What’s Happening?

While every team is optimistic that the 2024 season will be “Their year”, some teams will inevitably regress. What is the unfortunate bunch of race teams that are most likely to regress in 2024?

  • This list will focus solely on NASCAR Cup Series teams, not drivers.
  • Part-time teams are also not eligible to be on this list.
  • Fans are always curious about which race teams will get worse in 2024, even if they do not like seeing teams get worse.

5. Richard Childress Racing

Richard Childress Racing had a weird 2023. Kyle Busch won three of the first 15 races while Austin Dillon was struggling massively. Busch regressed as the 2023 season went on as he followed up 3 wins and 12 top-10 finishes in the first 19 races with 0 wins and 5 top-10 finishes in the final 17.

That finish with the team’s top driver is very concerning for RCR. Even Austin Dillon had a season that was well below his usual standards. It seemed like the team turned a corner in 2022, but, 2023 was overall a down year for the team with only one driver making the Playoffs.

The silver lining for RCR is the beginning of the season with Kyle Busch. That is what this team can do with a top driver like Kyle Busch. If they cannot rekindle that, this will be another down year.

4. Front Row Motorsports

Front Row Motorsports had a great year in 2023 with Michael McDowell having a career year and Todd Gilliland showing flashes of brilliance. However, is there enough momentum to keep that going into 2024?

McDowell made the Playoffs thanks to a win at Indianapolis, but without that win, he would not have made it. He also had a worse average finish and fewer top-10s in 2023 than he did in 2022.

3. Stewart Haas-Racing

Stewart-Haas Racing had a terrible 2023 season as they failed to win a race. Kevin Harvick was the only driver who made the Playoffs, and he is gone for 2024. The replacement is rookie Josh Berry, and Noah Gragson comes in to replace Aric Almirola.

Aside from that, there are no major changes at SHR in 2024. How much did they really do to get better in the offseason? Yes, 2023 was a low bar, but, there is a chance that all four drivers could miss the Playoffs in 2024 if equipment does not improve.

SHR does have a silver lining with the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse. The team seems to be hoping this car will fix some of the issues the team had. It’s possible the new car could fix some issues, but, how much of it will it really fix?

2. JTG Daugherty Racing

JTG Daugherty Racing made the Playoffs in 2023 thanks to a win in the Daytona 500 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. However, without that win, this team did not make the Playoffs, and they only had one top-5 finish the rest of the season.

If they were to take away Daytona, would this be a successful season for JTG Daugherty Racing? Sure, they did improve from 2022, but, if that win is taken away, it’s not the same season. This team is still not a key-partner Chevy team, and Stenhouse Jr. is a solid but not spectacular driver.

This team can win on superspeedways with the success Stenhouse Jr. has had on them. If this team can sneak another superspeedway win, then they can match what they did in 2023. However, winning a superspeedway race is easier said than done.

1. Kaulig Racing

Kaulig Racing made some very curious moves with their Cup Series driver lineup for 2024. They got rid of the veteran race-winning A.J. Allmendinger and the young Justin Haley in favor of Daniel Hemric and an All-Star Car. Now, Allmendinger will race for the team in the Daytona 500, but, he will not race the full season.

Hemric is far from a bad driver, but he has won one race in his entire NASCAR career across all three National Touring Series. Maybe they could win a race with the All-Star Car, but, that will not put a driver in the Playoffs. It’s going to be a struggling year for Kaulig in all likelihood.

Now, Kaulig does have a new alliance with Trackhouse thanks to SVG joining the Xfinity Series program. Could that alliance help Kaulig’s equipment out some? It could, and that may be the boost Hemric needs.

Which other teams may regress heading into 2024? Did we miss anyone on this list?