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Martin Truex Jr.’s Retirement Will Set Off a Silly Season Chain Reaction

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What’s Happening?

Martin Truex Jr. is expected to announce his retirement during the Iowa race weekend. This move affects far more than just Truex Jr. and Joe Gibbs Racing. It could set off a major chain reaction to set the tone for all of NASCAR Silly Season.

  • Martin Truex Jr.’s retirement opens up the No. 19 car at Joe Gibbs Racing. It also opens up his sponsor, Bass Pro Shops, which could affect who goes where.
  • This is the first major domino to fall after the announcement that Stewart Haas Racing will shut down at the end of 2024. SHR’s free agents are likely looking very closely at this ride.
  • Fans are sad to see Martin Truex Jr. retire. However, they are excited to see how this impacts NASCAR Silly Season.

The Drivers

Multiple reports have indicated that Chase Briscoe is the top candidate to replace Truex Jr. This would make sense as Briscoe is currently the top SHR driver in points. However, this would also affect the other open seats, particularly in the Ford camp.

With two seats at Front Row Motorsports open and one seat at The Wood Brothers probably open for 2024, this could be good for SHR’s other drivers. Having Briscoe go to another manufacturer means that any other Ford SHR drivers, Noah Gragson, Ryan Preece, and Josh Berry, could slot in. It also opens up more opportunities for SHR Xfinity Series drivers Cole Custer and Riley Herbst if they don’t have 2024 plans set already.

However, another driver to watch after this move is Noah Gragson, mainly due to his sponsorship. Bass Pro Shops has supported Gragson since his time in the Xfinity Series, and Truex Jr.’s retirement means Bass Pro Shops can more heavily support Gragson.

This could lead Gragson to Joe Gibbs Racing, but that doesn’t seem as likely as his teammate heading there. In May, Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic reported that another team, Richard Childress Racing, is interested. A current part-time spotter for RCR, Brett Griffin, later confirmed on “Door, Bumper, Clear” that this is indeed a rumor in the industry. However, RCR would need to purchase one of SHR’s four charters, which isn’t guaranteed.

A move on a charter will probably not come until the charter agreement is signed, so it could be a while before this plays out. This could put the rest of “Silly Season,” aside from JGR replacing Truex Jr., on hold for a while.

Ownership Changes?

However, the Bass Pro Shops sponsorship change could affect more than just the drivers. JGR may have to search for more sponsorship, which may come from an unlikely source.

Tad Geshickter is the co-owner of JTG-Daugherty Racing, who recently signed Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to a multi-year contract extension. Geshickter is very close to Kroger, which sponsors the team, and Gehsickter has also grown very close with Joe Gibbs Racing. Adam Stern reported back in April that Geshickter, alongside Kroger, could leave JTG-Daugherty, and JGR could be the next stop.

Could this be the opening for Geshickter and Kroger to join JGR? It would be hard for Kroger to say no to being associated with a top-tier team that routinely competes for Championships. Ultimately, time will tell.

Truex Jr.’s retirement could affect many moves. What does that mean for the rest of Silly Season? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is, and don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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