As much as NASCAR's 75th anniversary season is a celebration of the sport's colorful past, the spotlight of the 2023 campaign will center around stock car racing's present. A present featuring emerging modern day stars, veterans trying to build a legacy that can stand alongside those who came before them, and even faces from the past trying to add to the legacies they've built.
NASCAR's diamond anniversary will serve as the second year of the sport's Next Gen era, which will be faced with a tall task in trying to match a first season that saw a record-tying 19 different drivers visit Victory Lane in 36 races. Many of those same drivers will return to the seat of the 36 chartered Cup Series cars, but there are a few notable exceptions -- none more so than Kyle Busch, who takes over the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing after 15 years at Joe Gibbs Racing. Tyler Reddick and Ryan Preece have also taken over high-profile rides this season, and two rookie drivers -- Xfinity Series rivals Ty Gibbs and Noah Gragson -- have moved up to the Cup Series full-time.
The 2023 season is also set to see some notable part-time cameos, starting with the return of seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. After becoming co-owner of the newly-named Legacy Motor Club, Johnson will compete in select races this year behind the wheel of the team's No. 84 Chevrolet.
Here is a complete look at the driver and team landscape for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season:
#1 - Ross Chastain - Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Phil Surgen)
Ross Chastain returns to Trackhouse Racing after a breakout 2022 season that saw him win twice, ascend to superstardom, and produce one of the great highlights in the history of NASCAR on his way to a second-place finish in the championship standings. Phil Surgen returns as crew chief.
#2 - Austin Cindric - Team Penske Ford (Crew Chief: Jeremy Bullins)
Austin Cindric is set for his second season at Team Penske after winning last year's Daytona 500 and Rookie of the Year honors. Jeremy Bullins will continue to serve as his crew chief.
#3 - Austin Dillon - Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Keith Rodden)
Austin Dillon will have a new crew chief for 2023, as Justin Alexander stepped down from his role atop the No. 3 pit box at the end of the 2022 season. Keith Rodden takes over as crew chief, his first full-time crew chief role since working with Kasey Kahne in 2017.
#4 - Kevin Harvick - Stewart-Haas Racing Ford (Crew Chief: Rodney Childers)
2023 will mark Kevin Harvick's 23rd and final season as a NASCAR Cup Series driver, as he announced that he will retire at the end of the season. Harvick will continue to be paired with Rodney Childers, who has worked with Harvick since his championship season in 2014.
#5 - Kyle Larson - Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Cliff Daniels)
Kyle Larson and Cliff Daniels run it back at Hendrick Motorsports after a somewhat disappointing followup to their 2021 championship season. Larson won just three races in all of 2022, but showed some flashes of rediscovering his 2021 dominance toward the season's end.
#6 - Brad Keselowski - RFK Racing Ford (Crew Chief: Matt McCall)
Brad Keselowski enters his second season as driver and co-owner of RFK Racing after a strong finish to 2022. Of Keselowski's six top-10 finishes last season, three came in the final 10 races.
#7 - Corey LaJoie - Spire Motorsports Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Ryan Sparks)
Corey LaJoie returns for a third season as the flagship driver for Spire Motorsports. Ryan Sparks is back as LaJoie's crew chief, while also adding team director of competition duties to his responsibilities.
#8 - Kyle Busch - Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Randall Burnett)
After 15 years at Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch moves to Richard Childress Racing as the new driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet. Busch replaces Tyler Reddick, who left the team to join 23XI Racing.
#9 - Chase Elliott - Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson)
Chase Elliott will enter the 2023 season seeking to complete a job left unfinished in 2022: winning his second Cup championship. Elliott cruised to the regular season title in 2022, but he had an up-and-down playoff run culminating in a crash at Phoenix that cost him a chance to win the title.
