Ways JR Motorsports can join Cup: No. 3 – Part-time in 2023, full-time in 2024
Dale Jr. and Kelly Earnhardt Miller have not been shy in repeating that the cost of a charter is the biggest reason why they haven’t entered the Cup Series. The cost for a single chartered entry is reported to be roughly $12 million, so it is quite clear why the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team see that as an obstacle.
This leaves the team with an option that may be more costly at first, but most effective in the long run, and that is running part-time in the Cup Series in 2023 and then obtaining a charter to run full-time in 2024.
Hypothetically speaking, JR Motorsports could enter a couple of races on the 2023 schedule with the #88 Chevrolet. The number 88 was Dale Jr.’s number at Hendrick Motorsports, and he continues to field a car with that number in the Xfinity Series on a part-time basis.
Doing this would give the team a test year with the Gen 7 car as well as an opportunity to showcase different drivers throughout the season.
Behind the scenes, the team could then start planning and reaching out to teams to see which charters may become available for the 2024 season. Every year, silly season shows us that nothing lasts forever and that some teams on the track in 2022 and 2023 might just decide that it’s time to move on.
All in all, the matter of JR Motorsports fielding a Cup Series team seems to be a matter of when, not if. So getting a feel for the Gen 7 car in a race setting, instead of simply spending hours testing, would help, and racing part-time next year with plans of a full-time chartered entry in 2024 may be the best way for them to approach it.