Top-five free agents in 2016
Photo by Benjamin Palmer/
Brett Moffitt's car sits on pit road at Phoenix International Raceway during a qualifying 
session in March 2015.

By Dominic Aragon
February 1, 2015

DISCALIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

The NASCAR season will be under way in three weeks. Not including the retirement of Jeff Gordon, eight drivers who ran a majority of the Sprint Cup races in 2015 are currently without a ride entering 2016.

Below is a breakdown of the five best drivers entering this season without a ride.

Brett Moffitt
What originally started as a one race deal for Michael Waltrip Racing at Atlanta in March turned into a full-time seat between two organizations in 2015 for the 23-year-old driver.

Moffitt’s 31 overall races ran was enough to propel the rookie past Matt DiBenedetto for Rookie-of-the-Year honors.

Yet, with Front Row Motorsports downsizing in 2016, Moffitt was not part of the team’s plan moving forward.

It is questionable what Moffitt’s 2016 racing plans are at this time.

Josh Wise
Wise earned his first career Sprint Cup top-ten finish at Talladega in May with Phil Parson’s No. 98 team, but only occupied the seat through the mid-season race at Kentucky Speedway in July.

In total, Wise attempted 29 races in 2015 with five teams.

With Go Green Racing signing Jeffrey Earnhardt as a Rookie-of-the-Year contender, Wise may be sitting on the sidelines for an extended period of time in 2016. 

Photo by Brian DeGruchy/
Josh Wise practices for the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March 2015.

Alex Bowman
Perhaps the biggest piece of news to arise in the Sprint Cup realm in January was the announcement of Bowman’s split with Tommy Baldwin Racing.

Bowman was originally announced as the driver of the No. 7 for 2016, but Regan Smith will fill the seat this season.

Bowman has recorded 71 career Sprint Cup starts, all since 2014. Bowman currently has nine scheduled races for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series this season.

David Gilliland
Front Row Motorsports’ longest tenured driver will not return to the team for a seventh season.

Photo by Brian DeGruchy/
Alex Bowman stands on pit road by his car during a qualifying session at Phoenix International Raceway in March 2015.

Gilliland started 212 races for Front Row Motorsports since 2010, amassing one pole position, four top-ten finishes and a best of 26th in driver standings in 2013.

Entering 2016, Gilliland has a 196 consecutive starts streak, one that could end in three weeks.

Is it possible Gilliland will be picked up by a part-time team in 2016 to attempt the Daytona 500 or beyond?

Sam Hornish Jr.
Arguably the biggest free agent entering this season is Hornish.

Hornish, besides Gordon, is the highest driver in points from 2015 to not have a full-time ride lined up in 2016.

Photo by Brian DeGruchy/
David Gilliland enters the garage area during a practice session for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway in October 2015.

Hornish has had three full-time stints in the Sprint Cup Series, with 2015 resulting in his career-high finish in the driver standings (26th).

After multiple chances in various equipment, Hornish will likely not line up a ride in the Sprint Cup Series in 2016.

Yet, don’t be surprised to see the three-time IndyCar champion work on television broadcasts as a color commentator, a role he has done before with NBC Sports Network and FOX Sports 1.

Which current free agent will most like be in the Daytona 500 field?
Brett Moffitt
Josh Wise
Alex Bowman
David Gilliland
Sam Hornish Jr.
Poll Maker