NASCAR: 5 drivers who cannot afford a bad 2024 season

Several drivers are set to enter a make-or-break NASCAR Cup Series season in 2024, as their performance will be held under a microscope.

Austin Cindric, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez, NASCAR
Austin Cindric, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez, NASCAR / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages
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No. 3 - Daniel Suarez

Daniel Suarez was said to have signed a multi-year contract extension with Trackhouse Racing Team before the 2023 season, but whether or not that deal included the 2023 season (and thus could theoretically be up after 2024) was not specified.

Either way, Suarez is in need of a big year after being handily beaten by teammate Ross Chastain in both 2022 and 2023.

In his second year with the team, Suarez won a race to earn his first career playoff berth in 2022, but Chastain, in his first year with the team, won twice and got to the Championship 4. In 2023, Suarez failed to win or qualify for the playoffs, while Chastain again won twice.

While Suarez may fit the culture of the Justin Marks and Pitbull-owned team, there comes a time when change may be necessary. And Trackhouse Racing Team have the advantage of basically having a driver development program without actually having a driver development program.

They signed both Zane Smith and Shane van Gisbergen for the 2024 season. Smith has been loaned out to Spire Motorsports, while van Gisbergen is set to compete full-time for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series and in select races for Matt Kaulig's team in the Cup Series. They also signed 17-year-old Connor Zilisch to a multi-year agreement.

The pressure in on Suarez to perform, because even if Trackhouse Racing Team eventually expand to three full-time entries, they have a plethora of options to choose from to fill their seats.