NASCAR: 3 drivers Joe Gibbs Racing should sign

Sammy Smith, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Sammy Smith, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /
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With only two drivers confirmed, Joe Gibbs Racing still need to sign additional drivers to fill their third entry throughout the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

Joe Gibbs Racing have a completely new full-time driver lineup for the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, with Ty Gibbs moving to the Cup Series to replace the Richard Childress Racing-bound Kyle Busch and Brandon Jones moving to JR Motorsports to replace the Cup Series-bound Noah Gragson.

Sammy Smith and John Hunter Nemechek are set to be the team’s full-time drivers after spending time driving the third part-time entry, the “star car”, in select races during the 2022 season.

Just two drivers have been named for the “star car”, which is now the No. 19 Toyota after having been the No. 18 Toyota, for the 2023 season.

Ryan Truex is set to compete in six races (locations TBD) on the 33-race schedule. He competed in five events last year. Joe Graf Jr. is set to compete in five races at Auto Club Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Richmond Raceway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Kansas Speedway.

Who should Joe Gibbs Racing sign to compete in some of the other 22 races on the calendar?

NASCAR drivers Joe Gibbs Racing should sign: No. 1 – Trevor Bayne

Aside from Sammy Smith, only Trevor Bayne competed in nine races behind the wheel of the “star car” last year. Bayne hadn’t competed in the Xfinity Series since 2016.

While it’s hard to say that the veteran made the most of his opportunity in top-tier equipment since he didn’t win, he played a key role in the No. 18 team’s playoff berth and subsequent seventh place finish in the owner standings.

Bayne was responsible for two of the team’s three runner-up finishes in 2022 and recorded four other top six finishes, including two in his three playoff starts.

Many viewed Bayne as an option to compete full-time for the team in 2023. While he won’t get that opportunity, another part-time ride with nine or so races would be tough to pass up for all parties.