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How Are the New Faces in New Places Performing in 2024?

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What’s Happening?

Every new NASCAR season sees new faces in new places across all three series. Whether it’s a rookie getting their first chance at the big time or a driver getting a new start. Now that we’re roughly 1/3 of the way through the NASCAR season, how have these drivers performed?

  • For this list, we will look across all 3 NASCAR National Touring Series. However, only full-time drivers will be included.
  • We will take a dive into each driver’s statistics to this point in the season along with their expectations heading into the season. Have they met expectations from the preseason?
  • Fans love to see how hew faces perform. This is one of the biggest storylines throughout Silly Season and the early season in NASCAR.

NASCAR Cup Series

No. 4 Josh Berry

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
0003122.624th

Josh Berry spent years toiling in the late model scene before getting his big break in the Cup Series this season. So far, he’s not been awful, but, he’s not been great either. With Stewart-Haas Racing reportedly considering selling charters, Berry could be on the hot seat sooner than expected.

No. 10 Noah Gragson

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
0141017.321st

Noah Gragson had a rookie season to forget in 2023, but, he’s followed that up with a solid 2024 so far. He has 4 top-10s in the first 11 races, and only a 35-point penalty holding him back from truly contending for a Playoff spot. Like Berry, Gragson could be driving for his job if SHR elects to sell charters.

No. 31 Daniel Hemric

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
0021422.025th

Daniel Hemric was not the flashiest choice to take over the No. 31 car at Kaulig Racing, but, he’s not been bad this season. He’s kept his nose clean and recorded 2 top-10 finishes. However, if Kaulig wants to take their operation to the next level, they may need to look elsewhere.

No. 42 John Hunter Nemechek

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
0022022.722nd

John Hunter Nemeckek’s winding road back to the Cup Series has been a roller coaster ride. He’s had good moments, but, overall, he’s still struggling to consistently get to the front. It’s only year one of LMC and Toyota, so, Nemechek should be safe for now.

No. 51 Justin Haley

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
000326.933rd

Justin Haley and Rick Ware Racing have shown flashes of improvement this season, but, Haley still sits 33rd in points. It’s a toss-up for now whether or not the behind-the-scenes improvements at RWR are turning into true speed on the track.

No. 71 Zane Smith

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
000028.535th

Zane Smith has been a disappointment. He’s last amongst full-time Cup Series drivers in points, even behind Kaz Grala, who missed 2 races. After 4 years in Trucks, many expected more from Smith.

No. 77 Carson Hocevar

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
001121.020th

Carson Hocevar joined the team that finished 32nd in driver’s points last year, and his presence has led to legitimate improvement for the team. The hope is that he keeps this steady ship going.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

No. 2 Jesse Love

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
13624110.54th

Jesse Love has been most impressive in his early Xfinity Series career. He already has a win, and he’s a genuine threat to win every week. He might be the future of RCR when either Busch or Dillon move on.

No. 5 Anthony Alfredo

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
015613.510th

Anthony Alfredo jumped to Our Motorsports this season, and he’s turned heads. He sits 10th in points with 5 top-10s, a genuine Playoff contender. Quite impressive for a small race team.

No. 8 Sammy Smith

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
0065016.411th

Sammy Smith made the surprising move from JGR to JR Motorsports this season. So far, he’s been okay, but, not great. He hasn’t won in over a year, but, he’s still in Playoff position.

No. 11 Josh Williams

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
0011022.922nd

Josh Williams has been a disappointment so far. With only one top-10 finish, Williams is struggling mightily with the best equipment he’s ever had. He needs to turn it around quickly if he wants to make the Playoffs.

No. 15 Hailie Deegan

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
000025.026th

Hailie Deegan’s jump to Xfinity has not gone her way. Driving for AM Racing, a team that recorded 9 top-10s one year ago with Brett Moffitt, Deegan doesn’t have a top-10 yet 10 races into the season. Patience with her is beginning to wear thin.

No. 16 A.J. Allmendinger

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
0153113.67th

A.J. Allmendinger’s return to the Xfinity Series hasn’t been as glamorous as some expected. Kaulig Racing as a whole is down this year, with Allmendinger carrying the banner in 7th in points. The only race he had a true shot to win was at COTA.

No. 18 Sheldon Creed

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
046713.78th

Sheldon Creed is continuing the same trend he had while at RCR. He’s come close to winning, but, he just cannot close the deal yet. All things considered, he’s still having a decent season.

No. 42 Leland Honeyman

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
011020.719th

Lelan Honeyman is doing an admirable job as a rookie for a new race team. Sitting in the top 20 in points with 1 top-5 to boot is not a bad year for a teenager.