#10 - Aric Almirola - Stewart-Haas Racing Ford (Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer)
After initially announcing that the 2022 season would be his last as a full-time driver, Aric Almirola backtracked on those plans midseason and signed a multi-year deal to continue driving for Stewart-Haas Racing. Drew Blickensderfer will be his crew chief for the second year in a row.
#11 - Denny Hamlin - Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Crew Chief: Chris Gabehart)
Denny Hamlin will continue to drive the No. 11 for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2023 in what is currently the longest-running active pairing of a driver and team in NASCAR. Hamlin has driven the No. 11 since his rookie year in 2006.
#12 - Ryan Blaney - Team Penske Ford (Crew Chief: Jonathan Hassler)
After earning a career-best 12 top-five finishes in 2022, Ryan Blaney enters the 2023 season looking to correct the one major blemish he had last year. Blaney failed to win a race for the first time since 2016, though he did earn a trip to Victory Lane in the NASCAR All-Star Race and signed a multi-year contract extension with Penske.
#14 - Chase Briscoe - Stewart-Haas Racing Ford (Crew Chief: John Klausmeier)
Chase Briscoe returns for a third season at Stewart-Haas Racing after enjoying a second-year leap in 2022. The 2021 Rookie of the Year earned his first career win at Phoenix and went on to finish ninth in the championship standings.
#15 - J.J. Yeley, Riley Herbst and Todd Gilliland - Rick Ware Racing Ford (Crew Chief: Billy Plourde)
Rick Ware Racing looks as though it will once again use a variety of drivers in its No. 15 Ford. J.J. Yeley will run the Busch Light Clash, while Riley Herbst will run the Daytona 500 behind the wheel of this car. Billy Plourde is now the listed crew chief after working with Cody Ware in 2022.
Todd Gilliland told CBS Sports that he will run this car in five of the six races where he does not drive the No. 38 for Front Row Motorsports.
#16 - AJ Allmendinger - Kaulig Racing Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Matt Swiderski)
After dominating the Xfinity Series and starring in Cup cameos, AJ Allmendinger takes over as the full-time driver for Kaulig Racing's No. 16 in 2023. This will mark Allmendinger's first full-time Cup season since 2018.
#17 - Chris Buescher - RFK Racing Ford (Crew Chief: Scott Graves)
Chris Buescher enters the 2023 season on the rise, as he spearheaded RFK Racing's growth in 2022. Buescher broke a six-year winless drought at Bristol in September while also earning a career-high three top-five and 10 top-10 finishes.
#19 - Martin Truex Jr. - Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Crew Chief: James Small)
Martin Truex Jr. will return to Joe Gibbs Racing despite having been the subject of retirement rumors midway through last year. This will be the 18th full season for Truex, who turns 43 in June.
#20 - Christopher Bell - Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Crew Chief: Adam Stevens)
2022 was a breakout year for Christopher Bell, as he earned three victories including two clutch performances in playoff-elimination races that allowed him to make it all the way to the Championship 4 before earning a third-place finish in the final standings. Veteran crew chief Adam Stevens played a large role in that run, and the two are paired together again for 2023.
#21 - Harrison Burton - Wood Brothers Racing Ford (Crew Chief: Brian Wilson)
Harrison Burton returns for a second season as the driver of the Wood Brothers' legendary No. 21. Burton flashed several times during his rookie year, including when he finished third at Indianapolis.
#22 - Joey Logano - Team Penske Ford (Crew Chief: Paul Wolfe)
With his second Cup Series title now in hand, Joey Logano will seek to become the only active full-time driver to win a third Cup title in 2023. Logano also looks to become the first driver to win a third championship since Tony Stewart did so in 2011.
#23 - Bubba Wallace - 23XI Racing Toyota (Crew Chief: Bootie Barker)
Bubba Wallace and his team return to sporting the No. 23 after switching to the No. 45 in the playoffs last year for owner's points purposes. The number change paid some dividends, as Wallace earned his second career win at Kansas in September.
