What’s Happening?

Many drivers are ready to turn the page on a forgettable 2023 season. 2024 brings a new opportunity for NASCAR drivers, but, the storybook comeback trail has a limited amount of travelers. Which drivers are most primed for a comeback in 2024?

  • This list will focus on drivers racing full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series. Drivers in lower series or those racing part-time are ineligible for this list.
  • A comeback for a driver does not necessarily mean going from being bad to being good. A driver may have had a solid season overall in 2023, but, it may not have met their expectations. This list will focus on drivers who did not meet expectations in 2023, but, they look ready to bounce back in 2024.
  • Fans love a good comeback story. There have been plenty of incredible comeback seasons in NASCAR history, and these are a few drivers who just might have one.

5. Chase Briscoe

This may be a surprising pick to some, but, Briscoe’s 2023 performance was not as bad as his points finish of 30th may indicate. The primary reason he finished 30th was because of a 120-point penalty after the Coca-Cola 600 for counterfeiting a single source part. Before that, he was 16th in points with 3 top-5s in 13 races.

Briscoe also has a relatively new crew chief for 2024, Richard Boswell. The pair won 8 races together in the Xfinity Series between 2018 and 2020 before being paired up again partway into 2023. If Briscoe can return to his pre-Coca-Cola 600 form with Boswell, he could surprise some people.

However, SHR is a major question mark. The organization failed to win a race in 2023, so, the equipment Briscoe is wheeling is not doing him any favors at the moment. On top of that, Briscoe and Boswell only recorded 1 top-5 finish together in 2023, so, that pairing working out is not a guarantee.

4. Erik Jones

Erik Jones and Legacy Motor Club both struggled in 2023. The team went winless, and Jones finished a disappointing 27th in points. However, hope is on the horizon.

LMC is now a key partner Toyota team. The team has more resources than they had last year when they were essentially in a lame-duck season with Chevrolet. Jones has 3 career wins and 2 Playoff appearances, so, he can compete for wins if given good equipment. He should have a much better car in 2024.

The big drawback to Jones is the transition LMC is going through. Going from one manufacturer to another is not an overnight task, and LMC will have to get used to a different way of doing things. This may cause them to struggle particularly early in the season.

3. Joey Logano

On paper, Joey Logano’s 2023 season was not that bad. He had 17 top-10s and 11 top-5s with one win, but, for a 2-time Champion, that’s not good enough. It also doesn’t mention that he was eliminated in the Round of 16 while teammate Ryan Blaney won the Championship.

One thing Logano is great at is bouncing back after tough seasons. He missed the Playoffs in 2017 before winning his first title in 2018. He had a 1 win season in 2021 prior to winning the Championship in 2022. He has done it before, and he has the Team Penske equipment to do it again.

The big question with Logano is the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse. Switching to a new car does not always go smoothly in year one for a manufacturer. For example, Chevy only won 4 races in 2018 when they debuted the new Camaro. If Ford struggles like that, Logano may be in for a long season.

2. Ross Chastain

Ross Chastain finished 9th in points with 2 wins in 2023, so, why is he on this list? He was in the Championship 4 in 2022, and he failed to make it out of the Round of 12 in 2023. This came after he was leading the points early in the season.

Chastain had more momentum than any driver heading into the offseason thanks to his dominating win at Phoenix. That momentum paired with having only two wins makes him one to watch in 2024. Maybe he could return to the Championship 4 and finish the job.

The issue with Chastain is overall consistency. He had 14 top-10s and 13 finishes outside of the top 20. If he wants to return to the Championship 4, he needs to cut down on the bad days.

1. Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott missed 7 races in 2023, and he failed to make the Playoffs for the first time in his career. It was a weird and out-of-character season for Elliott. However, when he was on the track, he had 15 top-10s, which was more than 5 Playoff drivers despite missing so many races.

Elliott enters 2024 with arguably the best team in the sport, Hendrick Motorsports. He is a Champion and an 18-time winner in NASCAR’s top division. Someone like that cannot be down for long, and Elliott should bounce back in 2024.

The question with Elliott is whether or not he will find victory lane. While he was not bad when he was on the track, he was rarely a serious threat to win. Winning a race would cement his comeback in 2024.

Which driver will have the best comeback in 2024? is there someone we missed?