Offseason News Tracker

This is a list of offseason NASCAR news, starting with the day after Homestead 2017 and leading up to the 2018 Daytona 500.

Nov. 20: Roush Fenway Racing announced it will field an Xfinity Series entry for a trio of development drivers — Ty Majeski and former Brad Keselowski Racing drivers Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric. The No. 60 car will run the entire Xfinity schedule, though the number of races for each driver was not announced.

Nov. 22: NASCAR announced the number of pit crew members will shrink from six to five next season and race teams will only be allowed 12 road crew members (the people who work on the car). In addition, NASCAR will distribute crew rosters and put numbers on each crew uniform to raise the profile of team members and emphasize the team concept.

Nov. 22: Ray Black Jr. will move to the Cup Series full-time and run the No. 51 car for Rick Ware Racing, reported.

Nov. 27: Matt Borland has been named crew chief for Ty Dillon and the No. 13 car at Germain Racing, the team announced. Borland had been Paul Menard’s crew chief for all of last season.

Dec. 1: Ryan Blaney will have six races of sponsorship from PPG next season on his No. 12 car at Team Penske, the organization announced.

Dec. 4: Andy Petree has been named vice president of competition for Richard Childress Racing, the team announced. Petree had been named as an “advisor” to the team on Oct. 25, and he will now oversee the competition side. RCR also moved Dr. Eric Warren to chief technology officer.

Dec. 7: Rheem will sponsor two Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity Series drivers in 2018. It will back Christopher Bell for 23 races in the No. 20 car (Bell is running full-time in Xfinity next season) and Ryan Preece for 10 races in the No. 18.

Dec. 7: Richard Petty Motorsports will move to Chevrolet and form an alliance with Richard Childress Racing in a long-anticipated move, several outlets reported (SportsBusiness Journal was first to confirm). Petty then told the team would operate on RCR’s campus in an alliance similar to what it had with Roush Fenway Racing several years ago.

Dec. 9: Austin Dillon married Whitney Ward in a ceremony at the Childress Vineyards in North Carolina.

Dec. 12: Circle Sport split from its partnership with The Motorsports Group (TMG), leaving Jeffrey Earnhardt without a ride for 2017. He had been set to run the combined team’s No. 33 car.

Dec. 12: John Hunter Nemechek will run a partial Xfinity Series schedule in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 car with sponsorship from Fire Alarm Services, the team announced. The number of races was not disclosed.

Dec. 12: Richard Childress Racing said it has sponsorship from Caterpillar and Cabela’s (through Bass Pro Shops) for Ryan Newman’s No. 31 car in an unspecified number of races next season.

Dec. 14: Michael McDowell will replace Landon Cassill on the Front Row Motorsports No. 34 car, the team announced. In addition, FRM said it will have an expanded alliance with Roush Fenway Racing.

Dec. 15: Kurt Busch will return to Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 41 car next season, the team announced. He will have a new crew chief — Billy Scott — as Tony Gibson transitions to an off-the-road role. In addition, former 41 team engineer John Klausmeier will become Aric Almirola’s crew chief with the No. 10 car.

Dec. 18: Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are no longer in a relationship, a spokeswoman for Patrick told the Associated Press.

Dec. 18: The U.S. Air Force will return to sponsor Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 43 car with driver Bubba Wallace in two races next season, the team said.

Dec. 19: Procore will sponsor Kasey Kahne and the Leavine Family Racing No. 95 car for six races next season, including the Daytona 500, the team announced.

Dec. 19: Aspen Dental, which had sponsored Danica Patrick at Stewart-Haas Racing, will not return to NASCAR, the company told SportsBusiness Journal.

Dec. 20: Barry Dodson, a former crew chief who won the 1989 championship with Rusty Wallace, passed away. He was 64.