Top-25 drivers' plans for 2019 uncertain in NASCAR's Silly Season

Cup series points leader and defending champion Martin Truex Jr. is expected to replace Daniel Suarez at Joe Gibbs Racing. Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The NASCAR Silly Season -- when people will figure out what team they will be on and what they will drive in 2019 -- appears as unpredictable as whether a team will have an uncontrolled tire penalty on a pit stop.

Things are moving so fast that trying to keep a grasp on what is happening within an arm's length is difficult to do every moment.

While Ryan Newman's future was officially settled over the weekend, there are several other top-25 drivers whose 2019 plans appear uncertain, or at the very least unannounced.

Cup series points leader and defending series champion Martin Truex Jr., whose team Furniture Row Racing is closing after the season, is expected to replace Daniel Suarez at Joe Gibbs Racing. Truex, as well as crew chief Cole Pearn, has deflected questions but not denied that he is headed to JGR.

Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser indicated that Bass Pro Shops would go with Truex to his next stop.

"It's so hard this time of year and there's a lot that goes into it," Joe Gibbs said when asked when he will announce his 2019 lineup. "There's a lot of things in contracts and everything else about what you can and can't do, and it's just one of those things that is hard for us.

"I'm anxious, too. I would like to be able to announce it, but there's still a lot up in the air with it."

Suarez, 20th in the standings, already has taken JGR out of his Twitter profile.

"I'm a driver, I like my family and I like classic cars -- that's what I put in [that profile]," Suarez said Friday. "I don't really have anything good to say. When you don't have anything good to say, it's better not to say anything."

Kurt Busch, eighth in the standings, has said he has two offers for next year. Chip Ganassi Racing is a strong possibility as Ganassi confirmed Friday that he has offered Jamie McMurray a ride just for the 2019 Daytona 500 and then a managerial role with the team. McMurray, 21st in the standings, has not told Ganassi whether he will accept that offer.

Ganassi wouldn't confirm whether he has a deal with Busch.

Suarez has talked with Stewart-Haas Racing about replacing Busch. He has talked with Richard Childress Racing, too (more on RCR later).

"We are talking to a lot of people," Suarez said. "I'm sure good things will come our way. I was one of those drivers that I've just been working very hard and feel like I'm doing my job right.

"This year has been definitely disappointing. The way things have worked out lately is very disappointing for a lot of people."

JTG Daugherty Racing drivers Chris Buescher and AJ Allmendinger, 23rd and 24th in the standings, both have contracts for next year, but team owner Tad Geschickter has declined to comment on his 2019 lineup.

In addition to Newman's seat at RCR, the seat at Leavine Family Racing is open as Kasey Kahne (28th in the standings and who will miss his fourth consecutive race this weekend as he attempts to treat recurring dehydration issues) has announced he won't return next year. If Leavine can reach a deal with Toyota, it is possible Suarez could land there.

"Everything is up in the air," Suarez said about Leavine. "We have a lot of options."

It appeared that Leavine possibly could go to two cars if it could land Suarez and Richard Childress Racing Xfinity Series driver Daniel Hemric.

But that brings us back to Newman -- Hemric, second in the Xfinity Series standings, has emerged as the leading candidate for that ride.

For many of the drivers amid the chatter, they are trying to finish the season but also work toward next year.

"Obviously, there has been a lot going on and it's hard to be focused sometimes," Suarez said. "But the guys have been working very hard. ... We know we can do it. Not making the playoffs wasn't good for us. We had way, way higher expectations than the job that we have done.

"But we have had a lot of different issues through the year and sometimes things just don't work out."