NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series is in for a major shake-up next season.
In addition to Dale Earnhardt Jr. retiring, there will be new drivers in the iconic No. 24 and No. 43 cars, as well as other major changes across the sport.
Social media favorite Landon Cassill became the latest driver without an official Cup Series ride next season, joining a long list of free agents.
“We’re thankful for the last two years having Landon as a teammate and an ambassador for our sponsors, and we’ll keep working hard with him and the No. 34 team for the best possible results the remainder of the 2017 season,’’ Front Row Motorsports said Tuesday.
Here are the other major changes for next season in order of announcement date.
2018 NASCAR replacement drivers
Erik Jones will wheel the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, replacing veteran driver Matt Kenseth.
Alex Bowman will replace Earnhardt in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Ryan Blaney will be in Team Penske's third car, the No. 12, as part of a multi-year contract extension.
Paul Menard will replace Blaney in the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford.
William Byron will take Chase Elliott's car No. 24 at Hendrick Motorsports, replacing Kasey Kahne. Elliott will keep his current team and move to the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Kahne will replace Michael McDowell behind the wheel of Leavine Family Racing's No. 95 Chevrolet.
2018 NASCAR free agents
The musical chairs in NASCAR's Cup Series currently leaves five open rides (not including Wallace to the No. 43).
The Nos. 10 (formerly of Patrick), 27 (Menard), 41 (Kurt Busch), 77 (Jones), 34 (Cassill) teams are currently without drivers but there are plenty of free agents looking to fill the spots.
Kenseth, Busch, Kahne, Patrick, Almirola, McDowell, Cassill, Greg Biffle (didn't race in 2017), and Casey Mears (didn't race Cup in 2017) are all looking for a team next season.
ESPN.com speculates Patrick could take Menard's place in the No. 27 car for next season if she has sponsorship.