NASCAR: 5 drivers who will make huge improvements in 2024

Several drivers will be looking to make significant improvements throughout the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. Who is best positioned to do so?
Ty Gibbs, Erik Jones, NASCAR
Ty Gibbs, Erik Jones, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
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5. Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman

I am going to cheat again here by putting two Hendrick Motorsports drivers here in this final spot, but that is because they fit almost exactly the same criteria.

Both had strong starts to the season derailed by injuries, and neither one could quite find their groove after coming back. Their lack of wins ultimately cost them playoff spots, with Chase Elliott's five-year winning streak and Alex Bowman's four-year winning streak come to an end. In fact, Elliott's five-year multi-race winning streak had been the longest in the series.

Prior to the 2023 season, neither one of these two drivers had ever missed the playoffs as a Hendrick Motorsports drivers. In fact, none of them had ever missed the round of 12, with Elliott having made it seven times in seven years and Bowman having made it five times in five.

Elliott had even been riding streaks of six straight round of 8 berths and three straight Championship 4 berths, both series-highs.

It's hard to see them not bouncing back in 2024, especially given the fact that Rick Hendrick's team is still arguably the best in the sport after racking up another 10 wins in 2023. Elliott has twice won five races in a season, and in addition to his 2020 championship, he scored more total points than anybody in year number one of the Next Gen car in 2022.

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Bowman hasn't had that much success, but he still has seven wins to his name, including a career-high four in 2021. Don't forget that he was the points leader after several races toward the beginning of last year before his injury; nobody was more consistent.