NASCAR: 19-year Cup Series veteran decides not to return in 2024

J.J. Yeley has decided not to return for a 20th season in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2024, though he would like to land an Xfinity Series ride.
J.J. Yeley, NASCAR
J.J. Yeley, NASCAR / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

Since the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series season, the only season during which J.J. Yeley did not compete in any races was 2016. But he will not return to the series in 2024 after spending the last several seasons competing for Rick Ware Racing.

While he did not compete full-time for Rick Ware's team, Yeley was one of the organization's primary drivers in both the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The team have already announced that Justin Haley is set to compete full-time behind the wheel of the No. 51 Ford in 2024.

Cody Ware, who had been competing full-time for the team since the start of the 2022 season, ended up being arrested and suspended in April 2023, but he has since been reinstated. It is unclear if he will return to his father's team in any capacity in 2024.

J.J. Yeley out of NASCAR Cup Series in 2024

As for Yeley, who would have been a prime candidate to share the team's No. 15 Ford throughout the upcoming 36-race season, he has not yet announced his plans for the upcoming season, but his goal is to land a competitive full-time ride in the Xfinity Series.

With the start of the season just one month away, it remains to be seen if anything will materialize. Many of the full-time seats, especially those at contending teams, have already been filled.

The 47-year-old Phoenix, Arizona native has made select appearances in each of the last 20 Xfinity Series seasons going back to 2004, though his lone appearance in 2010 resulted in a DNQ. He most recently competed full-time in 2017 for TriStar Motorsports.

He has 15 career top five finishes and an additional 33 top 10 finishes in 385 career Xfinity Series starts. He recorded his career-high second place finishes at Memphis International Raceway in 2005 and Kentucky Speedway in 2006. Neither track is still on the schedule.

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His most recent top five finish in the series came at Talladega Superspeedway in 2015, and his most recent top 10 finish came at Daytona International Speedway in 2022. The 2023 season is scheduled to begin with the United Rentals 300 at Daytona on Saturday, February 17.