SS Green Light Racing has made a significant roster change for the 2023 Xfinity Series season. The team has parted ways with Joe Graf Jr. after three seasons.
Team owner Bobby Dotter announced the news on December 23. He wished a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone and he reflected on a season that featured the organization’s first win. He also explained how this is a time for a change.
“We’ve had three great years with Joe Graf Jr. and his family,” Dotter said. “Can’t say enough for him and how happy I was to work with him and how grateful I am for everything they’ve done for us. But it’s time for some new change, so we’ll be looking at some different drivers next year.”
Dotter did not provide any further details about the plans for the upcoming Xfinity Series season. There likely won’t be any answers until after the first of the year as SS Green Light Racing prepares yet again for another busy season.
The Majority of Graf’s Starts Have Been With SS Green Light Racing
The New Jersey native has had a presence in the Xfinity Series since the 2019 season. He made three starts for Richard Childress Racing while also competing full-time in the ARCA Menards Series.
Graf moved up to the Xfinity Series and joined SS Green Light Racing in 2020. He started all 33 races for the team while adapting to a unique season that did not feature practice or qualifying for the majority of the schedule.
Graf then returned to the team in 2021 for another schedule. He made 29 starts between the No. 07 and the No. 17, and he secured his first career top-10 finish during the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway. Graf also had to miss a race at Circuit of the Americas due to a knee injury.
The 2022 season was originally supposed to be another full-time run for Graf. He announced his return to SS Green Light Racing on January 7, and he prepared to take on another 33 races.
The season did not play out as Graf expected. He secured another top-10 finish, but he had to take a leave of absence during the summer to deal with a private family matter. Graf ultimately returned for the race at Michigan International Speedway, and he finished out the year in the No. 07 Ford.
Dotter Did Not Provide Further Details About Potential Options
With Dotter making the announcement about Graf, there are now numerous questions about the team’s lineup for 2023 and whether there will be one or two entries.
The 2022 lineup featured multiple guest drivers that worked as teammates with Graf. Cole Custer made five starts and won the race at Auto Club Speedway. Chase Briscoe made one start and posted a top-five finish.
The list of guests also included Hailie Deegan (one start), Brandon Brown (two starts), Andy Lally (four starts), BJ McLeod (one start), Brett Moffitt (one start), David Starr (19 starts), and Spencer Pumpelly (one start).
Custer and Moffitt will not return to the lineup in 2023 as they compete full-time for different Xfinity Series teams. The rest of the names could potentially suit up for some guest starts throughout the year.