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Who Drives for Gene Haas’ New NASCAR Team?

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What’s Happening?

On Thursday, Gene Haas announced that he is staying in the NASCAR Cup Series by hanging on to one charter and keeping his existing Xfinity Series program. Now, the question turns to who could drive the car for the team.

  • Haas Factory Team will house a single-car Cup Series program plus a two-car Xfinity Series team. This opens up an opportunity for current Stewart-Haas Racing drivers to race for the team.
  • Gene Haas previously owned a Cup Series team by himself from 2002 through 2008 before Tony Stewart Bought into the team. However, Haas did not have nearly the same success in those early years, failing to win a Cup Series race and only winning one Xfinity Series race.
  • Fans are curious to see who could race for this newish team. There are plenty of candidates, and the team could be one of the most interesting in NASCAR.

Cole Custer

Cole Custer seems all but guaranteed to race for this team, given that his dad, Joe, will be the Team President. It also makes sense from a performance standpoint, as Cole is the 2023 Xfinity Series Champion and a Cup Series race winner.

However, will it be for the Cup team or Xfinity team? Cole has certainly shown promise in the Xfinity Series, and it might be worth trying the Cup level again. However, his struggles in Cup with SHR could give Haas pause.

Riley Herbst

Riley Herbst has shown some promise in the last couple of seasons. He won his first Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas last fall and is well within the top 10 in points this season. However, Herbst’s future could take him elsewhere.

Sources have told us that 23XI Racing is interested in Herbst, who is funded by Monster Energy and his family. If that ride opens up, it would be tough for Herbst to say no, but it all depends on whether or not 23XI Racing obtains a charter.

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer admitted at Iowa that he is upset that he is not getting more attention for Cup Series rides. Would it be worth it for Mayer to join another Xfinity Series team, or could he get a Cup Series opportunity with this Haas Factory Team?

It’s possible, but Mayer must be lured from arguably the top Xfinity Series team today, JRM. Is it good for Mayer to move from JRM to the Haas Factory team? The equipment might be good at the Xfinity level, but the Cup level is uncertain.

SHR Free Agents

Gene Haas’s stay in NASCAR allows current SHR drivers to consider another race team. Maybe Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, or Ryan Preece could stay with the same team. Some familiarity in a time when everything is changing could be a big selling point.

Would it be a Cup Series opportunity or an Xfinity Series ride? That’s the question, and it may determine which drivers want this opportunity. Why would they move down to the Xfinity Series if Cup Series rides are available?

Kaz Grala

Kaz Grala competes in the Cup Series for Ford via Rick Ware Racing. Given that he races for RWR, Grala brings some funding to the table, which could give the Haas Factory Team some of the sponsorship they are looking for. He also had a decent season in 2023 with Sam Hunt Racing.

However, this would not be the most exciting hire. Either way, Grala would probably be a solid, serviceable driver for this team.

What do you think about all this? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is. And don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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