NASCAR: 3 breakout candidates for the 2024 season

Which drivers are positioned for breakout years during the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season? Here are three prime candidates.

Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR
Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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The start of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season is right around the corner. While the usual contenders are undoubtedly the favorite to shine again, every season brings with it some surprises, including a few drivers who surprise with playoff runs.

Which drivers are poised for breakout seasons in 2024?

Here are three prime candidates, including two who were not in last year's playoffs -- and one who was not even in the Cup Series.

1. Ty Gibbs

Second-year driver Ty Gibbs has to be an obvious answer here for a number of reasons. His progression was obvious throughout his rookie season behind the wheel of the No. 54 Toyota for his grandfather's team.

Although he finished the year without a win, he nearly qualified for the playoffs on points. In fact, he finished the year in the top 16 in total points scored.

Gibbs was a contender for race wins in the second half of the 2023 season, and Joe Gibbs Racing are still one of the strongest teams in the series. He was the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver who failed to qualify for the playoffs, and each of the other three made it to the round of 8.

With his rookie season under his belt, it's hard to believe that the 2022 Xfinity Series champion doesn't have similar upside entering year number two.