The Joe Gibbs Racing car that won’t return in 2022
Joe Gibbs Racing has downsized its NASCAR Xfinity Series team for the 2022 season, but what car will they no longer use?
It was announced after the end of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season that Joe Gibbs Racing would reduce the roster from four cars to three for the 2022 season.
The plan is that they only use two cars versus three for full-time drivers, and they plan to continue using the “star car” for multiple drivers.
Brandon Jones has been confirmed as the full-time driver of the #19 Toyota for the fifth consecutive season, and it has long been speculated that Ty Gibbs will be confirmed as the second full-time driver.
The grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs competed part-time in 2021 as a rookie driving the ‘star car’ and then the No. 54 Toyota, and he won four times in 18 departures. He still hasn’t been officially confirmed as a full-time driver for 2022, but it’s still believed he will be.
During this downsizing announcement, questions were asked as to which car numbers would be used in 2022.
What car number would Gibbs drive, assuming he got the promotion to full-time driver? Which car number would be used for the “star car”, and which car number would be dropped from the team for 2022?
Daniel Hemric is set to step down from the No.18 Toyota after winning the Xfinity Series championship in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing, as he is set to replace Cup Series-bound Justin Haley at the steering wheel of the No. 11 Chevrolet at Kaulig Racing.
Harrison Burton is set to step down from the No.20 Toyota after spending two seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing, as he is set to move to the Cup Series to replace Truck Series-bound Matt DiBenedetto at the wheel of the #21 Ford at Wood Brothers Racing.
That left three realistic options for Gibbs and three for the “star car”: the #18 Toyota, the #20 Toyota and the #54 Toyota.
Now all signs point to Gibbs being set to continue using the #54 Toyota as the “star car” is set to become the #18 Toyota, with Trevor Bayne becomes the first confirmed driver of this car on Wednesday.
With sponsorship from Devotion Nutrition, Bayne is set to compete in seven of the 33 races on the 2022 calendar driving the #18 Toyota, starting with the Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday February 26.
As a result, Joe Gibbs Racing is not currently scheduled to field the #20 Toyota throughout the 2022 season, barring an unexpected late change that sends Gibbs to the #20 Toyota and eliminates the #20 Toyota. 54. The season is scheduled to start on Saturday February 19 with the Beef. That’s what’s for dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway.