Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

What is Holding Up NASCAR’s Silly Season?

Article Contents

Aluma Trailers

In This Article

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts
Aluma Trailers

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

As we hit the week of the regular season finale in the NASCAR Cup Series, many Silly Season Questions remain unanswered. Typically, most major Silly Season questions in NASCAR are answered by now, but, why is it different this year? Well, here are a few theories for what is holding up some of NASCAR’s Silly Season.

1. Sponsorship Issues

In motorsports, NASCAR in particular, you need a sponsor to go racing. Pretty much every driver needs to bring some sort of funding along with them into really any ride in any of NASCAR’s National Touring series.

A couple of seats in the Cup Series remain open for this very reason. Aric Almirola is mulling retirement for the second season in a row, and he brings along with him major funding from Smithfield. Stewart-Haas Racing would likely like to keep him at least for another year because Almirola brings funding.

Justin Haley left Kaulig Racing in large part likely because of what Haley called a “Business decision”. Matt Kaulig funds a large part of that 31 operation currently with Leaf Filter, and, how long can he realistically do that? This means that whoever replaces Haley would likely need to bring some significant sponsorship money to claim that ride.

The 42 car is now open for 2024 as well, but, with the way that Gragson left the team, who knows where sponsorship sits with that team? It could go in plenty of different directions, and, with the performance of Legacy Motor Club, the 42 car is low on the totem pole of many drivers.

2. The New TV Deal

NASCAR is in the midst of negotiating their next TV deal. This means that there could be a major change in how the economics of the sport work in 2025 and beyond. This is something to consider for both drivers and teams because what works with this TV deal may not work as well with the new TV deal.

If a driver signs a multi-year contract, that means that the contract will end whenever the next TV deal is already in place. However, NASCAR does not seem to be in a major hurry to get this deal done as they still have over a year to hammer out the fine print. Because of that, the new TV deal will take on less and less power as time goes on.

3. The Charter System

There are a few race teams that would love to sign some of these available free agents. However, the price of a charter makes it very difficult to sign them. Sure, you could field a car as an open car for all 36 races with no charter, but, teams are not doing that really at all anymore.

The one contrarian to this would be Justin Marks at Trackhouse while looking for a spot for SVG. However, whether or not that means full-time Cup Series competition is uncertain at best at the moment The current status of NASCAR charters decreases the amount of teams that can sign free agents.

4. Denny Hamlin and Aric Almirola

The two highest-profile seats that are potentially open are not actually open as of yet. Aric Almirola and the 10 car at Stewart-Haas Racing is dependent on whether or not he retires at the end of the season. Denny Hamlin is in the midst of an incredibly complicated contract negotiation between JGR, 23XI, and Toyota.

Until these two guys know what they are doing, drivers on the market do not know what the best teams open are. It would be upsetting to sign with a B-tier team if something like JGR was wide open. Until these two drivers make their decisions, then the silly season may stay at a standstill.

NASCAR Silly Season is coming down to a few people making key decisions. Who will be the first one to make that decision that determines the path forward for NASCAR Silly Season?

Share this:

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts