NASCAR: 4 driver moves that won't pay off (and 1 that will)

Several teams made driver changes for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, but don't be surprised if not all of the moves work out.

A.J. Allmendinger, Erik Jones, Noah Gragson, NASCAR
A.J. Allmendinger, Erik Jones, Noah Gragson, NASCAR / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
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No. 2 - Won't: Noah Gragson to Stewart-Haas Racing

Speaking of Stewart-Haas Racing, we have the No. 10 Ford. Aric Almirola's stint with the team was nothing to write home about, as he recorded two wins in six seasons. But even if Chase Briscoe had not been docked 120 points last year, Almirola still would have been the team's highest driver in the standings behind Kevin Harvick.

The inclusion of Almirola in a team's driver lineup isn't exactly going to strike fear into the hearts of any rivals, but the loss of that kind of a veteran presence -- especially with Harvick already out -- within a team that is clearly headed toward a rebuild phase could hurt a lot worse than it looks.

And even aside from that, I'm not completely sold that Noah Gragson is the answer.

I had Gragson to Legacy Motor Club as the top-ranked driver move of last offseason, and that ended in complete disaster. Even before his mid-season release from the team for "liking" an inappropriate social media meme, he had recorded just two top 20 finishes in 21 starts. It was believed that he was going to be replaced at the end of the year anyway.

Legacy Motor Club were by no means a top-tier team and actually took a major step back from 2022, but even teammate Erik Jones was on another level.

Stewart-Haas Racing's current form is a far cry from where they were in the late 2010s. Is a driver who has yet to run a full season their best bet to help get them back to their glory days?