What’s Happening?

As the NASCAR season approaches, some fans are starting to feel like certain drivers have been hyped up more than they should. Drivers can be hyped up for many different reasons, from joining new teams to those poised for a bounce-back year to those who exceeded expectations the year prior.

Not every fan believes that every driver’s hype is real, so we asked our community which drivers they felt were the most overhyped coming into the season. And now it’s our turn to analyze their responses.

Shane Van Gisbergen

The Real Braden Ryan chose one of the four we listed in Shane Van Gisbergen. The hype is definitely there for SVG following his Chicago Street Race win, but how good will he be in 2024?

SVG’s 2024 schedule has not been announced, but he is in a developmental contract with Trackhouse. The expectation is not on him to immediately win on every type of track, nor should it be. He finished in the top 10 in both of his Cup Series starts on road courses, but, he finished 19th in his oval debut at Indianapolis Raceway Park in the Craftsman Truck Series.

He will be a threat to win at any road course to be sure, but on ovals, he may struggle. He certainly will not be winning on ovals out of the gate. That is why he is on a developmental deal instead of going straight into the Cup Series as a full-time driver. The hope for SVG should be to steadily improve on ovals, and hopefully, earn a full-time Cup Series seat before too long. Is he overhyped? It depends on the expectations someone has for SVG.

Denny Hamlin

Wvraith brought in a surprising choice by saying Denny Hamlin. He claims that Hamlin’s Playoff performance has him overhyped by fans.

Denny Hamlin is a future Hall of Fame driver, so calling him “overhyped” is bold. However, wvwraith is correct that Hamlin struggles in the Playoffs. He has never won a Championship, and he may be the greatest driver to do so.

Hamlin has not proven that he can get it done when it matters most, but he can drive a race car. Is it fair to call him overhyped? It depends on whether you look at potential or past results. Potential would say Hamlin is more than capable of winning a Championship. Past results would question whether or not Hamlin has what it takes.

Chase Elliott

Greg Hartman argued that Chase Elliott is overhyped, and he gave two reasons. One being the spotter for Elliott leaving, and the second being Elliott’s standing at Hendrick Motorsports.

Elliott had an awful 2023 season, but some diehard fans think he will have his best season ever in 2024. With nothing to show for it yet, that certainly qualifies as overhyped.

Hartman brings up Elliott’s spotter as a reason to not buy the hype, a factor to watch in Elliott’s performance, especially at superspeedways. However, as time goes on and chemistry with his new spotter develops, that could be a non-factor by the end of the season.

It is fair to ask whether or not Elliott is the number 1 driver at Hendrick Motorsports given how he performed compared to teammates William Byron and Kyle Larson. Does that mean his performance continues to dip in 2024? Regardless of who is the number 1 driver or not, he is still driving HMS equipment.

Is he overhyped? He is expected to have a bounce-back season, but, how good it will really be remains a mystery.

Carson Hocevar

Debi says that Carson Hocevar is overhyped because he has not proven anything.

Now, to say Hocevar has proven absolutely nothing would be unfair. This past season in the Cup Series, he proved that he can get solid enough results. The talent is there, but to Debi’s point, there are also some red flags.

Wrecking Corey Heim at Phoenix made many wonder if Hocevar is a bit too aggressive. He’s also racing for the 77 team at Spire Motorsports, whose driver just finished 32nd in the points standings. While he could improve in the off-season, his past behavior and the performance of his equipment may keep him at a disadvantage.

It’s not going to be an easy journey for Hocevar in the Cup Series, but the upside is there. Is he overhyped? He will prove that come 2024.

Noah Gragson

BuschNation4 wrote in another candidate, Noah Gragson. He is currently favored to land the 10 car at Stewart-Has Racing, but no announcement has been made yet.

We do not know for sure whether or not Gragson is racing in the Cup Series full-time in 2024. That makes it impossible to set any realistic expectations for him. However, when we did get to see him race in 2023, he struggled.

He failed to record a top-10 finish in the races he did run, so some may wonder if he has what it takes. On the other hand, he was able to win 9 races in top equipment in the Xfinity Series in 2022, so that shows that he can perform in the right situation. Is he overhyped? We still have to wait until he gets his 2024 plans figured out.

Every fan has different opinions on different drivers. Some claim a driver is better, while others say a driver is worse. At the end of the day, every driver has a chance to prove people right or wrong on the race track.

Who do you think is the most overhyped driver? Let us know on social media!