No. 43 Ryan Ellis

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
0001123.023rd

Ryan Ellis earned a full-time opportunity this season with Alpha Prime, and he’s done fine to this point. He has been outshone by teammate Brennan Poole overall, but, Ellis hasn’t done much to embarrass himself either.

No. 44 Brennan Poole

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
011218.316th

Brennan Poole is solidly inside the top 20 in points as he returned to full-time driving this season. He also came close to winning at Talladega. He could be one to watch out for in later superspeedway races this season.

No. 81 Chandler Smith

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
2682717.01st

Chandler Smith has been a worthwhile investment for Joe Gibbs Racing this season. He leads the points, and he looks like the next big thing for JGR. If Martin Truex Jr. retires, watch out for Smith to take over the ride.

No. 91 Kyle Weatherman

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
001024.225th

Kyle Weatherman replaced Josh Williams at DGM this season. Weatherman recorded his first top-10 at Dover, a race where he qualified an impressive 6th. Can he keep this momentum up?

No. 97 Shane Van Gisbergen

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
0122116.915th

SVG has had loads of fun learning the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season. He’s a favorite to win on road courses, and he’s shown improvement on ovals as well. Will he improve enough to move up to Cup full-time?

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

No. 02 Mason Massey

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
000022.922nd

Mason Massey has been decent with Young’s Motorsports this season. Not much to write home about to this point for him, but, it is still early.

No. 9 Grant Enfinger

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
0022517.610th

Grant Enfinger has done an admirable job jumping to CR7 Motorsports this season. He is in the thick of the Playoff race, and that would be a big win for a team that struggled to get their feet underneath them the past few seasons.

No. 13 Jake Garcia

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
000018.415th

Jake Garcia recorded 9 top-10s in 2023, but, he’s struggled so far in 2024. Maybe it’s down to the Ford’s struggling across all of NASCAR, but, either way, Garcia was hoping for better. The good news is, he has plenty of time to turn it around.

No. 18 Tyler Ankrum

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
0346212.76th

Sometimes it just takes a change of scenery to improve a driver’s performance. Tyler Ankrum led the points early in the season, and he’s been near the front on a consistent basis so far. A win has eluded him, but, he’s knocking on the door.

No. 25 Ty Dillon

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
000021.720th

Ty Dillon has struggled so far for Rackley W.A.R. A team that made the Playoffs last year has yet to crack the top-10. It’s puzzling considering that Dillon came close to two Truck Series Championships in the 2010s. Many were expecting more.

No. 33 Lawless Alan

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
000024.126th

To be honest, not much was expected from Lawless Alan this season. He’s out there racing, but, that’s about it to this point when looking at his overall season.

No. 38 Layne Riggs

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
001124.421st

A mixture of self-inflicted mistakes and bad luck has caught Layne Riggs this season. He’s shown flashes of potential, but, the results just are not showing. However, many expect him to break out sooner or later.

No. 41 Bayley Currey

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
000018.414th

Bayler Currey is in the Playoff race currently with his new team, Niece Motorsports. The question for Currey is whether or not he can get over that hump and be a true Playoff contender.

No. 42 Matt Mills

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
000626.928th

Matt Mills got a chance after a top-5 result at Richmond in 2023. So far in 2024, he hasn’t recaptured that magic in an overall down year for Niece.

No. 43 Daniel Dye

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
002016.311th

Daniel Dye has been a pleasant surprise driving the No. 43 Truck for McAnally-Hilgemann. He’s only 5 points out of the Playoffs currently, and he is in equipment that can win races. Can this be his breakout season?

No. 46 Thad Moffitt

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
000029.130th

Thad Moffitt and Faction46 are both in their first full-time season. There have been some small wins, but, also some losses for the team as well. It’s been an up and down year, but, it’s a new team.

No. 56 Timmy Hill

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
001020.019th

Timmy Hill became an owner-driver in 2024, and he’s done an admirable job this season so far. With a top-20 points position and a top-10 finish, Hill has been more than respectable.

No. 71 Rajah Caruth

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
125397.77th

Rajah Caruth broke out this season with his win at Las Vegas, and sponsorship from HendrickCars.com has put him on Rick Hendrick’s radar. Many have high hopes for Caruth, and it will be interesting to see how he develops.

No. 77 Chase Purdy

WinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. FinishPoints Position
011220.317th

Chase Purdy has lagged behind his Spire Motorsports teammates so far this season. With someone like Connor Zilisch potentially waiting in the wings, could Purdy be on the hot seat? He needs to turn it around soon.

These drivers still have plenty of time to turn their seasons around one way or the other. Still, first impressions matter.

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