Joe Gibbs Racing has been a strong organizer in the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series for years. However, the 2023 season will be a massive move as drivers like Kyle Busch leave the team.
When will the world know about Joe Gibbs Racing’s plans?
Joe Gibbs talks about the possible schedule for his driver lineup in 2023
Joe Gibbs Gold SiriusXM NASCAR Radio last week and discussed a variety of topics, including when the NASCAR world expects an announcement of its driver lineups for the 2023 season.
That’s what Gibbs said when asked about the future of the #18 car in the sport.
“If I had to guess, what we’ve tried to do is take our time and now we’re focused on the playoffs. We don’t want to interrupt that. I would say right after we finish the season. We have a lot going on on the Xfinity side… We have a lot of things to come. There. I would say we might announce it after the season.”
Joe Gibbs in the driver lineup announced for the 2023 season
The idea of waiting until after the season to announce any changes to the organization’s driver lineup is a good one because it reduces distraction and allows chasing the championship to be the #1 priority.
NASCAR saw a huge amount of movement for the 2023 season as Busch moved to Richard Childress Racing, Tyler Reddick replaced Kurt Busch, and AJ Allmendinger moved to Kaulig Racing full-time in the Cup series.
However, the NASCAR Xfinity Series lineup to race Joe Gibbs will be very exciting as all of its current drivers are expected to be gone. This opens the door for drivers like Sammy Smith and John Hunter Nemechek.
Smith, 18, appears highly likely to join the Xfinity Series on a full-time basis after working part-time since he qualified due to his age. The 18-year-old has won six ARCA Menards Series events and the second consecutive ARCA Menards East Series championship this year.
Nemechek, 25, will be another good fit as Kyle Busch Motorsports moves to Chevrolet with Busch next season. The 25-year-old is a Toyota Racing driver, so Joe Gibbs Racing will be a perfect fit for him in 2023.
There may be other drivers, like Trevor Payne, who make sense but it remains to be seen who will join the team. Either way, it won’t be known to the public until after the season ends at Phoenix Raceway.
However, it wouldn’t be surprising to see who replaces Busch in car number 18 moving forward.
Ty Gibbs expected to replace Kyle Busch in the NASCAR Cup Series
Ty Gibbs is expected to do just that Replace Busch in car number 18 for Joe Gibbs Racing as he continues his rise through the ranks of NASCAR. Gibbs, 20, has been working full-time on the NASCAR Xfinity Series over the course of the 2022 season.
The 20-year-old was also replacing Kurt Busch after suffering a concussion in a qualifying wreck at Pocono Raceway. If Gibbs is not replaced in the #23 car soon, he will finish the rest of the season in the Cup Series.
Gibbs wasn’t that impressive as he only has an average of 23.3 through 13 races in race-winning equipment. He will be tied for the third worst finishing position among full-time drivers in the series.
However, patience will be required with the North Carolina native as he grows into a better driver. Gibbs wouldn’t be contending for Cup Series wins early in his career, which almost every young driver is like.
Gibbs would probably be better in the long run if he had more experience in the NextGen car now. He will have the equipment and support to be a good driver within Joe Gibbs Racing until time heals any growing pains.
There is still an Xfinity Series Championship at stake, so Gibbs will be following through before making the inevitable leap to the top level for NASCAR next season.