Ware
  • OUT: Joey Gase

Richard Petty Motorsports

#43 Chevrolet

  • IN: Erik Jones
  • OUT: Bubba Wallace

Rick Ware Racing

#52 car (was #27 car)

  • IN: Josh Bilicki
  • OUT: J.J. Yeley

Spire Motorsports

#7 Chevrolet

  • IN: Corey LaJoie

Stewart-Haas Racing

#14 Ford

  • IN: Chase Briscoe (R)
  • OUT: Clint Bowyer

Trackhouse Racing Team

#99 Chevrolet

  • IN: Daniel Suarez (new team)

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Daytona International Speedway is scheduled to open up the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season on Sunday, February 14 with the 63rd annual Daytona 500. The 36-race season is scheduled to run through Sunday, November 7, concluding with the championship decider at Phoenix Raceway for the second consecutive year.