NASCAR: Joe Gibbs Racing have another seat to fill for 2024

John Hunter Nemechek, Sammy Smith, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR Xfinity Series (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
John Hunter Nemechek, Sammy Smith, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR Xfinity Series (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

Both of Joe Gibbs Racing’s full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers are set to move to new organizations for the 2024 season.

For the second consecutive offseason, Joe Gibbs Racing will need to overhaul their entire full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver lineup.

After Ty Gibbs was promoted to his grandfather’s Cup Series team and Brandon Jones left for JR Motorsports, the team hired John Hunter Nemechek and Sammy Smith to compete full-time in 2023 behind the wheel of the No. 20 Toyota and No. 18 Toyota, respectively.

Now Nemecheck is set to move to the Cup Series as Noah Gragson’s replacement at Legacy Motor Club, and Smith is set to leave for JR Motorsports to replace the Cup Series-bound Josh Berry.

Joe Gibbs Racing have not made any confirmations about their 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series driver lineup.

But the Toyota powerhouse should certainly have plenty of drivers to pick from to complete their second consecutive driver lineup overhaul, including several who have run select races in their “star car” throughout the 2023 season. Those drivers include Ryan Truex, Connor Mosack, Joe Graf Jr., Myatt Snider, and Trevor Bayne.

TRICON Garage Truck Series driver Corey Heim, who has won three races so far in his first full season in the series and leads the point standings, could also be considered, given his status as arguably Toyota’s top young prospect in the talent pipeline.

William Sawalich, who won this year’s ARCA Menards Series East championship with Joe Gibbs Racing and has made select starts with TRICON Garage in the Truck Series throughout the year, is currently just 16 years of age and is not set to turn 18 until October 3, 2024. So he could not run the full schedule next year, but he could do select races.

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Regardless, Smith’s departure from Joe Gibbs Racing after just one full season marks the occurrence of yet another young Toyota driver leaving for another manufacturer.