How high is Kyle Larson’s ceiling in the No. 42 Chevrolet? Last year Larson won his first Cup race and made NASCAR’s playoffs for the first time. This year, we’ll find out if he can challenge for a title.
Front Row Motorsports
Can they win again? In 2016, Front Row stole a victory in the rain at Pocono with Chris Buescher. Now, Buescher is gone and the team will have to try to win again, but this time without him.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesJeff Curry
Furniture Row Racing
How will the transition to a two-car team go? Furniture Row is adding a second car for talented rookie Erik Jones (left), which is a lot of extra work for a small team from Denver.
Can Dale Earnhardt Jr. race the full season? That’s only the first of many questions for this team, including whether Jimmie Johnson will win an eighth title? Still, this team is loaded with talent.
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JTG Daugherty Racing
How will signing Chris Buescher work out? Buescher has said he’s got a one-year deal with JTG Daugherty for their second car. After this season, he’s likely headed back to Roush Fenway Racing.
Joe Gibbs Racing
How big is the loss of Carl Edwards? Sure, Edwards’ replacement Daniel Suarez will be good, but how good and how soon? Edwards could be a big loss.
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Richard Childress Racing
Will the team find speed? RCR hasn’t won a Cup points race since 2013. They have to find some speed eventually, don’t they?
NASCAR via Getty ImagesGeoff Burke
Richard Petty Motorsports
Downsizing or rightsizing? By parking the No. 44 for at least a year, RPM can focus all its energies on helping Aric Almirola go fast.
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Roush Fenway Racing
Downsizing or rightsizing, Part Deux? Once a five-car team, this season Roush will field just two full-time cars for the first time since 1995. Like RCR, this once-proud team has found speed hard to come by in recent years.
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What happens with Danica Patrick? SHR and Patrick’s primary sponsor, Nature’s Bakery don’t yet have a deal for 2017. And in four full-time seasons, Patrick has yet to finish in the top five even once in a 154 Cup starts. The team will be looking for improvement this year, but if it doesn’t happen, the questions will escalate.
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Can Joey Logano or Brad Keselowski win the Cup championship? Really, anything less will be a disappointment, considering how strong this team has been in the past few seasons.
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Wood Brothers Racing
Can they build on a successful 2016? Last year, rookie Ryan Blaney finished 20th in points driving for NASCAR’s oldest team, which ran the full schedule for the first time since 2008. Certainly, there is a whole lot of upside here now.