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. 4 - Won't: Kaulig Racing's No. 16 Chevrolet

I have to admit that whatever they're doing beats having Ty Dillon competing full-time like he had been rumored to, considering the fact that he has lost his full-time rides after both of the last two seasons due to being totally blown away by his teammates, but you have to wonder what Kaulig Racing are doing with the No. 16 Chevrolet.

When we spoke to Matt Kaulig back in 2022, he addressed the fact that running a shared entry doesn't exactly benefit the team in the long run and that they were looking to hire a single driver for the No. 16 Chevrolet in 2023. At the time, Justin Haley was their only full-time driver.

They did exactly that by hiring A.J. Allmendinger, who had previously earned the team their first ever Cup Series victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2021, and he won another race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval in 2023.

Yet now he is headed back to the Xfinity Series, and the No. 16 Chevrolet is set to be a shared entry again. On the plus side, Allmendinger is one of the drivers set to share it, though the Daytona 500 is his only confirmed race thus far.

The one thing I like about this is the fact that they are set to utilize Allmendinger's talent where it can best be maximized. His upside in the Xfinity Series, especially at this point in his career, is much higher.

He won two races in each of the 2020 and 2023 seasons while only making select starts, and he won five races in each of the 2021 and 2022 seasons as a full-time driver. He is a presumptive championship favorite in that series, and while capable of winning Cup Series races, he is far from that at the top level.

Still, that doesn't solve the problem of Kaulig Racing once again having a shared Cup Series entry, a problem that is arguably compounded by having a driver in the other car who hasn't competed full-time since 2019.