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The WORST Silly Season Moves So Far (And Why They Could Work Out)

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Joshua Lipowski

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NASCAR Silly Season is in full swing, and many fans and pundits alike have reached their verdict on some of the biggest moves of “Silly Season” so far. Which moves are the worst moves of Silly Season so far?

5. JGR Lets Sammy Smith go to JRM #8

The JRM #8 car was one of the most coveted seats in the Xfinity Series for the entire summer, and a surprise entry filled the seat with Sammy Smith joining JRM for 2024. This being on this list is not so much about Sammy Smith as much as it is about JGR and Toyota. They let a talented prospect with funding walk when they have a current Cup Series driver who may retire any year in Martin Truex Jr.

It’s definitely a disappointment for JGR and Toyota, however, this move could possibly work out for them. Toyota has plenty of prospects in the pipeline including Jesse Love, Corey Heim, and William Sawalich amongst others. On top of that, the JGR #18 and #20 cars are highly coveted rides, so, this move may work out. However, if Smith becomes a top talent at Chevrolet, then they could look back on this as a move that regret.

4. Ford Lets Zane Smith go to Spire #77

Ford let Zane Smith walk for 2024 despite having very few Cup-ready prospects in their pipeline. Now that Smith is gone at Chevrolet, this leaves Ford’s best prospect as maybe Riley Herbst or Cole Custer. Yeah, that is not a great lineup for Ford, especially considering they had not one but two potential seats open for him in Front Row Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing.

Now, this could work out for Ford if Todd Gilliland pans out at Front Row Motorsports, and if Justin Haley pans out at Rick Ware Racing. These are the two young drivers that Ford currently has in the Cup Series right now, and they need to perform well. If they do, then Ford has bought themselves some more time to rebuild their young driver talent pool.

3. Daniel Hemric to the Kaulig Racing #31

Chris Rice had teased a “Surprise” to join Kaulig Racing in the 31 car for 2024, and everyone on the internet became experts in arm hair construction after Kaulig Racing tweeted a picture of an arm. The signing turned out to be…Daniel Hemric. He is not a bad driver by any means, but many were underwhelmed by the decision.

Hemric has only won one career Xfinity Series race, and he has not been amazing with Kaulig in Xfinity this year. However, Hemric could bring some much-needed stability to Kaulig Racing in 2024, and, if he keeps his car out of the wall, he can bring home some decent results. With a year of Cup Series experience under his belt already, he may bring more success to the Cup Series than we may think.

2. GMS Racing Shuts its Doors

Every time an entire race team chooses to close its’ doors, it is tough for all involved in the sport. Many people lose their jobs, and drivers are out of a ride. It’s even more disappointing when it is a Championship level race team like GMS is in the Truck Series.

Now, the silver lining for this is that this could mean drivers like Rajah Caruth, Grant Enfinger, and Daniel Dye could find places to go that could take them to heights never before seen. It’s the same for everyone involved in the organization. It also means that Maury Gallagher has more he can invest into Legacy Motor Club, which is a team trying to build its way up for 2024.

1. Rackley W.A.R. and Matt DiBenedetto Part Ways

It’s hard to find a messier divorce between driver and race team than Rackley W.A.R. and Matt DiBenedetto. DiBenedetto announcing he was leaving following 2023 was a surprise, but Rackley W.A.R. decided to cut DiBenedetto off three races early. Yeah, that is not how race teams and drivers normally do business, and it’s also tough to see where DiBenedetto could get a ride in 2024.

However, Rackley W.A.R. as an organization has proven that with the right driver, they can truly compete in the Craftsman Truck Series. The talent pool they will attract now compared to a few years ago is far different. DiBenedetto may have a tough time getting a ride in 2024, but, he proved he can win races since he won a race with Rackley W.A.R.

Will this list change as time goes on? Which of these head-scratching moves may work out?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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