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Unanswered Questions About Noah Gragson’s 2024 Plans

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Noah Gragson is officially moving on to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2024 to take over for Aric Almirola in the 10-car. It’s a move that was rumored for months, but it still leaves NASCAR fans with plenty of questions. What are the unanswered questions about Noah Gragson’s move to SHR?

  • Noah Gragson signed a multi-year deal with SHR to drive the 10-car for 2024. Drew Blickensderfer will be the crew chief, and Andy Houston will be the spotter.
  • Gragson joins SHR after a forgettable 2023 campaign. Before his suspension, Gragson failed to score a top-10 finish in 21 races for Legacy Motor Club.
  • Fans are excited to see Gragson back in the Cup Series, but, others are skeptical. Will he be able to perform, and will SHR give him what he needs to perform well?

Sponsorship

One thing was abundantly clear in the SHR announcement, there is no official sponsorship yet. That’s not a big surprise as Smithfield left alongside Almirola.

The question becomes, what sponsorship does Gragson bring with him? Black Rifle Coffee Company and Wendy’s both did not sponsor Legacy Motor Club after Gragson was suspended. Whether they stick with him following his suspension is to be determined.

One sponsor to watch out for is Bass Pro Shops. When Gragson was spotted at SHR last week, there was a blurry yellow logo on the top right of his hoodie. Was that a Bass Pro Shops logo?

Maybe or maybe not, but Bass Pro Shops has sponsored Tony Stewart and Noah Gragson before. It has also sponsored Josh Berry, who came to SHR with no sponsorship, and none of his sponsors have been announced yet. With how much SHR lost in sponsorship following 2023, getting someone like Bass Pro Shops could be huge, but, it’s only based on a blurry corner on a hoodie.

How Will Gragson Perform?

Even before he was suspended in 2023, Gragson was not performing well at all. Granted, it was for a struggling Legacy Motor Club, but, he failed to record a top-10. This caused many to wonder whether or not Gragson has what it takes to make it in the Cup Series.

Gragson did take some time to develop while working through the ranks. He finished 10th in points in his first Truck Series season before improving to 2nd in his second season. He failed to win a race in his first Xfinity Series season, and, in his fourth season, he won 8 races. Maybe he just needs time to develop, and he has that on a multi-year deal with SHR.

However, Gragson is back with a struggling race team in 2024. This leads us to our next question.

How Will SHR Perform Around Gragson?

In 2023, SHR had its worst season since Tony Stewart bought the team. They failed to win a race, and no driver outside of Kevin Harvick (13th) finished in the top 20 in the standings.

Their 2024 lineup also has some question marks. Josh Berry is uncertain, and Ryan Preece did not perform well in 2023. Chase Briscoe nearly made the Championship 4 in 2022, but, he regressed along with the rest of SHR in 2023.

Once again, Gragson is driving in questionable equipment in 2024. It is a multi-year deal, so, Gragson is not under much pressure to immediately perform in 2023. 2024 may be a rebuilding year for SHR, and Gragson is a driver SHR may build around.

Will Gragson and SHR perform in 2024? Will Gragson find the sponsorship he needs in time? Time will tell, and it is a major story to watch throughout 2024.

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Joshua Lipowski

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