Before the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, Aric Almirola announced that he would be retiring once it ended. But during the season itself, he changed his mind and opted to return in 2023 for what was his sixth season behind the wheel of the No. 10 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Despite having re-signed with the team for 2023 "and beyond", there was an option for him to leave after the 2023 season. He confirmed that he would not return to the team in 2024, but once again, he put off retirement, announcing that he was open to competing part-time somewhere next year.
After he was spotted on the sideline of a Washington Commanders game with Joe Gibbs and Joe Gibbs Racing Cup Series driver Christopher Bell, there were rumors that he would be signing with Joe Gibbs Racing's Xfinity Series team to run part-time in 2024. On the sideline, Gibbs appeared to introduce Almirola as one of his drivers.
Aric Almirola joining Joe Gibbs Racing for 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season
The 39-year-old Fort Walton Beach, Florida native's full schedule for the 2024 season has not been confirmed, but he is set to share the driving duties behind the wheel of the No. 20 Toyota with John Hunter Nemechek.
Nemechek competed full-time for the team in 2023 but has since been promoted to the Cup Series to compete full-time for Legacy Motor Club. He is set to compete in 10 of the 33 races on the 2024 Xfinity Series schedule.
Sheldon Creed and Chandler Smith are set to compete full-time for the team in 2024, and another entry is set to be shared by Ryan Truex, Joe Graf Jr., Taylor Gray, and William Sawalich.
Almirola made both his Xfinity Series debut and his Cup Series debut with Joe Gibbs Racing, doing so in 2006 and 2007, respectively. He has not driven a Toyota in a NASCAR national series since competing in one Truck Series race for Vision Aviation Racing in 2011.
Set to replace Almirola behind the wheel of the No. 10 Ford in the Cup Series is Noah Gragson, whom Nemechek is replacing at Legacy Motor Club.