In the Xfinity and Truck Series, it is always interesting to see which drivers will get an opportunity to drive some of the most prominent part-time rides in the series. Whether it is a Cup Series star looking to hone his skills or a driver yearning for their “Big Break”, plenty of drivers are ones to watch for these seats in 2024.
Cup Series Stars
Kyle Larson’s Xfinity Series starts are rare, but he shows up when he does start. He has won two times in six races over the last two seasons, so, he is a threat to win. That always makes him a driver that any Chevrolet team running an All-Star car will look to for a potential Xfinity or Truck Series race come 2024.
Ross Chastain ran in 7 Xfinity and 7 Truck Series races each in 2023 with teams like Niece, DGM, and Kaulig. He is also a Chevrolet driver, so, he is a candidate for any of those part-time rides in 2024. Maybe a smaller team looking for a good points day could look to Chastain for a race in 2024.
Due to being in his second full-time Cup Series season in 2024, Ty Gibbs is free to run as many Xfinity Series races as he wants to. This makes him an ideal candidate for the Joe Gibbs Racing part-time ride should that ride return in 2024 without a full-time driver. It gives Gibbs some much-needed experience on certain tracks heading into a Cup Series weekend, and he has success while running in these races.
Those Looking for a Big Break
Derek Kraus ran a few races this season in part-time rides for both Kaulig Racing and Spire Motorsports. Should a full-time ride not work out for Kraus, these two teams should still have their “All-Star Cars” available, and Kraus should certainly be a candidate. However, there are some options for Kraus should he want to run full-time.
Layne Riggs is another driver who ran a few races for Kaulig Racing this season including one top-10. There is talent there, but is there enough funding for Riggs to run full-time? If that does not open up, he has shown enough flashes this season to get a part-time ride somewhere in Xfinity or Trucks.
It’s hard to find any driver who gets the most out of their equipment quite like Kaden Honeycutt does. He had three top-10 finishes this season for Young’s Motorsports and Roper Racing in the Truck Series, so, he can get the most out of the cars he drives. That could be enough to get him some interesting part-time opportunities higher up the food chain.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. likes to keep racing a little bit here and there, and that included two Xfinity Series races in 2023. Every time he makes one of those entries, the fans get into it, and they get excited. There are plenty of interesting places that Earnhardt Jr. can run at in 2024.
Kevin Harvick revealed on a recent episode of the “Dale Jr. Download” that he may potentially be open to running an Xfinity or Truck race in 2024. While he said he would not run a Cup race again, fans would love to see him come back in 2024. There are a few race tracks that Harvick could have a lot of success at should he come back.
Aric Almirola is out of the 10 car for SHR for 2024, but he did not close the door on racing as a whole for 2024. He could make a comeback in the Xfinity or Truck Series at some point. He won an Xfinity Series race earlier this year at Sonoma Raceway, so, that could be a place he goes and wins. However, Cup has some options as well, and Almriola may want to scratch that itch in Cup as well.
Up and Comers
Corey Heim is returning to TRICON Garage full-time in 2024, but, his aspirations are certainly bigger than Trucks. With his experience in Trucks and likely to move up to Xfinity or even Cup in the near future, Heim is a candidate for any part-time Toyota team such as a second Sam Hunt Racing car, or Joe Gibbs Racing. However, with certain drivers making the jump from Trucks to Cup, maybe Heim could make some Cup starts with someone should the opportunity arise.
Williams Sawalich could be the next star at Joe Gibbs Racing. While he is not yet old enough to compete at the big tracks, he can be a candidate for part-time starts on smaller tracks. TRICON Garage is the team that comes to mind for Sawalich, and, he could be a candidate to take Corey Heim’s seat at some point down the road.
The two-time CARS Late Model Stock Tour Champion made his NASCAR Debut with Spire Motorsports in 2023, and the talent is there. He is 20 years old, and, if a team gives him a shot, he will be a driver to watch. Spire comes to mind as a part-time team he could race for in 2024, but, pretty much any Truck Series part-time effort could be a landing spot for Kvapil.
What part-time drivers are you most looking forward to seeing in 2024? These drivers are always fun to watch out for on entry lists.