NASCAR: 4 drivers who could use a change of scenery in 2024

Corey LaJoie, Spire Motorsports, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Corey LaJoie, Spire Motorsports, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR – Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

NASCAR drivers in need of a chance: No. 3 – Martin Truex Jr.

Current team: Joe Gibbs Racing

Of all the drivers on this list, Martin Truex Jr. will probably come as the biggest surprise. But nonetheless, there are good reasons for his inclusion, and should he want to continue racing full-time beyond 2023, his best chance may lie somewhere outside of Joe Gibbs Racing.

Right now, Truex’s biggest problem isn’t the lack of speed or resources. What does present a problem are Joe Gibbs Racing’s Xfinity Series team and Toyota’s Truck Series teams, which are loaded with prospects already making names for themselves and appearing to be ready for the step up to Cup Series racing.

The team’s two full-time Xfinity Series drivers, John Hunter Nemechek and Sammy Smith, have both already picked up wins this season, with Nemechek having two and leading the point standings. With both of these drivers being competitive on pretty much a weekly basis, one of them receiving a promotion after 2023 is very possible.

Additionally, Truex’s biggest setback may be his crew chief, James Small. While the two have worked together since 2020 and ultimately finished second in the championship in 2021, their relationship has seemingly soured in recent months.

Truex lost most of his speed in the final laps at Richmond Raceway earlier this month, a race in which he was a real contender for the win. He finished in 11th place. As it turns out, miscommunication, coupled with a possible botched strategy, led to the two exchanging words on the radio post-race.

Even if Truex decides to stay with Joe Gibbs Racing beyond 2023, a crew chief change at a minimum would benefit him.

But all of this, coupled with the fact that Truex’s contract expires after 2023 and has yet to be renewed, means that there is a real chance he instead finds himself searching for a new home for 2024, should be decide against retirement.

For any team, Truex would be a massive addition. He is a Cup Series champion with 31 wins to his name and can contend for wins at any type of track.

Whether it’s a team such as Kaulig Racing, which could be looking to grow their operation, or Stewart-Haas Racing, which still have at least one seat to fill for 2024, the addition of Truex would be a great benefit. Should Truex become a free agent after 2023, you can bet that there will be a long line of teams looking to acquire his services.

Best fits: Stewart-Haas Racing, 23XI Racing, Kaulig Racing, RFK Racing, Richard Childress Racing