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Who Will Drive for Kaulig Racing in 2025?

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What’s Happening?

Kaulig Racing’s Cup Series program has had a tough first half to 2024, making their plans for 2025 all the more uncertain. Kaulig still has not publicly committed to any drivers for 2025 in the Cup Series, so which drivers could race for Kaulig next year?

  • Kaulig Racing has Daniel Hemric racing full-time in the Cup Series in the No. 31, with a host of drivers racing in the No. 16 car. “All-Star Car” drivers include Kaulig Xfinity Series drivers A.J. Allmendinger, Josh Williams, and Shane Van Gisbergen, rookie Derek Kraus, and veteran Ty Dillon.
  • Bob Pockrass reports that this ride will be decided by sponsorship. This means that any driver on this list needs significant funding.
  • Fans want to see Kaulig do better. Could any of these drivers boost Kaulig’s program?

A.J. Allmendinger

A.J. Allmendinger was bumped down to the Xfinity Series this season due to a lack of sponsorship after his return to the Cup Series in 2023. Given that he races in the Xfinity Series for Kaulig Racing, he is always a candidate to jump back up to the Cup Series full-time. Bob Pockrass reports that this change is possible if the dollars and cents align.

Allmendinger is easily Kaulig’s most accomplished NASCAR-specific driver right now, so if he can jump back up to Cup full-time, Kaulig would be well served to bring him back. However, a lot has to go right for this to work.

Daniel Hemric

Daniel Hemric races full-time for Kaulig in the Cup Series this season but has struggled. At the halfway point, he is 31st in points with only two top-10 finishes. He does bring some funding, but will he be back?

That’s tough to gauge right now. Either scenario seems possible, depending on who else is available for this ride.

Harrison Burton

Most signs point to Harrison Burton leaving The Wood Brothers at season’s end. However, Burton has places he can go in 2024, and Kaulig could be one of them. Dex Imaging has supported Burton since he was a teenager, so Burton does bring funding.

However, he has not performed well in the Cup Series. As of this writing, he is 33rd in points after finishing 27th in 2022 and 31st in 2023. Could his performance keep him out of the Cup Series?

Zane Smith

Zane Smith is signed to a development contract with Trackhouse, with whom Kaulig is aligned. With Smith out of a ride for 2024 and SVG potentially moving up to the Cup Series, could Kaulig take Smith in? This could allow Trackhouse to become responsible for the sponsorship.

It could help alleviate sponsorship issues, but Smith has not performed well this season. He is last in points amongst full-time drivers without a single top-10 finish. He likely needs more time to develop, and is Kaulig the place for him?

Shane Van Gisbergen

If Trackhouse wants to fully bring Smith into the fold, why not let SVG move to Kaulig? There’s already familiarity with SVG racing for Kaulig in both Xfinity and Cup. However, Trackhouse probably wants to move SVG along.

Unlike younger prospects who need more time to be groomed and ready, SVG can already win races on road courses. From a performance standpoint, it might be easier for Trackhouse to bring SVG in-house instead of Smith.

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Joshua Lipowski

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