Alex Bowman has to be at the top of the list in my opinion. Alex Bowman was released last minute from Tommy Baldwin Racing where he was replaced by Regan Smith. Alex Bowman has the talent and the type of face Smoke's sponsors would kind of appeal to in some way shape or form. I personally think Bowman could be the top option of the ones available and with being rideless in 2016 The #14 could be what Bowman The Showman Needs!
Ty Dillon is sharing a ride with Michael McDowell over at Circle Sport - Leavine Family Racing and this could land both McDowell and Ty Dillon in the Daytona 500. A Dillon has drove the #14 before in 2013 when Smoke broke his leg. Austin Dillon drove the #14 at Michigan and Talladega so I think it could be fitting for Ty Dillon to take over the #14 while Smoke Recovers. Dillon appeals to Smoke's sponsors like Bass Pro Shops, Mobil 1, among the others. In fact Bass Pro Shops has sponsored Ty in the Xfinity Series and Truck Series over the last few years!
Could Chevrolet's newest Driver Michael McDowell fill in for Smoke? It could be possible as he is teammate to Ty Dillon and has done the fill in game in the past with Kyle Busch. McDowell could be the perfect fit for Tony Stewart's #14 but McDowell is already slated to attempt the Daytona 500 in the #95 K-Love Radio Chevrolet. McDowell has made the Daytona 500 4 times over the last few years with numerous teams. McDowell has also seen much success at Daytona including a 9th in the Daytona 500 in 2013 and a 7th in the 2014 Coke Zero 400. If McDowell was to drive the #14 I am sure Ty Dillon would be in the #95 to get the attempt count started.
2015 NASCAR Sunoco Rookie Of The Year Brett Moffitt is another driver who sits rideless going into the 2016 Season. Moffitt Could replace Stewart and I could see Moffitt really benefiting from it. Moffitt really impressed me at Atlanta last season as I am sure he did with many other drivers and teams. Moffitt being ridless is due to Front Row Motorsports dropping a ride and Michael Waltrip Racing shutting it's doors. If he does not fill in for Smoke 2016 could be questionable for him and we may not see him behind the wheel in 16'.
Josh Wise had a pretty solid ride at the beginning of 2015 but after Phil Parsons Racing sold to Premium Motorsports you saw Josh Wise leave the team after 9 races. Wise then went to Go Green Racing for 3 races then to BK Racing for 1. After BK Josh returned to Go Green Racing for 1 race and he returned to Front Row Motorsports at Talladega. He finished the season at Homestead with Go Green Racing. I could see the 2014 Sprint Fan Vote Winner in the #14 but If not I could see Josh somewhere in the Xfinity Series.