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Ticking Clock: These Are the Silly Season Drivers To Be Concerned About

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What’s Happening

NASCAR Silly Season continues to roll on, but plenty of free agents are still without a ride. With the season starting in just a couple of months, some drivers, for a variety of reasons, are in danger of being left out of Silly Season.

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You Need to Know:

  • Many race teams and drivers announce their moves before the previous season ends. However, some drivers and teams, particularly in the lower series, wait until the offseason to announce their plans. This is not always by choice, but it is how it works for some.
  • As of right now, only 3 chartered Cup Series seats are open, the Stewart-Haas Racing #10, the Kaulig Racing #16, and the Rick Ware Racing #51. Seats are being taken up quickly, and that makes these upcoming weeks critical for these drivers. This is true of all three National Touring Series.
  • Fans are always speculating where these drivers could go in 2024. Whether their favorite driver or team is involved or not, it’s always a story fans are following year-round.

Matt DiBenedetto

Matt DiBenedetto has had no real offers to speak of since he departed from Rackley W.A.R. three races early. According to his most recent update, he is currently working on sponsorship for 2024 and beyond. He seems confident that a deal will get done, but when?

He has a few factors working against him. He only has about 2 and a half months until the season starts for the Xfinity and Truck Series, so that is a decent amount of time to try to find sponsorship. On top of that, he joined Silly Season relatively late, with his announcement he was leaving Rackley W.A.R. after 2023 coming in late August.

However, he performed well in the Truck Series this last couple of seasons. He made the Playoffs in 2023, and he even won a race the season prior at Talladega. That could be what gives DiBenedetto another NASCAR ride.

Ty Dillon

Up until last week, Ty Dillon was the favorite to go to Kaulig Racing’s second car. Well, Matt Weaver’s recent report suggests that is not the case. This would be a major blow to Dillon, who struggled massively in 2023.

Not only is sponsorship uncertain for Dillon, but his performance was atrocious in 2023. He finished 32nd in points, which was the worst out of all drivers to compete in all 36 Cup Series races. It was his worst season on record, and that’s not a lot to build on for 2024.

However, Dillon does have connections in the garage. His grandfather, Richard Childress, owns a Richard Childress Racing. On top of that, he is a Cup Series veteran, which does count for something.

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson has been the reported favorite to take over for Aric Almirola in the Stewart-Haas Racing #10 car for a while now. However, no deal has been officially announced, and the clock is ticking.

Aside from his off-track issues in 2023, Gragson was not good on the track. He failed to record a top-10 finish in 24 races for Legacy Motor Club. It was a major disappointment after winning 9 Xfinity Series races in 2022.

However, those Xfinity Series races show that potential is there. On top of that, these deals tend to take a long time, and Aric Almirola did not announce his retirement until late October. Until new information about Gragson comes out, there is reason to be optimistic.

Frankie Muniz

Frankie Muniz had a solid ARCA season in 2023, but his 2024 plans remain up in the air. He said in October to Frontstretch that he knows what his plans are for 2024, but there has been no announcement as of yet.

While Muniz was solid in the ARCA Menards Series this year, sponsorship was an issue at times. Many races were either funded by Ford or Muniz’s team owner Mark Rette. Still, Muniz was able to complete the full schedule.

However, Muniz has been seen at the track a few times throughout the fall. He seems pretty confident that something will happen in 2024, and Ford seems to back him. The Ford sponsorship proves that Ford likes him, and that could go a long way.

Ryan Truex

Ryan Truex won his first Xfinity Series race at Dover in the spring, but he has yet to announce his 2024 plans. He only ran 6 races in the Joe Gibbs Racing 19 car. A crowded bunch is looking to drive for JGR in 2024.

Sheldon Creed was outed as one to drive for JGR in 2024 by Austin Hill at Martinsville, and Sheldon Creed reportedly bought out his Kaulig contract to head back to Toyota. That combined with Aric Almirola likely joining the team in 2024 means there are potentially only 2 full-time teams. So, is there room for Truex?

His win at Dover means that he should find a way to get something in 2024. It may not be the full-time ride he was hoping for, but he should have opportunities to race in 2024.

Which driver do you feel is in danger heading into 2024? Are any of these drivers going to find the rides they want?

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