Aric Almirola announced he would be stepping away from full-time Cup Series competition last weekend. However, he did not close the door on part-time rides for 2024, particularly in the Xfinity Series and Truck Series. So, who could we see Amirola driving for in 2024 on a part-time basis?
RSS Racing #28: Xfinity Series
The lone driver who has raced full-time for the team this season is Ryan Seig, and plenty of drivers have filled in to finish out the season for the team. The best performance came from Aric Almirola who won at Sonoma Raceway. This would likely be the most logical place for Almirola to go.
There will definitely be opportunities for the team, and they are already affiliated with Ford. Almirola is a Ford driver currently, and he could stay with them with RSS Racing. However, the team’s 2024 plans have yet to be set in stone, so, it’s hard to say exactly how many opportunities there will be.
Front Row Motorsports #34/#36: Truck Series OR Cup Series
Front Row Motorsports would put Almirola in equipment he knows he can win in either the Truck Series or the Cup Series. They have fielded a third Cup Series car a few times this year, primarily for Zane Smith, and they fielded a second Truck Series car at Talladega to give Zane Smith a teammate. Almirola has experience and has won before on superspeedway, which could make him a candidate to fill in at Front Row Motorsports.
The drawback is that it is uncertain exactly how many opportunities Almirola would have with the team. On top of that, Front Row tends to fill these cars with drivers that are affiliated with them such as Zane Smith, but, Riley Herbst has filled in with them as well. Maybe Almirola could make some spot starts in either the Truck Series or Cup Series for the team.
Joe Gibbs Racing #19: Xfinity Series
If Almirola is willing to jump manufacturers, he may find some starts with Joe Gibbs Racing in the 19 car in 2024. Almirola could win races with this equipment, and Gibbs is where he started his Xfinity Series career. However, the car may be crowded for 2024.
Toyota may want to see Corey Heim get some Xfinity Series starts. Trevor Bayne may return, and what if Ryan Truex cannot work a full-time season out? On top of that, the manufacturer switch could make this move tough as well, especially considering how few opportunities there could be.
Rick Ware Racing #15: Cup Series
If Almirola is open to returning to the Cup Series in 2024 part-time, then Rick Ware Racing may be the most likely destination. RWR has fielded an All-Star car this season with veterans such as Ryan Newman and Jenson Button driving for the team. They are already a Ford team, so there would be no manufacturer switch for Almirola.
He may not be winning races for the team, but it would allow him to keep racing at the highest level. It would be a place where he can race and have fun.
Stewart-Haas Racing #? – Xfinity Series
If Almirola does not want to move anywhere at all, then he could try to carve out a part-time Xfinity Series schedule with Stewart-Haas Racing. The issue here is that SHR does not have a third Xfinity Series car. It may take some selling to get a third car for the race team.
Either Almirola would run it part-time by himself, or SHR would have to field an All-Star car to keep the car in the Owner’s Championship. Would they field such a car in the lower series?
Where could Aric Almirola go in 2024? There are a few part-time places he could look to for the 2024 season, but, will the opportunities be there?