NASCAR: 5 drivers set for bounce-back seasons in 2024

Five drivers who did not perform at their usual level in 2023 are poised to bounce back in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, NASCAR
Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
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3. Joey Logano

From the implementation of the modern playoff format in 2014 up until 2023, no reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion had ever been eliminated in the following season's round of 16. Joey Logano changed that trend with what was a very forgettable 2023 season.

Any time a driver only wins a superspeedway race, fans and critics point to it as a fluke victory. Logano, of course, being a two-time series champion, deservingly gets a pass from that criticism. But at the end of the year, his only win was a victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and his overall season very much fit the mold of what you'd expect from a mid-pack driver.

His 12th place finish in the point standings -- both in the overall standings and in total points -- was his worst since 2017, which is also when he most recently failed to qualify for the playoffs entirely (due to an encumbered victory).

But in 2018, he bounced back by winning a championship. He has also never missed the Championship 4 in an even year (five for five), and while that may come across as a somewhat superstitious statistic, you can't deny the facts.

He has, quite simply, performed better in even years than odd, having posted an average championship result of 2.2 in odd years and 9.6 in even years since 2014.

Team Penske haven't had their strongest seasons as of late, but Ford have found a way to give them what they need when it has mattered most, and they find themselves entering the 2024 season as two-time reigning champions following Ryan Blaney's title.

Given Logano's experience in maneuvering through the modern playoff format, expect him to bounce back in 2024.