The #98 car gets the points from the #44 last year. There was NO MERGER between Yates Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports. RPM just bought equipment and Paul Menard's contract from Yates. That team has four cars.
The #78 gets the points from the #07 last year.
The #38 gets the points from the #96 last year. The #37 gets the points vacated by the #98 from last year. Hence, Front Row Motorsports has an alliance with Yates Racing this year, using Roush/Yates engines and having Doug in the shop.
Therefore, the #82 will have to qualify for the first five races. The #71 is different because Bobby Labonte will be behind the wheel and will have the past champion's provisional to use if he needs it six times, which means that car will be in the first five races.
I will be compiling the lists of cars that are locked and not locked here as soon as NASCAR releases the entry list, which it should do shortly.
Opinions expressed in blogs are those of the individual bloggers and do not necessarily represent the views of racing-reference.info.