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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2. Erik Jones

I'm not completely sure what would constitute a breakout season for Erik Jones, who did make two playoff appearances in three seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing.

He also won the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway at Petty GMS Motorsports (now Legacy Motor Club) two years ago after missing the playoffs, despite finishing the regular season in the top 16 in the point standings.

But there are a few reasons to believe that the 2024 season could be Jones's best season yet. Performance-wise, he completely blew teammate Ty Dillon out of the water in 2022, and he did the same to Noah Gragson in 2023, even though it only led to a career-worst 27th place finish in the standings in what was a major setback season for the rebranded Legacy Motor Club team.

The team have made a manufacturer switch to Toyota, making them one of just three Toyota teams as opposed to one of eight Chevrolet teams. The move was made for no other reason than to make them more competitive in both the short-term and long-term.

If anybody can capitalize, it is Jones. He may not have been as much of a contender as his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates from 2018 to 2020, but he has consistently gotten the most out of his equipment since moving to his current team, a team he has largely become the face of over the last few years.