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Who Could Drive the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Xfinity Car in 2024?

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Joshua Lipowski

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Another major Xfinity Series seat was opened up on Tuesday when Sammy Smith announced he would be moving on to JR Motorsports to drive the 8 car in 2024. This means that Joe Gibbs Racing no longer has the #20 car open, but they also have the #18 car open heading into 2024. Which drivers are in a position to potentially take that ride in 2024?

Ryan Truex

Ryan Truex finally broke through for his first Xfinity Series win back in June as he won at his home track of Dover Motor Speedway. With not one, but two seats open at Joe Gibbs Racing, it would make total sense for Truex to be a candidate for at least one. The question with Truex is his sponsorship.

Every one of his Xfinity Series starts this year has been sponsored by a Toyota subsidiary, which means he does not have much sponsorship backing him. He needs to get more of that if he wants to run a full Xfinity Series schedule, but if he can, he should be near the top of the list.

Trevor Bayne

Trevor Bayne has been working to fight his way back into full-time NASCAR racing, and this is an opportunity to do it. In his last 12 Xfinity Series starts for JGR, Bayne has eight top-10s and five top-5s. He can get the job done, and JGR knows it.

The issue lies with sponsorship with Bayne. He has more than Truex given that he got support from entities like Devotion Nutrition, Dollar Concrete, and He Gets Us for these races. However, is it enough for a full-time Xfinity Series ride?

Corey Heim

Corey Heim has impressed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season, and he is 21 years old. The next logical step after this season would be to head up to Xfinity to try to build his way up there. However, does JGR think he is ready for Xfinity yet?

Bob Pockrass recent report casts some doubt as to whether or not Gibbs wants Heim in the Xfinity Series next year. Then again, maybe things change with Smith moving on as quickly as he did.

Jesse Love

Jesse Love has impressed in the ARCA Menards Series with nine wins this season. Many may tap William Sawalich for this ride, but he would not be eligible as he will not turn 18 until October of 2024. Love already is 18, and he would replace another driver who started with JGR in Xfinity at 18 in Sammy Smith.

This may be a bit of a pipedream, however, given his age. It would be strange for Love to jump drivers like Heim to go straight up to Xfinity, but, stranger things have happened.

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson is another driver that could be a pipedream, but, he definitely wants at least a shot at this ride. However, there is a lot that is keeping him from it. First off, Toyota may not want him given that they were reportedly looking to replace Gragson before he was even suspended.

That combined with the potential lack of sponsorship Gragson will have to deal with could keep him out. However, if he could get a second chance, this could be the place to do it.

This has become the most prominent Xfinity Series ride available, and it will be interesting to see who gets it. Will it be any of the guys on this list?

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Joshua Lipowski

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