Stewart-Haas Racing made it official on Wednesday, confirming that long-rumored Aric Almirola replacement Noah Gragson is indeed set to drive the No. 10 Ford throughout the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Gragson, who had been viewed as a potential replacement for Almirola last year when Almirola still believed he was going to be retiring after the 2022 season, ended up competing for Legacy Motor Club in 2023, but poor performance (two top 20 finishes in 21 starts) led to speculation that he could lose his ride after the 2023 season.
While he likely would have ended up being replaced anyway, he was released early after being found to have "liked" an inappropriate meme on social media. In fact, he requested his release after being suspended indefinitely by both NASCAR and Legacy Motor Club themselves. Reinstatement preceded his Stewart-Haas Racing confirmation.
Noah Gragson news leaves one rumored NASCAR Cup Series driver announcement
Like Noah Gragson, Ty Dillon has long been rumored to be on his way to a new Cup Series ride. But his move to Kaulig Racing as A.J. Allmendinger's replacement behind the wheel of the No. 16 Chevrolet has not yet been announced.
However, after it was confirmed that Allmendinger is set to drop back down to Matt Kaulig's Xfinity Series team, even after winning a race in his first full Cup Series season with the organization, Dillon making the move appears to be a sure thing.
Dillon moving to Kaulig Racing would make Kaulig Racing his fifth team in the last five seasons. He lost his ride with Spire Motorsports after a 2023 season which saw him handily beaten by teammate Corey LaJoie in every major statistical category.
Even though Spire Motorsports expanded from two cars to three for the 2024 season after purchasing a charter from Live Fast Motorsports, they opted not to bring him back, instead bringing in rookies Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith, the latter on loan from Trackhouse Racing Team, to join LaJoie.
The only other chartered seat without a confirmed driver or drivers for the 2024 season is the second Rick Ware Racing entry alongside Justin Haley. With Cody Ware having been reinstated following his own suspension, he is likely to factor into that car's plans, but nothing has been announced. Ware had been competing full-time in 2023 prior to his arrest.