#24 - William Byron - Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Rudy Fugle)
William Byron had a strong start to 2022 with two wins in the first eight races, but that early success would later dissipate despite Byron going on to finish a career-best sixth in the championship standings. Byron and crew chief Rudy Fugle will try to discover similar success in 2023 and sustain it.
#31 - Justin Haley - Kaulig Racing Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Trent Owens)
Justin Haley was viciously consistent in 2022, racking up finishes inside the top 20 and mixing in three top-five finishes to go with them. Haley is a potential breakout candidate for 2023 with veteran crew chief Trent Owens once again calling the shots.
#34 - Michael McDowell - Front Row Motorsports Ford (Crew Chief: Travis Peterson)
2021 Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell had the best season of his career in 2022, but it may have cost him crew chief Blake Harris, who departed for Hendrick Motorsports. Travis Peterson takes Harris' place atop the pit box for McDowell.
#38 - Todd Gilliland and Zane Smith - Front Row Motorsports Ford (Crew Chief: Ryan Bergenty)
Todd Gilliland returns for his second Cup season, but he will not drive the No. 38 car for the entire 2023 campaign. Gilliland will be pulled from the car for six races in favor of Zane Smith, who will drive at Phoenix in March, Talladega in April, the Coca-Cola 600, Sonoma, Texas, and the Charlotte Roval. After Seth Barbour's promotion to Front Row Motorsports technical director. Ryan Bergenty, who had been car chief on the No. 34 team, takes over as this team's crew chief.
#41 - Ryan Preece - Stewart-Haas Racing Ford (Crew Chief: Chad Johnston)
Ryan Preece returns to the Cup Series full-time in 2023 as the new driver of Stewart-Haas' No. 41, replacing Cole Custer, who has been moved down to the Xfinity Series. The No. 41 also has a new crew chief, with veteran Chad Johnston serving those duties.
#42 - Noah Gragson (R) - Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Luke Lambert)
The legend of Noah Gragson continues to grow, as the Xfinity Series superstar will move up to the Cup Series in 2023 as a Rookie of the Year contender and the new driver of the Petty No. 42 for Legacy Motor Club. He will be reunited with Luke Lambert, who takes over as the team's crew chief.
#43 - Erik Jones - Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Dave Elenz)
After winning the Southern 500 and having one of the best seasons a driver of the Petty No. 43 has had in recent memory, Erik Jones returns in 2023. Dave Elenz continues as his crew chief.
#45 - Tyler Reddick - 23XI Racing Toyota (Crew Chief: Billy Scott)
Tyler Reddick moves to 23XI Racing a year earlier than previously announced as the replacement for Kurt Busch, whose full-time Cup career came to an end last season as the result of a concussion suffered in a crash at Pocono. Reddick had a breakout season in 2023, winning three times at Richard Childress Racing.
#47 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Mike Kelley)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. returns for a fourth season at JTG Daugherty after signing a multi-year contract extension midway through last year. He will be reunited with Mike Kelley, who takes over for Brian Pattie as the No. 47 team's crew chief.
#48 - Alex Bowman - Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Blake Harris)
Alex Bowman will have a new crew chief this season, as Greg Ives stepped down from his role with the No. 48 team at the end of 2022. Taking over will be Blake Harris, who joins Hendrick Motorsports after elevating the performnace of Michael McDowell and Front Row Motorsports.
#51 - Cody Ware - Rick Ware Racing Ford (Crew Chief: Jerry Kelley)
Cody Ware will continue to drive the No. 51 for his family's race team. Ware showed growth as a driver in a 2022 season that featured some high points, with none higher than a career-best sixth-place finish at Daytona in August. Jerry Kelley is now listed as Ware's crew chief.
#54 - Ty Gibbs (R) - Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Crew Chief: Chris Gayle)
The 2022 Xfinity Series champion and the grandson of Joe Gibbs, Ty Gibbs takes over for Kyle Busch as the driver of what was the No. 18 team, which will now adopt Gibbs' own No. 54. Chris Gayle follows Gibbs up from the Xfinity Series to guide his Rookie of the Year bid.
