Following the confirmation of Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing’s driver lineup for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season is officially set.
The announcement that many knew was coming finally came on Tuesday, when Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed that Ty Gibbs is set to be promoted from the organization’s NASCAR Xfinity Series team to their Cup Series team for the 2023 season.
With Kyle Busch on his way to Richard Childress Racing and Chevrolet following a 15-year run with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota, Gibbs was always seen as the likely candidate to replace the two-time champion.
Worth noting is the fact that Gibbs is set to keep his Xfinity Series number, 54, and Joe Gibbs Racing will not run the number 18 in 2023. The 2023 season is set to be the first season since 1991 without a #18 car, as Joe Gibbs Racing have used the number every year since making their Cup Series debut in the 1992 season.
The confirmation of Gibbs officially solidifies Joe Gibbs Racing’s four-car lineup for the 2023 season.
Denny Hamlin is set to return for an 18th season behind the wheel of the #11 Toyota (16th with Toyota) while Martin Truex Jr. is set to return for a fifth season behind the wheel of the #19 Toyota after previously hinting that retirement was a possibility following the 2022 season.
Gibbs had been linked to Truex’s seat in the event that he decided to retire, as it was believed at the time that Busch was still slated to return for what would have been a 16th season behind the wheel of the #18 Toyota.
And then there is Christopher Bell, the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver who made it to the Championship 4 this past season.
After winning in his second Cup Series start as a Joe Gibbs Racing driver in 2021, he advanced to the championship round in his second season with the team, and after signing a multi-year contract extension with the team earlier in the year, he is set to return for a third season behind the wheel of the #20 Toyota in 2023.
The only thing Joe Gibbs Racing has not yet confirmed is their Xfinity Series lineup. Not only is Gibbs leaving for the Cup Series, but Brandon Jones, their other full-time driver from 2022, has moved to JR Motorsports for the 2023 season, leaving them with two empty seats.