NASCAR Cup Series: Two teams changing drivers for Atlanta race

Both Kaulig Racing and Rick Ware Racing have different drivers in their cars for the NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway than they did for the Daytona 500.
Riley Herbst, Rick Ware Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR
Riley Herbst, Rick Ware Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

There are 34 drivers competing full-time during the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, all in charter cars. The other two charter entries are set to be shared by a number of drivers throughout the 36-race season.

Those two entries are Rick Ware Racing's No. 15 Ford and Kaulig Racing's No. 16 Chevrolet. Riley Herbst drove the No. 15 Ford to a 24th place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway this past Monday, and A.J. Allmendinger, who drove the No. 16 Chevrolet full-time last year, drove the car to a sixth place finish in the "Great American Race".

Neither Herbst nor Allmendinger will compete in this coming Sunday afternoon's Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Rick Ware Racing, Kaulig Racing choose different drivers for Atlanta

Kaz Grala, who successfully raced his way into the Daytona 500 behind the wheel of the No. 36 Ford for Front Row Motorsports, signed a 25-race deal with Rick Ware Racing to drive the No. 15 Ford this season.

After failing to qualify for the preseason Busch Light Clash exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, he is set to make his debut for Rick Ware's team in this Sunday's 260-lap race around the four-turn, 1.54-mile (2.478-kilometer) Hampton, Georgia oval.

Grala is set to compete in this weekend's race and the next five on the schedule at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Circuit of the Americas, and Richmond Raceway. Cody Ware is the only other driver set to drive the No. 15 Ford this year, but the locations of his starts have not yet been confirmed.

Josh Williams, who is competing full-time for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series for the first time this season, is set to make his first Cup Series start since 2022 this weekend. He also failed to qualify for the Busch Light Clash, so the Ambetter Health 400 is set to mark his first ever Cup Series race with Matt Kaulig's team.

Williams is set to compete in additional Cup Series races behind the wheel of the No. 16 Chevrolet this year, but none of the locations have been confirmed beyond this weekend. In addition to Allmendinger and Williams, the No. 16 Chevrolet's driver lineup for 2024 consists of Shane van Gisbergen (seven races) and Derek Kraus (six races).

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Fox is set to provide live coverage of the Ambetter Health 400 from Atlanta Motor Speedway starting at 3:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, February 25. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss it!