NASCAR: Top Martin Truex Jr. replacement candidate emerges for 2025

Chase Briscoe has emerged as the most likely replacement for the retiring Martin Truex Jr. at Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2025 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Martin Truex Jr. has formally announced that his sixth season with Joe Gibbs Racing and 19th season as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Cup Series will be his last, confirming that he plans to retire at the end of the 2024 season.

Truex has contemplated retirement in each of the last three years. However, he opted to return for the 2023 season in the summer of 2022, and he opted to return for the 2024 season in the summer of 2023.

But the 43-year-old Mayetta, New Jersey native, who became the oldest active full-time Cup Series driver following the retirement of Kevin Harvick after last season, reached a different decision this time around.

Now the No. 19 Toyota does not have a confirmed driver for next year, and given the fact that Joe Gibbs Racing are and have long been one of the top teams in the Cup Series, Truex's announcement has made this seat the top seat to watch in this year's silly season.

Who will replace Martin Truex Jr. at Joe Gibbs Racing?

Even before Truex's retirement was confirmed, there were rumors regarding who might take his place alongside Denny Hamlin, who is slated to become the sport's oldest full-time driver next year, Christopher Bell, and Ty Gibbs at Coach Joe Gibbs' four-car Toyota powerhouse.

Former Joe Gibbs Racing driver Erik Jones has been mentioned as a possibility, given the fact that he is back with Toyota Racing Development at Legacy Motor Club. Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity Series drivers Chandler Smith, a full-time youngster, and Aric Almirola, a part-timer who has more than a decade of Cup Series experience, are also considered options.

But the name that has emerged above all of the others is Chase Briscoe, who is currently without a contract to compete beyond the conclusion of the 2024 season since his current team, Stewart-Haas Racing, announced that they will be shutting down once it ends.

Briscoe has been with Ford since 2016, and he has competed for the manufacturer in the Cup Series since 2021. But while nothing is set in stone, when you get a call from Joe Gibbs, that typically isn't a call you ignore.

The 29-year-old Mitchell, Indiana secured his first career Cup Series victory at Phoenix Raceway in March 2022, and he went on to advance all the way to the round of 8 of the 2022 postseason.

His 2024 season hasn't been flashy, but it has still been an improvement over a disappointing 2023 campaign, as he leads all four of the Stewart-Haas Racing drivers in the point standings.

With Truex being a former Cup Series champion and a 34-time race winner, tying him for 25th place on the all-time wins list, Briscoe – or anybody, for that matter – would have big shoes to fill as his replacement.

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But Briscoe is one of the more respected drivers in the series, and his career progression suggests that he has what it takes to capitalize on that opportunity if it indeed comes his way.