Drivers who could be out: No. 3 – Cole Custer
We already know that Stewart-Haas Racing have to make one change to their driver lineup for the 2023 season, with Aric Almirola having announced before the 2022 season started that it would be his fifth and final season behind the wheel of the #10 Ford.
And even though Stewart-Haas Racing did change their driver lineup after each of the five seasons from 2016 to 2020, they never replaced more than one of their four drivers during that span.
One year after making no changes to their driver lineup for the first time since between the 2015 and 2016 seasons, could they make multiple changes?
It’s no secret that Stewart-Haas Racing have struggled since the start of last season, but the struggles of Cole Custer himself make the team’s overall struggles look like nothing. None of the team’s four drivers currently sit in the top 10 in the point standings, yet Custer is 11 spots lower than their next lowest.
It has been more than a full calendar year since Custer finished a single race in the top 10, and it has been almost two years since he finished higher than 10th.
What could save Custer is the fact that many people expect the 2023 season to be Kevin Harvick’s final season in the Cup Series, so Stewart-Haas Racing will probably need to find a replacement for him sooner rather than later. Would it really make sense to replace a young driver the year before (especially with Almirola already needing to be replaced)?
Ordinarily no, but considering how badly Custer has struggled, Stewart-Haas Racing may look to make a change. Custer should be safe, but there is little reason to believe that the team won’t at least consider their options.