Unable to find ride-buyer, RCR closes #27 team

Despite a booming economy, RCR has been shedding cars in all NASCAR divisions
Despite a booming economy, RCR has been shedding cars in all NASCAR divisions

Richard Childress Racing will contract to just two cars in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, closing the #27 team over the offseason.

Contraction has been the story for many NASCAR teams over the offseason ahead of the 2018 season. From the Truck Series up to the Cup Series, a number of big-name teams have either shut their doors or cut back on their number of teams. Add Richard Childress Racing to that list now, cutting back on their Xfinity Series and Cup Series operations.

As confirmed by team driver Austin Dillon in a preseason interview, Richard Childress Racing will be leaner in 2018 by dropping the #27 team. The car was previously piloted by Paul Menard, who left over the offseason to move to Wood Brothers Racing.

Much of the speculation over the previous weeks was that Brennan Poole would move into that ride in the new year, potentially bringing DC Solar sponsorship with him. However, when the company renewed their agreement with Chip Ganassi Racing, that seemed to doom any potential deal there.

Dillon had this to say about the smaller organization for RCR in 2018:, according to Yahoo Sports.

"That was something I was really excited about in the offseason, when we decided to go to a little bit smaller organization. I see a lot of two-car teams being successful. Furniture Row is going back to one car and they were a two-car team last year, won the championship. I’m really positive about that. … It’s nice to be able to focus on two cars and our crew chiefs are our best friends. … They want to put RCR where it needs to be and that’s winning championships."

Childress already confirmed earlier this offseason that they will cut two teams from their Xfinity Series operation. After running five teams in 2017, the #62 and #33 cars were cut from their plans in 2018. Brandon Jones had already left the organization for Joe Gibbs Racing, while Brendan Gaughan will cut back to a part-time schedule in Xfinity and Cup.

Despite dropping down to two cars in 2018, there is the possibility of their team expanding back to three cars in the near future. The status of their charter from the #27 team remains unknown, but it is possible that they leased it out to another team for the upcoming year. This would mean that RCR could bring it back into their fold in 2019 or 2020, with the possibility that Daniel Hemric could move to the Cup Series or Ty Dillon moves into the Childress fold from Germain Racing. BeyondTheFlag

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