What’s Happening?

The Silly Season dust for 2024 has almost settled. There are still a few rides and a few drivers still out there, but we know most of the drivers who will be competing across all three NASCAR National Touring Series. Who got the biggest upgrade? Who’s going to be making the biggest jump in performance this season? And who just plain got a better ride? Here is our look at the drivers with the biggest glow-ups this Silly Season.

  • This list will go across all three NASCAR National Touring Series. We will only look at full-time drivers for this list, however, so, part-time drivers are ineligible.
  • This Silly Season saw many faces in new places. This included drivers getting their first chance at the big time and others getting second chances.
  • Fans are always curious about how drivers will do in new places. Fans love to speculate as the season approaches.

Noah Gragson to SHR #10 (Cup)

Back in the late summer and early fall, no one knew if Gragson could find a ride anywhere for 2024. He was suspended by NASCAR, and he had performed terribly during the 2023 season with Legacy Motor Club. However, Gragson turned himself around.

He went through the process to become reinstated, and he found himself a ride with Stewart-Haas Racing. Sure, SHR struggled in 2023, but, Gragson is back in the Cup Series full-time. He can finally put a disastrous 2023 behind him.

John Hunter Nemechek to Legacy Motor Club #42 (Cup)

John Hunter Nemechek decided to rebuild his career after a trying Cup Series season in 2020 with Front Row Motorsports. Many wondered if it was the right move at the time, but, it turned out to be exactly what he needed.

Nemechek moved down to Truck and he worked his way through the Toyota pipeline with wins and Championship 4 appearances. He is now back in the Cup Series with Toyota’s newest team, Legacy Motor Club. Both Nemechek’s and the team’s arrows are pointing up for 2024.

Zane Smith to Spire Motorsports #71 (Cup)

Zane Smith patiently waited for his opportunity in the Cup Series with four solid seasons in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Many wondered if his opportunity would come, and, now, it has. Thanks to a multi-year contract with Trackhouse, which includes spending the 2024 season on loan at Spire Motorsports.

Smith now has a contract with one of the sports’ top teams. He finally has his opportunity at NASCAR’s top level, and he is a driver that truly deserves it.

Carson Hocevar to Spire Motorsports #77 (Cup)

While 2023 had some bumps for Carson Hocevar, it was a fantastic season for him. He went from a relatively unknown prospect to a Cup Series contract in a year. That’s impressive for Hocevar.

With Smith under contract with Trackhouse, Hocevar is Spire’s young building block. He is a very raw prospect, and he will need some time to grow and develop. Spire Motorsports seems like the perfect place to go through some growing pains.

Jesse Love to RCR #2 (Xfinity)

Jesse Love burst onto the scene in 2023 with 10 wins in the ARCA Menards Series and the Series Championship. He skipped the Truck Series and moved all the way up to the Xfinity Series for 2024 with Richard Childress Racing.

RCR has shown some progress in recent years at the Cup level, even if they have been a bit inconsistent. However, their Xfinity Series program is still a championship-level program. Love can succeed here, and a Cup Series ride in a few years may not be out of the question.

Josh Williams to Kaulig #11 (Xfinity)

Josh Williams burst onto the NASCAR scene in the spring of 2023 by showing his defiance to NASCAR Race Control. He parked his car on the front straightaway at Atlanta, and he walked across the infield and pit road behind the wall. He was suspended, but, many fans got behind Williams after this incident.

Now, he has the best NASCAR opportunity he’s ever had. He joins a consistent race-win contender in Kaulig Racing, and he has never been in this type of equipment. It is one of the most

Layne Riggs to FRM #38 (Trucks)

Layne Riggs is getting his first chance at the big time. He won the 2022 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Championship, and he has 6 career wins in the CARS Tour. He’s earned it thanks to is success in lower series.

He gets this opportunity with one of the best Truck Series teams in the garage, Front Row Motorsports. Rigghs can compete for race wins and Championships with this team. He is an exciting prospect, and 2024 will be quite the year for him.

Which driver do you feel received the biggest glow-up this offseason? Is there someone we missed?