Noah Gragson landing spots: No. 2 – Kaulig Racing
Contrary to popular belief, Noah Gragson may not have to look far for a Cup Series ride in 2023. The team for which he currently competes, Kaulig Racing, could very well be in the mix, should they decide to go with just one driver in the #16 Chevrolet for next season.
They currently have a full-time driver, Justin Haley, in the #31 Chevrolet, but have run multiple drivers behind the wheel of the #16 Chevrolet. However, the quest of team owner Matt Kaulig to trophy hunt could result in a second full-time driver.
If Kaulig Racing elect to go with a single driver for the #16 Chevrolet in 2023, Gragson would be the best option to take over. He currently shares the ride with fellow full-time Xfinity Series drivers A.J. Allmendinger and Daniel Hemric, and he brings the youth and raw talent that would complement Haley and Kaulig Racing’s Cup Series program.
Additionally, with Allmendinger and Hemric having already had the opportunities to show their capabilities as full-time Cup Series drivers in the past, the team could decide to keep them in their respective rides in the Xfinity Series while going with the young prospect who hasn’t yet had the chance to do so.
The #16 Chevrolet has served as somewhat of an audition for all three drivers this season, but with other Cup Series teams most likely to offer Gragson a full-time ride for 2023, Kaulig Racing may need to keep him in-house to avoid losing him to competitors.
Sponsorship could be a factor, as Gragson has run a variety of paint schemes throughout his time in the car this year. From Chevrolet to Minor League baseball teams, it’s unclear who would sign on to sponsor the 2018 Truck Series Most Popular Driver Award winner.
But with in-house partners such as Leaf Filter and Nutrien Ag Solutions, the results and potential could outweigh the costs to keep him.