It’s the end of January, which means that the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season is almost upon us. Cars will take to the track this weekend for the Busch Clash at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 4, and the 66th running of the Great American Race at Daytona International Speedway is less than three weeks away.
With a wide array of driver and team changes from the offseason alongside more minor personnel tweaks — or even a few lineups that stayed exactly the same — there’s a lot to discuss as the Cup Series moves into the third season of the Next Gen era.
For 2024, the Frontstretch staff each voted on a top-30 ranking, taking into account each driver’s 2023 season as well as their outlook for 2024.
Below is where we landed. Positions No. 30-21 were posted yesterday (Jan. 30), while the top 10 will be posted tomorrow (Feb. 1).
20. Chase Briscoe
After a more-than-disappointing 2023 season for the driver out of Mitchell, Ind., Chase Briscoe finds himself in a completely different situation from 2022. And with the retirement of Kevin Harvick, the fourth-year veteran is now the longest-tenured driver at Stewart-Haas Racing.
After a hot start, Briscoe’s year spiraled into disarray after receiving a 120-point L3 penalty after the Coca-Cola 600. He finished in the top five only once after the penalty after starting the season with three top fives in the first 10 races. Like all three of his SHR teammates, he was unable to find victory lane.
The lack of performance corelates with three of the four cars in the stable along with Nos. 10 and 41, and with the introduction of the Ford Mustang Dark Horse, the entire team will be relying on getting ahead of the research and development curb across the board in order to improve from a dreadful 2023.
With Harvick transitioning to the television booth, it is now up to Briscoe to bear the flag for the team and bring SHR back to where it was previously.
SHR posted on social media about staying true to its DNA and reminding everyone who they are, and this season, the team desperately needs a return to that previous success across the board. -Wyatt Watson
19. Erik Jones
After breaking a three-year winless drought at the 2022 Southern 500, Erik Jones had the worst season of his career in 2023. But despite the down year, there is optimism for a bounce back in 2024. Legacy Motor Club endured an oddball lame-duck season last year, as the team announced it would switch from…