NASCAR: Kaulig driver linked to Joe Gibbs Racing for 2024

Chandler Smith, Kaulig Racing, John Hunter Nemechek, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Chandler Smith, Kaulig Racing, John Hunter Nemechek, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Chandler Smith is expected to sign with Joe Gibbs Racing and reunite with Toyota for the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

Despite the fact that he signed a multi-year contract with Kaulig Racing ahead of the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, Chandler Smith is expected to reunite with Toyota and join Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2024 season, according to an October report by Sportnaut’s Matt Weaver.

Smith had been viewed as a possible Joe Gibbs Racing driver for the 2023 season after spending several seasons with Toyota, including two full seasons in the Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports, but he instead opted to sign with Kaulig Racing, where he won a race and placed ninth in the championship standings.

With teammate Daniel Hemric set to replace the Rick Ware Racing-bound Justin Haley at Kaulig Racing’s Cup Series team and Ty Dillon likely to replace A.J. Allmendinger, Smith was not in contention for a 2024 Cup seat, despite running three Cup Series races for the team in 2023.

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

That being said, this move is as close to a sure thing as it gets. Not only has Smith confirmed that he won’t be back with Kaulig Racing next year, but Joe Gibbs Racing know for a fact that they will need to replace both of their full-time drivers for the second year in a row.

John Hunter Nemechek is set to join Legacy Motor Club in the Cup Series as Noah Gragson’s replacement and Sammy Smith is set to move to JR Motorsports as the replacement for the Cup Series-bound Josh Berry. Both drivers spent just one season competing full-time for the team.

Also linked to Joe Gibbs Racing is Sheldon Creed, who is set to be replaced by Jesse Love after spending two seasons with Richard Childress Racing’s Xfinity Series team.

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This move was leaked by Austin Hill as Hill voiced his frustration with how Creed raced him in the round of 8 finale at Martinsville Speedway, so while Joe Gibbs Racing have yet to make any 2024 Xfinity Series announcements, their full-time lineup is effectively set.