Kaulig Racing have confirmed that they are slated to make a NASCAR Cup Series driver announcement on Wednesday, October 5.
Kaulig Racing are one of very few teams without anything announced regarding their 2023 NASCAR Cup Series driver lineup. But that is set to change next month.
On Friday afternoon, the team put out a “Kaulig Racing Fan Day” graphic for Wednesday, October 5, and mentioned on the graphic were a 5K run, a 2022 paint scheme unveil, a driver autograph session, partner booths, food vendors, and drinks.
Of course, not many on Twitter paid any attention to those things because of what else was mentioned: a 2023 Cup driver announcement.
Kaulig Racing currently field two cars in the Cup Series, the #16 Chevrolet for multiple drivers and the #31 Chevrolet for Justin Haley. They have reportedly inquired about a potential third charter, but nothing has been confirmed.
Many believe that Haley will be re-signed by Matt Kaulig’s team for next year, which could very well be what this announcement is, but there are some questions about the #16 Chevrolet.
That car is currently shared by A.J. Allmendinger, Daniel Hemric, and Noah Gragson. Gragson, who competes for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, has already signed with the Petty GMS Motorsports Cup Series team to drive the #42 Chevrolet next year.
As for Allmendinger and Hemric, both are former Cup drivers who now compete for Kaulig’s Xfinity Series team, so it’s considered unlikely that either one will be promoted to a full-time Cup role for 2023.
The driver whom many have recently linked to Kaulig Racing is Kyle Busch.
Busch is in the final year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, and after last season, Mars Wrigley announced that they would not be renewing their sponsorship deal with the #18 team, meaning Joe Gibbs Racing needed to find replacement sponsorship for Busch.
While a promising development did emerge over the spring, that deal ultimately fell through, and even Busch admitted that it could very well be “goodbye” after 15 years behind the wheel of the #18 Toyota.
Busch reportedly has multiple contract offers in front of him, including one from Joe Gibbs Racing. He said a few months ago that he would be willing to take a pay cut to remain where he is now, but he also said that he was speaking to other teams about potential opportunities. Both Ford and Chevrolet are said to be interested in his services.
A manufacturer switch is more complicated for Busch than it would be for most drivers since his own team, Kyle Busch Motorsports, is aligned with Toyota. So a switch in manufacturers from a driver standpoint would also effectively require that his team switches manufacturers.
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