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SHR owner Gene Haas says no driver has 'intrigued us' enough to sign yet
Dustin Long
NBC Sports Sep 16, 2018, 3:38 PM

LAS VEGAS - Stewart-Haas Racing owner Gene Haas said Sunday that the team continues to search for a driver for the No. 41 car and that he does not view moving up SHR Xfinity driver Cole Custer as a viable option at this time.

Haas said the team is not ready to sign any driver.

"We haven't seen anybody that's intrigued us enough to say, 'OK we're willing to sign you at the moment,' " Haas said before Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "We're kind of hoping there is an undertow...where a driver or a sponsor, maybe that combination that didn't exist a few weeks ago, maybe they come together and it's something we can look at. But at the moment we don't really have anything."

I'm not going through and trying to fix all of the "Invalid characters" that this POS message board restricts. so you can read the whole article here:
I'm not surprised that Haas isn't ready to move Custer up to Cup yet. I think that is a good move. He needs another year in NXS at least.
If Advocare moves with Trevor Bayne, I can see that as an option for SHR and Bayne for a year. I'd love to see what Bayne could do with an SHR car.

My first thought when I heard that Newman and RCR will not agree to a deal for 2019 was that Newman goes back to SHR to drive the #41 car. I don't know IF or HOW BAD that bridge may have been burned after Ryan's first stint with SHR though. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Newman in the RFR #6 car next year.
We could even see a switcharoo again next year (similar to the Blaney/Menard switch) with Bayne in the #31 and Newman in the #6. Silly season will be more interesting during this offseason than it was last season!

By personality, DiBenedetto would be a decent addition to the SHR team. I do think he is a better driver than he's been given credit for over the past few years.

There are so many drivers available after the season and a bunch of seats being vacated. Who knows what will really happen right now.
I think DiBenedetto is going there also
I cannot belive SHR signs DiBenedetto over trying to keep Busch...that makes zero sense. That is not an upgrade for anybody involved, except for Ganassi if they snag Busch...DiBenedetto is not a good driver, how can you say that? A couple of top tens in Daytona? way. I will be so disappointed.

And Bayne stinks, too...there is no way SHR wastes equipment on him, either...

I am good with Custer spending another year in Xfinity...maybe Ryan Newman to keep that seat warm for a year, but i see Busch coming back again. He is a top ten driver, they are crazy to not sign him...
Are you forgetting something Tom? SHR strung Kurt along for the last third of 2017 and finally signed him after the season ended. If I'm not mistaken, HE is the one that said he would not be back with SHR in 2019. If Kurt doesn't want to be there (and I completely understand why), why would he re-sign with them for 2019? If Monster Energy sponsorship is following him, it's a done deal that he's done at SHR. Unless that was all some kind of random rumor. Random rumors don't really happen in the Cup Series though. The way I hear and understand it is that KuB and ME are going to the Ganassi #1 car in 2019. I see no way that SHR hires JMac for the #41 and it's highly unlikely that Bayne gets that car either. Newman is the more logical choice, but I don't think he ends up there either. I'm sure he's not too happy with getting dumped by SHR years ago either. I say that Suarez or DiBenedetto are the front-runners for the #41 car.
Tom, I don't think Matt D. is a great driver, but he is better than what his record says. Look at Alex Bowman. In junk cars, he was still impressive enough to Dale Jr. that Dale tagged Alex as his replacement. Alex made the Chase in his first season with HMS. Sure, he barely made it. But he still beat out a bunch of other drivers that he wouldn't have if he was in lesser equipment. If Erik Jones and Austin Dillon hadn't won races, Alex would have easily made the Chase. Another one to think about is Aric Almirola. Never made the Chase or even really came close to it, until he got in an SHR car. That tells me that a seemingly mediocre driver can get a shot at a championship in a top-tier team. If Smoke, Harvick, Bowyer and Almirola can pass their combined knowledge on to a long-time Cup driver of any skill, that driver might become a champion just from the coaching of teammates.
Well, good point about Busch...but money talks. True about the rumor mill, though.

Remember that DiBenedetto and Stewart have a history, as well. But more to it - Almirola was far from my favorite driver, and I scratched my head a bit when SHR signed him for the 10. Obviously there was something in AA that I didn't see. But with DiBenedetto, I don't see it at all...he reminds me of Sam Hornish.
What history do Matt and Smoke have? I don't remember anything b/t them. I didn't understand the signing of Aric either. Looks like it kinda paid off though.

I certainly don't think of Hornish when I see Matt D. b/c Matt can actually finish races. If any current drivers remind me of Hornish, it's Stenhouse and JMac. They both seem to wreck more than they race, esp. at the super-speedways where most (or all so far) of their wins came from in Cup.
Just to add another thought to this discussion:

Any chance that Kenseth warms the #41 seat for Custer during 2019?
2015 Martinsville practice, DiBendetto cuts Stewart off merging onto the track, Stewart gets mad and exchanges some gestures and stuff. DiBendetto is asked about it later, and he calls Smoke an "arrogant pr!ck." I'm sure it's nothing, but...

Saying somebody reminds you of Hornish is about the harshest thing you can say. LOL I guess I'm just not a fan and I don't see any potential. I don't like Stenhouse or JMac, either...

Kenseth is a thought, but i honestly don't see that happening, either. I think a year of Newman is more likely.
I don't remember that, but probably b/c it was practice.

I agree with that being the harshest thing to say about a driver, but it's true. I've never known a worse driver in any NASCAR series. He's the #1 proof of how hard it is to switch from IndyCar to NASCAR. Some drivers have been successful with that transition, but not for many years. Franchitti, Montoya and Danica couldn't pull it off either.

I don't like or dislike Matt D. and have no real interest in his past or future. I just think it's interesting what he's doing this year with saying he's not coming back to the same team. Does a better funded team fall for what he's doing? RCR could fall for it and put him in the #31 car. RFR could too and put him in the #6. Who really knows?!

I think Newman in the #41 is more likely than Kenseth too. It was just a thought b/c no one has mentioned that possibility. But I also still don't know what happened b/t Newman and SHR that caused or forced him to leave the #39 car in the first place.
Ryan Newman in the 6 for Rousch Fenway in 2019...

One down...
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