One of the few race teams that have yet to announce its full 2024 Cup Series roster. They also are down one Xfinity Series driver with Chandler Smith gone for 2024. So, what is the hold-up at Kaulig Racing, and what do we know so far?
What Do We Know About Kaulig’s 2024 Plans?
Daniel Hemric and A.J. Allmendinger
We only know one ride at Kaulig Racing for 2024, and that is Daniel Hemric taking the current 31 car from the departing Justin Haley. We also know that A.J. Allmendinger is going to return to Kaulig racing in 2024 in some capacity, the question is which series he will be driving for the team.
Now, Jordan Bianchi did report following the Roval race that sources told him that Allmendinger would likely be going back to Xfinity for 2024. If that actually happens, that means that Kaulig has one Cup ride and one Xfinity ride to fill for 2024. Well, their Cup Series ride happens to have a favorite for 2024.
Ty Dillon has emerged as a favorite to land the other Kaulig Racing Cup Series ride according to Bob Pockrass. While maybe not the most exciting move to many, Dillon brings some funding with him, and he is an experienced driver.
How Much Funding Matters at Kaulig
We also know that funding will play a major role in who gets these rides just like a lot of other NASCAR seats. When Bianchi reported that Allmendinger was likely going back to Xfinity for Kaulig Racing in 2024, he also reported that Chris Rice told him what was going into these rides. Rice mentioned that it came down to “sponsorship dollars and funding”.
Anyone who gets these opportunities at Kaulig Racing will have to bring significant sponsorship along with them. Think about Chandler Smith who has a lot of funding from QuickTie, and he is gone for 2024. These rides will take someone with major funding, so, those are the drivers that are likely real candidates for this ride.
What is Taking So Long?
First off, the Chandler Smith news came out earlier in October, so, the news is still relatively fresh. It’s tough to put together a full lineup that quickly after a driver leaves. Now, it does seem that Kaulig may have at least some idea about what they are doing for 2024 based on what Matt Kaulig said right after the Roval win.
I think we’re pretty clear on what we’re doing, we just haven’t announced yet.Matt Kaulig
Well, Kaulig may know exactly what they’re doing. However, they have yet to announce anything, and there could be plenty of reasons for that. First off, driver contracts are complicated, and it takes a while before they are completely done.
Secondly, this is the week of the Championship race at Phoenix. It is entirely possible that Kaulig does not want to make any major announcements heading into this big weekend in the schedule. Kaulig could very well be waiting for the perfect time to strike to figure out their 2024 plans.
Thirdly, Kaulig may genuinely not have their plans finalized for 2024. Kaulig may have said that they know internally following the Roval race, but, things can change over time. It’s possible things have, especially with the Chandler Smith news.
At the end of the day, Kaulig Racing remains one of the most interesting teams in NASCAR Silly Season. When will they announce their 2024 plans? At this point, it could likely come during the early offseason.