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Gene Haas is Keeping His NASCAR Charter

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What’s Happening?

Gene Haas announced to the media on Thursday that he will keep the fourth SHR charter and rename his race team “Haas Factory Team.” He will also retain the two-car Xfinity Series team, with Joe Custer, father of current Stewart-Haas Racing Xfinity Series driver Cole Custer, taking charge of the team.

  • The move comes a few weeks after Stewart-Haas Racing announced it would shut down at the end of the season. Three of the charters reportedly have suitors, but the fourth remained a mystery until today.
  • We reported before the shutdown announcement that SHR was rumored to retain its Xfinity Series program, even if the Cup program shut down in its’ entirety. The current team fields cars for Cole Custer and Riley Herbst. Custer won the 2023 Series Championship with the team.
  • Fans are excited to see Haas continuing in some capacity. Now, the focus turns to who could drive for the team in 2025.

The Immediate Fallout

Haas made a brief statement in the press release about his decision to keep the one Cup Series team. This is what he said according to multiple reporters.

My commitment to motorsports hasn’t changed, just the scope of my involvement. Operating a four-car Cup Series team has become too arduous but, at the same time, I still need a platform to promote Haas Automation and grow Maintaining my presence in Cup allows Haas Automation to compete at NASCAR’s highest level, which is important to our customers and distributors. The Xfinity Series program provides a full weekend experience for our guests, and it delivers added depth and scale to our overall operation.

Gene Haas

Haas has had a presence in NASCAR since 2002 with the No. 0 car fielded by Haas-CNC Racing. In 2009, Tony Stewart bought into the team, forming Stewart-Haas Racing. In 2016, Haas started a Formula One team, Haas F1 Team, which still runs today as the only American Formula One team.

This move will also make Haas Factory Team the second single-car chartered team in the Cup Series, joining JTG-Daugherty Racing.

Bob Pockrass reports that, according to his conversation with Joe Custer, the team expects to remain with Ford, is “open” to a Cup alliance but does not have one yet, and that Haas will sponsor the Cup Series entry. It’s worth noting that Haas currently sponsors Cole Custer in the Xfinity Series along with Ryan Peece in the Cup Series.

Bob Pockrass also reports that this move effects another Cup Series team. Front Row Motorsports will not move to SHR’s campus like some speculated they may, meaning they need to search elsewhere for more shop space.

Who Drives For The Team?

Haas made no announcement on who could drive for the team in 2024. However, one driver seems glaringly obvious, Cole Custer.

Yes, he’s the son of new team President Joe Custer, but Cole is the 2023 Xfinity Series Champion, a Cup Series race winner, and the current Xfinity Series points leader. Whether it’s Cup or Xfinity is uncertain, but it seems likely that he could take one of these seats.

The other current Xfinity Series driver for SHR is Riley Herbst, and he could slot in here as well. However, recent rumors have indicated that Herbst has attracted interest from 23XI Racing.

Could one of the current SHR drivers slot into a ride? Chase Briscoe is likely off to Joe Gibbs Racing, so he’s probably out of the picture.

Maybe Josh Berry, Ryan Preece, or Noah Gragson could end up here in one seat or another. However, those drivers, particularly Berry and Gragson, could attract interest from other race teams.

Maybe this is an opportunity Sam Mayer has been waiting for. He admitted at Iowa last week that he’s upset he’s not getting more attention for Cup Series rides.

Overall, there will be plenty of suitors for any of these rides. It will be interesting to watch who could slot into this rebranded team.

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