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Just How Many Cup Series Seats are Open in 2024?

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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NASCAR’s silly season is in full-swing, and the first major domino has now fallen with Josh Berry making the move to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2024 to replace Kevin Harvick. A few open seats still remain, but what are they? Here is a look at all of the potentially open seats in the Cup Series for 2024.

Joe Gibbs Racing #19 Car

Current Driver: Martin Truex Jr.

Current Standing: 1st in Cup Series Points

Status: Mulling Retirement?

Analysis: Martin Truex Jr. was a retirement candidate following a disappointing 2022 campaign where he won zero races for the first time since 2014. Now that he is running a legitimate Championship contender, Truex Jr.’s retirement talks have cooled off somewhat. However, they have not totally gone away, so it is still possible, albeit unlikely, that this high-caliber ride will be available for next year.

Stewart-Haas Racing #10 Car

Current Driver: Aric Almirola

Current Standing: 27th in Cup Series Points

Status: Mulling Retirement

Analysis: Aric Almriola will probably be the next domino to fall for NASCAR Silly-Season. He is mulling retirement, and he was scheduled to retire at the end of last season before he was convinced to come back. Once his future is certain, then silly season will kick into high gear.

Kaulig Racing #31 Car

Current Driver: Justin Haley

Current Standing: 21st in Cup Series Points

Status: Contract Expiring

Analysis: Justin Haley made a great case to stay in the 31 car last weekend with a second place finish at the Chicago Street Race. This is his second full-time season with Kaulig and his second full-time season in the Cup Series period. The emergence of Chandler Smith could call Haley’s future into question, but it’s pretty unlikely that he is taken out of this seat next season.

Wood Brothers Racing #21 Car

Current Driver: Harrison Burton

Current Standing: 29th in Cup Series Points

Status: Contract Expiring

Analysis: Harrison Burton has had a disappointing season so far. He only has one top-10 finish in the first half of this season, and, if he wants to remain in the Cup Series, he needs to start improving sooner rather than later. This may not be his make-or-break year, but at some point he needs to start showing improvement if he wants to be signed either for or beyond 2024.

Front Row Motorsports #34 Car

Current Driver: Michael McDowell

Current Standing: 18th in Cup Series Points

Status: Contract Expiring

Analysis: Front Row Motorsports tends to sign their drivers to one year contracts, but this year is unique for both them and McDowell. McDowell currently sits 18th in points only 10 points out of the Playoffs, and he has turned some heads. He is a pick by some to move to the Aric Almirola ride if he retires, but, if not, Front Row seems to be the place McDowell will stay.

Front Row Motorsports #38 Car

Current Driver: Todd Gilliland

Current Standing: 26th in Cup Series Points

Status: Contract Expiring

Analysis: Front Row Motorsports has a very good prospect in Zane Smith that is looking for a way into the Cup Series. Unfortunately, Todd Gilliland is in his way, and Front Row Motorsports may have to choose between the two. If McDowell elects to stay, then Gilliland could very well be the odd-man out for Smith.

Spire Motorsports #7 Car

Current Driver: Corey LaJoie

Current Standing: 23rd in Cup Series Points

Status: Contract Expiring

Analysis: LaJoie’s spot in the Cup Series seems pretty safe given his significant improvement this season in the series. However, the question is where will he go in 2024. In all likelihood, he will return to Spire Motorsports next year, but he may a dark horse for some of these other open rides next year if he feels it’s enough of an upgrade.

Spire Motorsports #77 Car

Current Driver: Ty Dillon

Current Standing: 33rd in Cup Series Points

Status: Contract Expiring

Analysis: His status for 2024 remains uncertain, but his performance in the Cup Series is hard to deny. Ty Dillon is the lowest ranked full-time Cup Series driver in points, and the 77 car is 35th out of 36 chartered teams in owner points. How far can the sponsorship that Ty Dillon brings take him to getting a seat in the Cup Series in 2024?

Silly season is at a bit of a standstill right now, but once drivers who are considering retirement finally make their decisions, expect dominoes to start falling. Teams have intriguing prospects waiting in the wings, and they are going to need rides eventually. Which domino will be the next to fall?

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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