#77 - Ty Dillon - Spire Motorsports Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Kevin Bellicourt)
After driving for Petty GMS in 2022, Ty Dillon moves to Spire Motorsports as the new driver of the team's No. 77. The younger of the Dillon brothers offers a steadying presence, as the No. 77 has been driven by multiple drivers over the past several seasons.
#78 - BJ McLeod and Josh Bilicki - Live Fast Motorsports Chevrolet (Crew Chief: David Ingram)
Live Fast Motorsports has switched to Chevrolet for the 2023 season, with Josh Bilicki joining the team on a part-time basis and David Ingram assuming crew chiefing duties. Team co-owner BJ McLeod is expected to continue to drive this car for most of the season.
#99 - Daniel Suarez - Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Travis Mack)
Daniel Suarez and Travis Mack will be paired together again in 2023 after the two played a large role in Trackhouse's breakout year in 2022. Suarez had far and away the best year of his Cup career, highlighted by his first career win at Sonoma in June.
Part-Time Teams/Teams with no Charter
#13 - Chandler Smith - Kaulig Racing Chevrolet (Crew Chief: TBD)
After becoming a championship contender in the Craftsman Truck Series, Chandler Smith will run multiple Cup races for Kaulig in addition to a full season in the Xfinity Series. Smith will attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500 before running Richmond in the spring, Talladega and Phoenix in the fall, and the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro.
#27 - TBD - Team Hezeberg Ford (Crew Chief: TBD)
After competing on a part-time basis in 2022, Team Hezeberg has yet to announce specific plans for 2023. Hezeberg offered the Cup Series some international flair, as its drivers included former Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, Dutch driver Loris Hezemans and Russian driver Daniil Kvyat.
#36 - Zane Smith - Front Row Motorsports Ford (Crew Chief: TBD)
Defending Craftsman Truck Series champion Zane Smith will attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500 in a third Front Row Motorsports car.
#50 - Conor Daly - The Money Team Racing Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Tony Eury Jr.)
The Money Team Racing, co-owned by Floyd Mayweather, has hired IndyCar driver Conor Daly for the 2023 season. Daly will attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500 and up to seven Cup races in total.
#62 - Austin Hill - Beard Oil Racing Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Darren Shaw)
2022 Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year Austin Hill takes over as the driver of Beard Oil Racing's No. 62, which focuses on what has become a strong superspeedway program. Hill will run both Daytona and Talladega races as well as Chicago and Michigan.
#66 - TBD - MBM Motorsports Ford (Crew Chief: TBD)
MBM Motorsports fielded Cup cars in select races early in the 2022 season, but the Carl Long-owned team would eventually focus on its Xfinity Series program. The team has yet to announce specific plans for 2023.
#67 - Travis Pastrana - 23XI Racing Toyota (Crew Chief: TBD)
Action sports star Travis Pastrana will try to add the Daytona 500 to his NASCAR resume, as he will attempt to qualify in a third car for 23XI Racing. Kurt Busch has also been discussed as potentially driving part-time, but he has yet to be medically cleared to return to racing as of January.
#84 - Jimmie Johnson - Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Todd Gordon)
After running IndyCar over the past two years, Jimmie Johnson returns to the Cup Series on a part-time basis while also serving as the new co-owner of Legacy Motor Club. Veteran crew chief Todd Gordon will join Johnson in coming out of retirement for select races, starting with the Daytona 500.
#91 - TBD - Trackhouse Racing Project91 Chevrolet (Crew Chief: Darian Grubb)
After making its debut at Watkins Glen with former F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, Trackhouse Racing's Project91 for international racing stars remains part of the team's plan for 2023. There was some talk of Project91 fielding a car in the Daytona 500, but team owner Justin Marks announced the team would focus on road courses.