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ESPN's Bob Pockrass Tweeted: Rick Hendrick said Alex Bowman would compete in The Clash at Daytona, he's just not sure for who/what car.

Impact

Bowman won a pole position at Phoenix this past November. He did that while driving in relief of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Chevrolet. That makes Bowman eligible for this thrilling exhibition race at Daytona in February. Hendrick will field a car for the young driver so he can compete in this event. It's a great story and well-deserved for the young driver. Details on the car number and crew chief will emerge in the coming weeks.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt Jr.'s hot streak in Las Vegas continued Friday night. The driver of the No. 88 Chevy was named the National Motorsports Press Association Sprint Most Popular Driver for the 14th consecutive year, extending his record streak, Hendrick Motorsports PR reports.

Impact

Earnhardt may have missed part of the racing season with his concussion, but it did nothing to diminish his popularity among the fans. For the 14th-straight season he earned Most Popular Driver honors as voted by the fans. The driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet will return to action in 2017, and look to rebound from his previous campaign that was cut short by injury.

Nico Rosberg will retire from Formula 1 racing.

Impact

The announcement comes just five days after winning his title. Rosberg won nine of the 21 grands prix on the season. In his career, he won 23 grand prix races and finished on the podium 57 times.

Statesville-based GMS Racing announced that, beginning in 2017, the team will compete full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with driver Spencer Gallagher, GMS Racing PR reports.

Impact

After four seasons of competing in the truck series, Gallagher will make the jump to the Xfinity Series in 2017. GMS Racing is bringing him to that division in his familiar No. 23 car. Gallagher got a taste of action at this level of NASCAR last season. He made seven starts, and even posted one Top-10 finish at Daytona during July. Gallagher and this new Xfinty Series team face a steep learning curve in the upcoming season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

A few months from believing he "may never race again" in NASCAR, Earnhardt Jr. now believes he is only a few weeks from being cleared to return. The Hendrick Motorsports driver, who missed the last half of the 2016 season after suffering a concussion, said he hopes to turn laps in a December test and again in a January session before racing his No. 88 Chevy in the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 26, NBC Sports reports.

Impact

The upcoming test later this month is the final hurdle for Earnhardt to clear before he can make a return to racing. The driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet is excited and hungry to return to action. If he passes the medical exam he'll begin testing later this month and start preparations for the Daytona 500 and new season.

Tony Stewart

Stewart said his 2017 racing schedule is coming together, announcing two dates and hinting at other possibilities. Stewart, who has retired from driving in NASCAR but will compete in plenty of races in other series, talked about his 2017 schedule during Tuesday night's "Tony Stewart Live" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, NBC Sports reports.

Impact

With NASCAR now in the rear-view mirror Stewart can focus on other forms of racing. Besides the usual Sprint Car action he enjoys, it looks like Smoke may be focused on some sports car racing. "There's a possibility I might have an offer to go race at Le Mans next year, which I never thought I would have an opportunity to do that," Stewart said. "I had a conversation with a car owner about possibly running this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona. There's a lot of cool stuff and the fun part is kind of not exactly knowing yet what we're going to do."

Ben Rhodes drove for ThorSport Racing in 2016, his first full season of truck competition. He tallied one pole, two Top-5's and five Top-10's. In an interview featured on his website, Rhodes says he has yet to decide on his racing plans for 2017, benrhodes.com reports.

Impact

It was a tough season for Rhodes in the ThorSport No. 41 Toyota truck. He failed to make the Chase, and in fact, he failed to crack the Top 10 in the driver standings in 2016. The talented youngster will now explore the NASCAR free agent market and consider opportunities in any division he can find. At 19-years-old Rhodes has a lot of development and racing ahead of him, so he brings a lot of upside to any team that will sign him.

Ty Dillon

Beginning in 2017, Ty Dillon will take over full-time driving duties of the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Germain Racing, germainracing.com reports.

Impact

Casey Mears is out at the No. 13 Germain Racing team, and in is the young driver from the Richard Childress Racing stable. Dillon will make his first full-season foray into NASCAR's top division and compete for Rookie of the Year honors with this race team. Mears made this startup team viable over the last six seasons, now Dillon will be tasked with taking them to the next level.

Chris Buescher

Chris Buescher will drive a second car for JTG Daugherty in 2017, NBC Sports reports.

Impact

The team made it official Tuesday. The talented young driver will move from Roush Fenway Racing to JTG Daugherty's new, second team. The expansion is made possible by JTG's lease of the Roush Feneway charter for Greg Biffle's now-idled No. 16 team. Buescher has incredible potential and will now get to explore that with a growing race team.

