Stewart-Haas Racing is at an impasse with its driver roster at the moment. So many fans speculating on whether they will remain pat heading into the silly season, or do a complete overhaul of half the team. Greg Zipadelli, vice president of SHR claims the driver lineup will remain the same.
“Where we are is kind of one of those things that we kind of keep our laundry in-house, working on them,” Zipadelli said, opting not to delve into specifics about negotiations. “Yes, I do anticipate and (am) excited to hopefully have the same lineup that we do this year back. I know one is very close to done, and we’re working on the other one. I think our guys, our drivers really work well together this year and lean on each other. They’ve all helped Cole a bunch and proud of everybody for that. They’ve showed up ready to race on Sundays and that’s all we can ask.”
This picture might be nearing completion as Aric Almirola was just reported that he would be returning to the 10-car for 2021. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. While Almirola hasn’t been a revelation, he’s been competing for top tens weekly and Smithfield remains loyal to him as a sponsor. SHR had no reason to let him go.
Clint Bowyer still remains the question mark for this team. With Tony Stewart all but confirming that the team is chasing Kyle Larson and with Chase Briscoe lighting up the Xfinity Series it seemed like the writing was on the wall. But, Zips comments seem to suggest the surprising opposite.
Kyle Larson will find a ride, of that I’m sure as long as he can scrape together sponsorship. Briscoe (25) is who I’d be worried about losing a chance on if I was SHR. He seems like a genuine talent and his options may become too abundant to wait on a ride to open up.
Currently, speculation is mounting that SHR may start making alliances and start a satellite team with the likes of someone like Go Fas Racing who has a seat open for 2021. They could start an alliance and put Larson or Briscoe in the 32-car.
We will have to wait and see how this continues to develop. I am skeptical of SHR’s decision making if they do choose to keep Bowyer on the team. I’m a fan of Clint Bowyer and will never root against him, but with Kyle Larson and Chase Briscoe waiting patiently it’s hard to imagine SHR passing up on either of those two talents.