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The Biggest Unanswered Questions for NASCAR in 2024

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Chris Hansen

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As the 2023 playoffs are set to kick off this weekend at Darlington Raceway, it’s never too early to start thinking about the 2024 season.

With so many variables from Silly Season to new venues being added to the schedule and much more, what are some of the biggest unanswered questions as we near the end of the 2023 season?

1. The Schedule

Around the same time each NASCAR season, around the start of the playoffs, comes the long-awaited release of the next year’s schedule. As of this writing, we still aren’t sure when the 2024 schedule is set to be released. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have our own speculations on possible schedule additions.

Earlier this season, The Daily Downforce made 7 bold predictions for the 2024 schedule, among those being the return of the Charlotte Oval replacing the Charlotte Roval, which has been a fixture on the calendar since its 2018 debut. In addition, the Indianapolis Oval could make its anticipated return, as NASCAR marks the 30-year anniversary of the 1st Brickyard 400 back in 1994.

Just like the fans, who’ve wrestled with potential new schedule changes, Out of the Groove’s Eric Estepp shared his own ideal 2024 schedule as we wait in anticipation for the 2024 schedule to be released.

2. Silly Season

Around this time of the season, many Silly Season questions become answered just before the playoffs begin. For instance, Justin Haley has made the decision to move from Kaulig Racing to join Rick Ware Racing starting in 2024. In addition, Martin Truex Jr. has announced his return to the Joe Gibbs Racing organization in 2024, after potentially retiring after a disappointing 2022 season.

Some major dominoes to still fall include Aric Almirola, as he hasn’t had any new updates regarding his future in NASCAR after coming back to race in 2023, despite announcing that 2022 was going to be his final season. Then there’s Zane Smith, who recently announced he is searching for a ride in any of NASCAR’s top 3 series for 2024.

Matt DiBenedetto, only a few days ago announced he wouldn’t be returning to Rackley WAR’s Craftsman Truck Series team is another candidate looking to climb back up into the Cup Series. We recently came up with a list of potential landing spots that seem most likely for Matt in 2024.

Shane Van Gisburgen, winner of the Chicago Street Course Cup race, is expected to make a move to NASCAR permanently starting in 2024. Whether it’s a full-time ride or not still has yet to be confirmed.

3. The Package for Road Courses and Short Tracks

One of the biggest talking points ever since the Next Gen car took the green flag at the LA Coliseum in 2022, the current short track/road course package continues to leave many people scratching their heads wondering what changes could be approaching.

On an episode of Dirty Mo Media’s Dale Jr. Download at the 12:44 mark, Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives his thoughts on the most recent road course race at Watkins Glen and gives some advice for what NASCAR can look at with road courses specifically to improve the on-track product after William Byron ran away from the competition to score his series-leading 5th victory of the season.

In addition to the road courses, short tracks have also been put under the microscope by fans and even drivers as of late. NASCAR conducted a test in August to make adjustments to certain areas of the car in order to make passing more prevalent on short tracks. A new splitter and rear spoiler were tested to help the flow of downforce between the leading car to the trailing.

Since that test, there are still questions being asked as to whether or not NASCAR will continue to take a hard look at the package currently for short tracks and road courses and make any major changes to improve the overall on-track product.

As we approach the end of the 2023 season, there are still plenty of talking points as we wait with anticipation for the 2024 season. These are only a few of the biggest unknowns for NASCAR heading into the offseason. What are some other unanswered questions for NASCAR?

Make sure to follow The Daily Downforce and join the conversation on all the latest NASCAR news and information.

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Chris Hansen

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