When will the madness stop? Another challenger has entered the ring as GMS Racing will make the jump to Cup to start the 2022 season. This marks the second new team – and counting – and will be the fourth new car to enter the Cup field in 2022.
GMS Racing was rumored to be making the jump back in 2019, but those plans were dashed and their programs had seemed to take a major step down. They nixed their Xfinity Series program, and their Truck teams have struggled to find sponsorship despite winning a championship last season. So, it seemed like their Cup aspirations were all but done.
It never left their mind and now they’re gearing up for a challenging 2022 season. No word on whether they plan on buying or leasing a charter. If they decide against it, they currently wouldn’t be in too much trouble as the car count considering GMS, Kaulig, a second 23XI car, and second Trackhouse car is right at 40. Assuming JTG Daugherty shuts down the #37 and JR Motorsports remains in Xfinity they’d all make every race as long as one-off teams don’t attempt to make any races.
It’s exciting to see so many new teams and competitors entering the sport and this is exactly what NASCAR wanted to happen whenever they made the next-gen cars. What makes the GMS move so surprising is what I wrote up above with the sponsorship issues. They currently struggle to secure sponsorship for their trucks despite having the defending series champion in Sheldon Creed. The team as a whole has also taken a step down in competition in 2021, so I question how competitive their equipment is going to be.
There is also the question of who will drive for them. The most popular choices from fans seem to be Sheldon Creed or Brett Moffitt. While either one would be solid choices in terms of talent, neither bring any sponsorship to the table and more than likely that’s going to be a key factor in who they decide to place in the car. Truthfully there is no driver on the open market at the moment that brings sponsorship.
So, while this is big news and exciting for the sport, this is the first new team that I’m concerned about in terms of if they can handle the jump. There are a lot of questions around this move, but I have no doubt they have already thought of the questions and came up with solutions. Stay tuned, because this might not be over yet.