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Who Will Drive the JR Motorsports 8 Car Next Year?

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In the midst of the craziness that is NASCAR Silly Season, one ride has flown under the radar in recent months, the JR Motorsports #8 car. It is likely the most coveted, open seat in the Xfinity Series garage at the moment. Which drivers are candidates to take that Xfinity Series seat in 2024?

Jeffrey Earnhardt

The grandson of Dale Earnhardt, Jeffrey Earnhardt was specifically name-dropped by Dale Earnhardt Jr. as someone who could take over the #8 car in 2024. Earnhardt addressed this while he was at Pocono back in July, but he did not give any concrete answers as to his future.

Earnhardt is an Xfinity Series veteran, and the 34-year-old is running full-time in the series this year for the first time since 2014. He has never gotten a chance in top-level equipment throughout his career, so this would be the opportunity of a lifetime for him. However, he has failed to win a race in his career with only five top-10 finishes in 163 career races. Even then, having an Earnhardt in race-winning level equipment would be cool for fans to see.

Rajah Caruth

Rajah Caruth is an interesting prospect. He is now slated to be a free agent after GMS Racing announced they would be shutting down at season’s end. He has not won a race yet, but he has shown flashes in the Craftsman Truck Series.

He has sponsorship from the Wendell Scott Foundation as well. He may be a surprising pick to some, but Caruth does one thing really well, he does not wreck a lot of equipment. If he has that down, then maybe the only thing he needs is some experience to improve his seed and race craft.

Carson Kvapil

Carson Kvapil will run in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Bristol for Spire Motorsports with backing from Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a connection to Hendrick Motorsports seeing as he drove for them in the Cup Series from 2008-2017. Kvapil also has a connection to JRM as he drives for the team in the CARS Tour.

If JRM wants to follow a straightforward succession plan, then bringing up Josh Berry’s late model replacement in Kvapil to Xfinity would seem logical. Kvapil is also a very young driver at only 20 years old. Given the current connections, Kvapil is a driver to keep an eye on, especially if he performs well at Bristol.

Christian Eckes

If JRM wants to go to the Truck Series to find its’ next driver, Christian Eckes is one of the best young Chevrolet drivers out there. Eckes has won two races this season, and he has run parts of the last six Truck Series seasons. Experience is not an issue with Eckes.

The biggest issue for him is sponsorship. Over half of his races this season have been sponsored by Napa, which is affiliated with his team owner Bill McAnally. Does Eckes have enough sponsorship support to race for JRM in 2024?

Carson Hocevar

A few months ago, Hocevar seemed to be the favorite to land the JRM #8 car, but things have now changed. Hocevar is reportedly getting interest from Cup Series teams, and a few rides seem to potentially make sense for him at the Cup level. However, the JRM #8 car cannot be totally ruled out.

The main issue for Hocevar seems to be sponsorship. Can he bring in enough money to run for an organization like JRM, or even a Cup team for that matter? His talent is there, but the sponsorship money may not be.

The JRM #8 car may be one of the last silly season dominos to fall, but it still is an important seat to watch. Whoever gets that seat will have a prime opportunity to earn a top ride at the next level.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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