Sebastian Vettel charged to a third-place finish in Sunday's final race of the 2016 season in Abu Dhabi.

Impact

Ferrari's strategy paid dividends in the closing laps as Vettel charged forward to come back from nearly 20 seconds behind the leader to finish third. Vettel passed Max Verstappen in the closing laps for third position, but was unable to pass Nico Rosberg for second despite Lewis Hamilton slowing the leaders to force a battle for the final podium positions. The podium was Vettel's first since the Italian Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg finished second in Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which was enough to earn his first World Championship in the series.

Impact

Teammate Lewis Hamilton made things very difficult for Rosberg in the final laps of Sunday's race by slowing enough to allow Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen to challenge for the podium results, threatening Rosberg's title chances. However, Rosberg kept his cool and finished second, which was enough to secure the 2016 title. By winning his first title he and father Keke Rosberg join Graham and Damon Hill to be the only two father-son combinations to win Formula 1 championships.

Lewis Hamilton won Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from pole position, holding off teammate Nico Rosberg in second position.

Impact

Hamilton tried to hold up Rosberg in the final laps in order to do all he could to win the championship, but lost the title by virtue of Rosberg's podium result. Hamilton won 10 races in the 2016 season, which is the highest tally by a driver not to win the title.

JD Motorsports will have some familiar faces in its camp next year. Lead driver Ross Chastain is returning to the No. 4 car, with 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece back in the No. 01 car as well, frontstretch.com reports.

Impact

The rookie driver had a successful first season of racing in the Xfinity Series. Preece posted one Top-10 finish, which came at Darlington in the late summer. He finished 17th in the final driver standings, but also had six DNF's. If he can finish more races running in 2017, some improvement should be expected for the young driver.

JD Motorsports will have some familiar faces in its camp next year. Lead driver Ross Chastain is returning to the No. 4 car, with 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece back in the No. 01 car as well, frontstretch.com reports.

Impact

Chastain had a mixed results season in his second full campaign in the Xfinity Series. He had no Top-10 finishes, but ended the year a respectable 16th in the overall driver standings. Chastain will get another opportunity to pilot the team's No. 4 Chevrolet in 2017.

Landon Cassill

Landon Cassill will return to the Sprint Cup Series for Front Row Motorsports in 2017, frontstretch.com reports.

Impact

The young driver had his best campaign of his six-season Sprint Cup Series career in 2016. Cassill finished a career-best 29th in the driver standings and he racked up seven Top-20 finishes this season. Improvement has come slowly for the journeyman driver. However, Cassill and the No. 38 FRM team made some progress this year. He'll get another shot in 2017 to move the bar higher for this race team.

Daniel Ricciardo will start third in Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix behind the two Mercedes AMG Petronas teammates who locked out the front row of the grid.

Impact

The Red Bull Racing cars will start Sunday's race on the super soft tires to counter the tire strategy of the two Mercedes machines. The team is hoping the higher grip levels will enable their drivers to battle for the lead at the start of the race. Past tries with similar strategies have not been as successful as the team had hoped, though.

Nico Rosberg will start second in the final race of the 2016 season alongside teammate Lewis Hamilton who will start first.

Impact

Rosberg is seeking a podium finish in Sunday's race to score his first career Formula 1 championship. He was consistently faster in the first sector of the Abu Dhabi circuit in qualifying, which could give him an advantage at the start of the race.

Lewis Hamilton turned the fastest lap of the weekend in Abu Dhabi to score the top starting position for Sunday's final race of the season.

Impact

The former champion is facing a must-win situation tomorrow in order to keep his championship hopes alive. Teammate Nico Rosberg must finish at least third, if Hamilton wins, to win his first career championship in the series. Hamilton appears to have the pace necessary to win, but will need a fast start and mistake-free pit stops to stand on the top step of the podium on Sunday.

Kyle Larson

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson made the most of his return to midget racing, winning Thursday night's 76th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix speedsport.com reports.

Impact

Larson didn't waste any time after the conclusion of the Sprint Cup Series season to get back into racing action. He claimed his second-career victory in this prestigious midget racing event. Larson held off a late rally from Brady Bacon to secure the win.

Jeff Meendering will oversee Cole Custer's full-time foray with Stewart-Haas Racing's new Xfinity Series team in 2017, motorsport.com reports.

Impact

Custer will make the jump to the Xfinity Series next season and the new team in this division of NASCAR for Stewart Haas Racing. This young driver is the youngest race-winner in NASCAR's top three touring series history with his win in the trucks at age 16. Custer is a rising star and pairing him with Meendering will be a good match. He'll be a top contender for Rookie of the Year in the Xfinity Series in 2017.