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What’s Behind the Changes at Niece Motorsports?

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What’s Happening?

The last few weeks have been turbulent for Niece Motorsports and one of NASCAR’s newest teams, Faction46. Driver Thad Moffitt has announced his move to Young’s Motorsports in the No. 46 car, and Niece has brought in Connor Daly to drive a fourth entry for the team in three races. What happened?

  • Heading into the season, there was a lot of optimism surrounding both Niece Motorsports and Faction46. With Carson Hocevar taking the team to the Championship 4 in 2023, Niece was seen as an up-and-coming race team, and the brand-new Faction46 team aligned with Niece for the season.
  • However, everything seemingly dissolved as summertime began. Little is known about what happened, but we know what could have happened.
  • Fans were very surprised to see what happened with Faction46. Many theorized what could have happened, but no one could pinpoint what actually did.

How We Got Here

Faction46 was officially unveiled in December of 2023, and it was soon announced that Thad Moffitt, grandson of “The King,” Richard Petty, would drive for the team. It would be his first full-time season in any NASCAR National Touring Series after he spent 2023 racing in Trans-Am.

The team would operate with a technical alliance from Niece Motorsports, a team that had just made the Championship 4 with Carson Hocevar in 2023. Niece themselves also had a revamped driver lineup, bringing in Bayley Currey and Matt Mills to compete alongside the No. 45 “All-Star Truck.”

The optimism lasted one qualifying session. Moffit qualified 10th for the season opener at Daytona before getting caught up in a crash on lap six and finishing last. All three Niece cars finished outside the top 10 after qualifying between second and ninth.

Since then, it’s been a rough ride for both teams. Faction46 could only muster one top-20 finish in the first 12 races, with three DNFs in the process. Currey and Mills have combined for two top-10 finishes all season to this point, with Niece’s only bright spots being Kaden Honeycutt’s four top-10s in six starts and Ross Chastain’s win at Darlington.

After a three-week break following Gateway, Thad Moffit announced that he would not be racing at Nashville due to “Circumstances beyond my control.” Dawson Cram filled in driving an unsponsored No. 46 Truck, and he gave the team their second top-20 finish of the season. Fast-forward to Pocono week, and Moffitt is now driving the No. 46 truck for Young’s Motorsports, with Faction46 seemingly gone for good. Niece later announced Conor Daly would drive the No. 44 truck, a fourth in-house entry.

What Went Wrong?

Everything unfolded suddenly, and it caught everyone off-guard. While performance was definitely down on all fronts, Faction46 was a brand new team with a rookie driver, and Niece was still finding ways to be competitive. It’s rare to see a race team just shut down midway through their first season.

However, Eric Estepp provided little insight into the situation. While not an insider with the team, he was at the unveiling, so he has some knowledge of what happened. His full thoughts can be found in the episode “Out of the Groove” below.

In short, it came down to money. As Eric says, by his understanding, Faction46 was unhappy with the costs, with money also being “Tight” at Niece Motorsports.

According to Eric, the fallout was Thad moving on to Young’s Motorsports, taking the owner’s points with him, while Niece took on the remaining resources of Faction46.

There is no information on specifics, but the bottom line is that Moffit has moved on along with Niece, and Faction46 is pretty much gone, at least for now.

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