Motorsport News

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Fallout & More

Nascar Xfinity Series drivers Cole Custer Riley Herbst NKP

At this point, few would use the term Earth-Shattering for the confirmed announcement that Stewart-Haas Racing is closing up shop after this season. This news has been rumored for weeks and has picked up steam recently to a point where it was expected.

In the Cup Series, four charters will be sold, and the implications will be vast. Drivers will find new homes, and some may not. Same with crew chiefs, car chiefs, engineers, crew personnel, office staff, etc.

In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the fallout cannot be fully measured at this time, but it is potentially humongous. As close to earth-shattering as it gets. Ever since Team Penske shuttered its Xfinity team following the 2021 season, SHR has been the undisputed flagship Ford Performance team in the series. The team from which all other Ford teams get their support.

There are seven cars in the series running full-time for Ford. The reigning champion Cole Custer leads the way in SHR’s No. 00 Ford. Riley Herbst has shown great progression while driving SHR’s no. 98.

Next you have RSS Racing, who has Ryan Sieg, Matt DiBenedetto, Kyle Sieg and Blaine Perkins all under their umbrella driving Fords, with a SHR alliance.

AM Racing has run full-time in the series since 2023, and has Hailie Deegan driving their Fords this season. AM Racing also has an alliance with SHR.

The series champion, Custer, has driven with Haas Automation as his primary sponsor ever since he started competing in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2014. His father, Joe Custer, has been tied to Gene Haas throughout his racing tenure. What does Custer’s career look like without the backing of Haas Automation? He’s definitely proven himself worthy of a ride in NASCAR, but even Kyle Busch was humbled when he didn’t bring enough sponsorship to keep his ride. Custer is good, but he’s no Busch.

Herbst’s improvement and family-tied sponsorship would seem to have him in a pretty decent position to be signed to another competitive ride. But his progression was headed towards a Cup ride with SHR in the near future. Could he do the same with Front Row? Or will he need to prove himself again with another team in Xfinity before getting that call to Cup?

At seven full-time cars,…

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