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. 4 - Ryan Preece

Stewart-Haas Racing's last three seasons have been a disappointment to say the least, especially after a 2020 season in which they led all teams with 10 wins. So it's not as if Ryan Preece necessarily walked into the best situation when he replaced Cole Custer behind the wheel of the No. 41 Ford in 2023.

But Preece's 2023 season fell well short of even modest expectations, as he recorded only a pair of top 10 finishes throughout the year.

With Kevin Harvick having retired and Aric Almirola having left the Cup Series to compete for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series, Preece suddenly finds himself as one of the veterans of a rebuilding team. The other, Chase Briscoe, is already signed through 2026.

If Harvick replacement Josh Berry and Almirola replacement Noah Gragson perform at a high level in 2024, Preece's future with the team will be a talking point, especially if he can't match.

Let's not forget that this is a team that has made at least one driver change after seven of the last eight seasons, so they are not afraid to switch things up if they feel it necessary. Tony Stewart has basically confirmed that changes are coming if the 2024 season doesn't mark a significant improvement from 2023.