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Who Will Be the Next NASCAR Team to Fall?

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What’s Happening?

With Stewart-Haas Racing shutting down at the end of the season, it shows how quickly a team can go from a powerhouse to showing them the door in just a handful of years. SHR is not the only one who’s struggled, as many teams have been rumored to be merging or following Stewart-Haas’ path sooner rather than later. Let’s take a look at which teams could be next.

  • Stewart-Haas Racing announced last week that it will shut down at the end of the 2024 season. After winning two Cup championships and an Xfinity title, the team will close its doors and sell all four charters, one of which Front Row Motorsports already bought for $20-$25 million.
  • Other teams have been rumored to sell charters as well. Teams like Kaulig Racing have been rumored to merge with other teams, while others like JTG-Daughtery could be forced to sell due to lack of sponsorship.
  • As the charter agreement continues to be negotiated, many wonder which teams will be next to bow out of the sport, or at least downsize or merge.

Kaulig Racing

Kaulig Racing has only been in the Cup Series since 2021, but already, there have been rumors of the organization selling charters or potentially merging with other teams. Despite having two Cup wins, including last year at the Charlotte Roval, the team has struggled to find its footing in Cup. They have yet to make the playoffs and currently sit 28th and 33rd in the owner’s standings as of this writing.

Their Xfinity team has also struggled. While Shane Van Gisburgen won at Portland last week, Aj Allmendinger has remained winless in his return season, and prized pickup Josh Williams sits 18th in points with only three top-10s on the year.

Throughout the season, it was rumored that Kaulig would merge with Trackhouse Racing to help the latter open seats for its pipeline of drivers. Kaulig president Chris Rice has already stated that they do not plan to sell charters “in the next 24 months” but rather look for partners for the organization.

Trackhouse needs seats, and Kaulig needs a performance boost. They are not a “Tier One” Chevy team and don’t even have their own campus, as they operate in Richard Childress Racing’s shop. The two already share an alliance in the Xfinity Series with the 97 car, but what if that partnership expanded? Kaulig could get the boost it needs, and Trackhouse could get the seats it needs. But with charters continuing to rise and the performance on the track lacking, there is a scenario where Kaulig could cash out altogether and go back to focusing solely on Xfinity. While it’s more likely that a merger will happen, it is still possible that Kaulig could cut their losses and bow out of Cup altogether.

JTG-Daughtery Racing

Despite signing Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to a long-term contract extension, there are still many questions surrounding JTG-Daughtery Racing. With team co-owner Tad Geshickter and longtime sponsor Kroger possibly heading to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2025, it leaves a massive hole in sponsorship for the 2023 Daytona 500 champions that will need to be filled.

After a career season last year, the team sits 27th in the owner’s points with only two top-10s and one lap led as of this writing. Similar to Kaulig, JTG is not a “Tier One” organization, meaning they do not receive the same support from Chevrolet as Hendrick, Trackhouse, or RCR. This team is no stranger to charter turmoil. In 2021, the team ran the 37-car with Ryan Preece full-time without a charter. It is possible that they could do the same with the 47 in 2025.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

With their longtime sponsor looking to head out the door, in addition to the JTG of JTG-Daughtery, there is a chance that the team decides to sell off its charter and either run as a non-charter entry or shut its doors altogether.

Rick Ware Racing

This one is a stretch, given that Rick Ware Racing just signed Justin Haley to a long-term deal and has improved significantly this season. But maybe the team could downsize from two cars to one instead of shutting down altogether.

While Haley has shown flashes of brilliance driving the 51-car, the 15 is still stuck in the back of the pack. They are second-to-last amongst full-time cars in the owner’s standings, and while Kaz Grala has been serviceable in his time, nothing has stood out. And Cody Ware continues to struggle since returning to Cup, i.e., Gateway last week.

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Given the 51’s improved performance and alliance with RFK Racing, it’s possible RWR could sell or lease their 51 charter and put all its eggs in Justin Haley’s basket. It’s highly unlikely that the team sells both charters unless the Wares fall out of love with the sport, but selling one? It’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Which team do you think is next to shut down or downsize? Did we miss any that you’ve thought of? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is, and don’t forget you can also follow us on InstagramFacebook, and even YouTube.

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