Kaulig Racing is a race team that will undergo a complete upheaval in 2024. With Justin Haley and Chandler Smith gone, Daniel Hemric moving up to Cup, and A.J. Allmendinger still not certain which series he is racing in, there is a lot of uncertainty for the team. What are some of the plans they may have for the 2024 season?
Who Replaces Chandler Smith?
We already took a look at who could slot into the #11 car in 2024 with Daniel Hemric making the jump up to the Cup Series. Pretty much every one of those candidates is also a candidate to take the spot of Smith in the #16 car.
Noah Gragson could certainly be looking at this seat for 2024 if he wants to make his NASCAR comeback, but Derek Kraus has also quietly had a solid season running in the All-Star car including leading 21 laps at Homestead-Miami. It’s not impossible that they field another all-star car as well for the improvement in owner’s points. A.J. Allmendinger is a candidate for this ride as well, but does he still have a fighting chance to remain in the Cup Series?
What To Do with A.J. Allmendinger?
A.J. Allmendinger will be back with the team in 2024, but the real question is which capacity? He just won a Cup Series race at the Charlotte Roval, so, one would think that could have secured his future in the Cup Series in 2024. Well, at least at that time, it seemed that win may not have secured that ride for Allmendinger.
Jordan Bianchi reported that Allmendinger seems to be going back to Xfinity in 2024. However, now that Chandler Smith is officially gone for 2024, could that open the door for Allmendinger to return to the Cup Series with no one else in-house to bring up? It’s worth noting that Chris Rice simply referred to Smith’s agent when asked about the situation following the Roval race, so, this was probably in the works even during that time.
If Matt Kaulig was confident enough to say that they were “Pretty clear” on what they were doing internally, the timeline would suggest not much has changed for Allmendinger. Then again, a lot can change in two weeks.
Does Kaulig Drop a Team or Two in 2024?
Racing is an expensive business, and Matt Kaulig has gone a long to way fund some of his own race cars since he jumped into NASCAR. His company, LeafFilter, has often been found on the hood of his race cars. That landscape appears to be shifting as funding is becoming very important in these Kaulig Racing cars.
Racing is an expensive business, so, how likely is it that Kaulig Racing makes some cuts for 2024? If they find enough drivers with good funding, then there’s no reason to think they won’t keep all of the same cars for 2024. They probably would not cut a Cup team anyway because of how valuable and hard-to-get those charters are.
Then again, anything can happen. Jack Roush shut down his Xfinity Series program in 2018 just a few years removed from a Championship. Could Kaulig have something similar up their sleeve given how much they have lost this silly season?
Kaulig Racing is one of the most uncertain teams for both the Cup and Xfinity Series for 2024. How will they tackle their 2024 plans?