The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series driver lineup is almost complete, with two more open seats expected to go to full-time drivers on the move.
The NASCAR Cup Series driver lineup has already seen a number of changes from the 2023 season, but the full roster for 2024 still isn’t totally set.
Most notably, former JR Motorsports Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry is set to replace Kevin Harvick behind the wheel of the No. 4 Ford at Stewart-Haas Racing and former Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity Series driver John Hunter Nemechek is set to replace Noah Gragson behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet-turned-Toyota at Legacy Motor Club.
Justin Haley also opted to leave Kaulig Racing for Rick Ware Racing, which had been without a full-time driver following Cody Ware’s arrest, and former Kaulig Racing Xfinity Series driver Daniel Hemric is set to be promoted to the Cup Series team to replace Haley behind the wheel of the No. 31 Chevrolet.
Carson Hocevar is set to replace Ty Dillon behind the wheel of the No. 77 Chevrolet at Spire Motorsports, and Spire Motorsports have added a third entry, the No. 71 Chevrolet, after purchasing another charter from Live Fast Motorsports.
Zane Smith is set to drive that car after being signed by Trackhouse Racing Team. Because there is no room for him at the Justin Marks and Pitbull-owned team at the moment, he has been loaned out to Spire Motorsports.
That leaves three of the 36 chartered entries without confirmed drivers for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.
The second Rick Ware Racing entry alongside Haley’s (either the No. 15 Ford or the No. 51 Ford) is expected to continue to be shared by multiple drivers.
It notably has been confirmed that Rick Ware Racing are set to continue to run two cars, even though the No. 15 team has finished in the bottom three of the owner standings in each of the last three seasons, thus giving NASCAR the right to repossess its charter. NASCAR has opted not to do so.
As for the other two entries, things appear close to being set.
Aric Almirola will not return to Stewart-Haas Racing, and Gragson has been rumored to replace him behind the wheel of the No. 10 Ford after being reinstated by NASCAR following his suspension. Gragson lost his ride with Legacy Motor Club in August after it was discovered that he had “liked” an inappropriate meme on social media.
Finally, A.J. Allmendinger is surprisingly not likely to return to Kaulig Racing in 2024, even after winning a race in his first season competing full-time for the team. With him rumored to drop back down to Matt Kaulig’s Xfinity Series team, Dillon has been linked to the organization as his replacement. The move would make Kaulig Racing Dillon’s fifth team in the last five seasons.
There is still plenty of time before the start of the 2024 season, which is scheduled for Sunday, February 4 with the Busch Light Clash exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The season is officially scheduled to get underway on Sunday, February 18 with the 66th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.