Chris Buescher is replacing Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Roush Fenway Racing in 2020. And Stenhouse is now replacing Buescher at JTG Daugherty Racing.
JTG announced Wednesday that it had signed Stenhouse to drive the No. 37 car next season. Stenhouse was released from his contract at Roush in September and the team moved to sign Buescher to replace him. Now, Stenhouse is taking over Buescher’s old ride. Both drivers won Xfinity Series titles while driving for Roush Fenway Racing before coming to the Cup Series.
“We’re very fortunate to have Ricky join us next season to continue to elevate our racing program at JTG Daugherty Racing,” JTG owner Tad Geschickter said in a statement. “Ricky brings a lot of experience and talent to the team, and we know we can have two Playoff-contending teams next season with him and Ryan Preece at the helm of our cars.”
The move makes sense for both Stenhouse and JTG. He was the top available driver and JTG’s No. 37 car was the top available car assuming that Stewart-Haas Racing re-ups with Daniel Suarez for 2020. Fox Sports reported Monday that Clint Bowyer had agreed to a deal with SHR to return to the No. 14 car in 2020.
Stenhouse is currently 21st in the standings, a spot behind Buescher in 20th. He has one top five to Buescher’s zero this season and has three top-10 finishes while Buescher has four.
Buescher, however, has been much more consistent than Stenhouse has been at finishing in the top half of the field. That’s likely a big reason why Roush made the move to re-sign its former driver. Stenhouse has officially retired from four races in 2019 because of crashes and has been involved in spins and incidents in several others.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join JTG Daugherty Racing next season,” Stenhouse Jr. said in a statement. “To be able to see what Tad, [wife Jodi] and [team co-owner Brad Daugherty] have built over the years says a lot about the team and the organization both on and off the track. JTG has grown from a small team in a barn to a two-car team with more than 100 employees, and I’m looking forward to joining the family. I’m grateful for the opportunity, and ready to go win races with the ultimate goal of making the Playoffs and competing for a championship.”
Stenhouse won at Talladega and Daytona in 2017 and made the playoffs. He finished 13th that season and dropped to 18th in 2018.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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