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Joe Gibbs Racing’s Big Lineup Predictions for 2023

Distribution: The Tennessean
Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Joe Gibbs Racing rounded out the 2022 NASCAR season with a lot of questions about the lineup situations for its Cup and Xfinity Series programs next year.

Let’s predict the organization’s lineups for each series starting in 2023.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series lineup has a big change

Distribution: Republic of Arizona
November 5, 2022; Avondale, AZ, USA; In a Monster Energy drink spray, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ty Gibbs (54) celebrates his championship victory and the race after the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale on Saturday, November 5, 2022. Mandatory credit: Alex Gould /The RepublicNascar Xfinity Series Race

The organization’s NASCAR Cup Series schedule looks well-defined out of a glaring hole left by Kyle Busch after he announced his intentions to drive Richard Childress Racing’s #8 car in 2023.

That means Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell will remain with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2023 season. Hamlin will stick around as he will likely end his full-time career with the organization for years to come.

Truex considered retirement, but decided to come back for another attempt at wins and championships. The driver of car #19 showed an obvious regression as he ended the 2022 season without a single victory.

Meanwhile, Bell just finished his rookie season with a third-place finish in Championship 4 after a bad pit stop that cost him a championship opportunity. If not for the caution at the end of the race, Bell would be in a great place.

NASCAR: Joe Gibbs talks deeply about losing Kyle Busch

The driver of car number 20 has also signed a long-term contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, so if his performance during the 2022 season isn’t enough, the contract reinforces the organization’s commitment to him.

Finally, Ty Gibbs will end up replacing Busch in car #18 next season. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Joe Gibbs Racing use car #54, but car #18 makes the most sense.

Now, with Gibbs in the #18 car in these predictions and Brandon Jones moving to JR Motorsports, that means the organization’s NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule will be all-new.

Related: Joe Gibbs Racing to announce NASCAR rosters after 2022 season ends

NASCAR: Joe Gibbs Racing’s Xfinity Series Line Gets a Complete Overhaul

Distribution: Arizona Republic and NASCAR
November 5, 2022; Avondale, AZ, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Sammy Smith (18) takes the fourth turn during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale on Saturday, November 5, 2022. Mandatory Credit: Alex Gould/The RepublicNascar Xfinity Series race

As of now, Joe Gibbs Racing has its NASCAR Cup Series schedule mostly uncovered. However, the NASCAR Xfinity Series is almost the complete opposite as an entirely new schedule is required for 2023.

Joe Gibbs Racing is expected to have three full-time innings. Two of them will be filled by full-time drivers, while the other will be filled by full-time part-time drivers.

It is anticipated that Sammy Smith will drive the organization’s No. 18 car. Smith nearly won the Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway and was impressive during the 2022 season.

While the results don’t show what he’s actually been able to accomplish, it doesn’t take away from the success he nearly had this season and what will be produced going forward at 18.

NASCAR: Joe Gibbs Racing's Xfinity Program Released for 2023

The second full-time driver is predicted to be John Hunter Nemechek in car #19. Nemechek will be with Toyota next season, but his exact whereabouts are currently unknown.

Joe Gibbs Racing appears to be a good option as it represents the best opportunity for the former Kyle Busch Motorsports driver. Furthermore, Nemechek found success with the organization after winning at Texas Motor Speedway in 2021.

The final entry will be completed by other Toyota Racing drivers. It will serve as the organization’s “All-Star” car, which was used for several seasons before 2023.

The 2023 season should be interesting as there are a lot of changes happening at Joe Gibbs Racing. The organization has a lot of driver announcements to make this offseason.

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